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GPL Kerfuffle Takes Xbian For Raspberry Pi Offline 154

Posted by timothy
from the oh-you-mean-that-was-a-license dept.
tetrahedrassface writes "Rasbmc developer Sam Nazarko is reporting that Xbian had violated the GPL and stolen his installer code without providing attribution and not releasing their source. His breakdown of events is interesting, and currently the Xbian project has been taken offline with several tweets saying Xbian development is terminated."
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GPL Kerfuffle Takes Xbian For Raspberry Pi Offline

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  • Dumb Link Award (Score:1, Insightful)

    by icebike (68054) * on Friday September 21, 2012 @09:54PM (#41417977)

    Someone posting a link to a project that "has been taken offline" needs their head examined.

  • by FrangoAssado (561740) on Friday September 21, 2012 @11:09PM (#41418465)

    My guess is that they didn't want to release the code because, perhaps, they didn't have any, or perhaps because it was all chewing gum and bailing wire and they didn't even have it under source control.

    If that had been the case, he could simply have tar'ed his whole tree and put it up in the same place he was distributing the installer. The GPL defines "source code" as:

    The “source code” for a work means the preferred form of the work for making modifications to it.

    I don't think anyone can argue that the exact tree that was used to develop the code is not the "preferred" form to make modifications to it -- it is the form he used to make his modifications.

  • by Teancum (67324) <{ten.orezten} {ta} {gninroh_trebor}> on Friday September 21, 2012 @11:37PM (#41418573) Homepage Journal

    WE reserve the right to change the terms of this agreement at our discretion.

    That is just an evil license agreement... something even Microsoft doesn't try to insert into their licenses. In other words they can change the terms at anytime to any other terms for any other reason and it can mean whatever they want it to mean when the time comes.

    I don't know how that would hold up under an actual legal challenge, but it seems real slimy. Yes, I know the GPL does have the ability to use the "or later version" option, but that is an optional license upgrade that any end users or redistributor can apply or you can stick with the original terms and conditions. Not everybody trusts the Free Software Foundation and sometimes deliberately leaves that clause out of the license.

    This sounds like somebody begging to have this software reimplemented in a clean room environment and released under a proper software licensing agreement... like the GPL.

  • Re:GPL Kerfuffle (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Attila Dimedici (1036002) on Friday September 21, 2012 @11:47PM (#41418615)
    Just because you needed to google the term does not mean that the poster did.
  • Re:Dumb Link Award (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hairyfeet (841228) <{bassbeast1968} {at} {gmail.com}> on Saturday September 22, 2012 @12:09AM (#41418719) Journal

    Well far be it from me to point out /. editors don't actually edit or anything, but would it have really killed either them or the dude that posted it to tell us WTF XBian was? Or why we should care?

    I mean not everyone is in the pi builder community, so a couple of words telling what it was, or what its difference between it and the other one was, which again don't know WTF it is except it has something to do with the Pi, would have been nice.

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