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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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  • by Omnifarious (11933) * <eric-slash&omnifarious,org> on Friday September 21, 2012 @10:13PM (#41418123) Homepage Journal

    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.

    And this reads a little like one developer trying to use the GPL to prevent a fork.

    But, given the seeming quality of the distribution and level of response from the XBian people, I do not think that in this case it is any great loss.

  • by Omnifarious (11933) * <eric-slash&omnifarious,org> on Friday September 21, 2012 @10:38PM (#41418305) Homepage Journal

    Also, all the supporting code was under GPL. The code that pulled everything together to make a distribution. And XBian wasn't posting that code. That's a hard requirement of the GPL. Attribution actually isn't a hard requirement of the GPL, it's just polite.

  • Really a violation? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by neoshroom (324937) on Saturday September 22, 2012 @12:25AM (#41418795)
    "The problem is that XBian doesn’t release any source code, claiming that it is all ‘available’ via Raspian’s archives and XBMC’s website."

    I'm not sure XBian is wrong. All they did is take an installer from another project and use it for their own project. If they didn't functionally change the source, why can't they say "here's the code" and just point to where they got it from.

    According to this site [raspbmc.com] "This doesn’t account for all source code however, such as their plugins, their method of building images or their updating scripts. Thus, XBian is not GPL compliant and does not release its entire source."

    If these things are separate executables or modular plugins, why can't they be closed source? Maybe I don't know all the technical details or all the nuances of the GPL, but this sounds more like a project trying to badmouth a competing project than a huge GPL issue.
  • The story is crap (Score:4, Interesting)

    by shutdown -p now (807394) on Saturday September 22, 2012 @02:49AM (#41419229) Journal

    The summary is two lines and doesn't explain what the referenced projects are about (and it's not something that you would know by default).

    It's also factually wrong, since - reading the linked content - the dispute is specifically over XBian installer, which was packaged and posted by a forum member not otherwise associated with the project, and the offending bit is said installer. The post had a link to Dropbox where the actual installer file resides. The original author who claims LGPL violation demanded that the post be taken down, which it was.

    Why this is even a front page story is beyond my understanding.

We warn the reader in advance that the proof presented here depends on a clever but highly unmotivated trick. -- Howard Anton, "Elementary Linear Algebra"

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