GPL Violations

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Contents

Introduction

This page was created to collect possible GPL, LGPL and similar violations of Buffalo Technology or other companies regarding the Buffalo Linkstations and Terstations. Please note that for now we do not claim that a particular company legally violates the GPL or another free or open source license. There are just some issues we think need closer investigation, and we intend to collect these alleged issues here.

The plan is to confront Buffalo or other companies with the complete collection of issues at once instead of just asking for bits and pieces every time. For example, we in fact want the source-code of everything that we think might not properly be included in the GPL packages that can be downloaded at Buffalo's US-ftp-server. If we don't get everything what we think we should get regarding the GPL (if we think our rights are violated), then we most likely will get in touch with http://gpl-violations.org/ for further discussions. Read the short english article at wikipedia also.

What is the GPL?

Check the german or english wikipedia-articles.

What is the LGPL?

Check the german or english GNU-articles.

So what does this mean?

The source-code of every application/kernel/anything that was licensed under the GPL & LGPL has to be made available. And it has to be made available in a certain form. And the availability has to be announced in a particular way. The package has to be the the exact version of the source-code while it was compiled...so even if it was patched it has to be released that way. GPL violations occur, for example, if companies "forget" to release everything.

Similar rights come with other open or free software licenses, too.

What about the proprietary Programs on the Linkstations/Terrastations?

LS' and TS' come with a number of proprietary software, which was apparently written from scratch. For example, PCast or the AVM daemons. If such a program is indeed not based on any GPLed code (not a derived work), and all the nitty-gritty details regarding the linkage of the proprietary code with GPLed, GPLed with linking exemption, LGPLed, or similar code are done right, we don't care, since then we apparently have no right to the source code of these proprietary programs.

Of course, should we find that a proprietary program indeed uses (is a derived work of) GPLed software, or the linking or other issues violate the GPL or another open/free software license, we are interested and want to ensure that the software is distributed in compliance with the appropriate open source or free software license, e.g. the GPL.

What about Japanese-only Documentation?

Some small parts of the code released by Buffalo come with Japanese-only documentation (typically small READMEs like the README in http://downloads.linkstationwiki.net/source_code/UNPACKED_GPL/gpl_mipsel-hdhlan_v2/nkf203.tar or http://downloads.linkstationwiki.net/source_code/UNPACKED_GPL/gpl_mipsel-hdhlan_v2/%95%e2%91%ab%8f%ee%95%f1.txt). This is unfortunate, but it seems that the common consensus is that this is not a GPL violation.

Possible Violations related to all Versions

"scripts used to control installation"

http://gpl-violations.org/faq/sourcecode-faq.html#id263734 explains that the GPL also requires that scripts used to control installation need to be made available.

It can be argued that Buffalo's proprietary Windows installer for firmware (GNU/Linux kernel and in some cases the GPLed U-Boot boot loader) does not fulfill this GPL requirement.

Toolchain

http://gpl-violations.org/faq/sourcecode-faq.html#id263762 argues that for embedded devices like the LS' and TS' also the toolchain (compiler, etc.) needs to be made available, because cross-compilers and build systems are typically not normally distributed with ... the operating system.

Available Source Code and possible License Violations

Linkstations

LS Pro-GPL

Available Source Code

This is the GPLed source code for the Information/LSPROOverview aka LS-GL.
Look at the

Possible Violations LS Pro

What? Licence Exact Violation
UBoot Bootloader GPL no source code available and "scripts used to control installation" not freely (GPLed) available
glibc-2005q3 LGPL source code is missing
 ?  ?  ?

HG/HS-GPL

Available Sourcecode

This is the GPLed source code for the HG aka HD-HGLAN and the HS aka HS-DGL.
Look at the

Possible Violations HD-HGLAN and HS-DGL

What? Licence Exact Violation
 ?  ?  ?
 ?  ?  ?

LS1-GPL

Available Sourcecode

This is the GPLed source code for the LS1 aka HD-HLAN_v1.
Look at the

Possible Violations HD-HLAN_v1, LS1

What? Licence Exact Violation
 ?  ?  ?
 ?  ?  ?

LS2-GPL

Available Source Code

This is the GPLed source code for the LS2 aka HD-HLAN_v2.
Look at the

Possible Violations HD-HLAN_v2, LS1

What? Licence Exact Violation
 ?  ?  ?
 ?  ?  ?

Terastations

Terastation-GPL

Available Source Code

This is the GPLed source code for the HD-HTGL aka the Terastation and the HS-DTGL aka the Terastation HomeServer.
Look at the

Possible Violations Terastation/HD-HTGL and Terastation HomeServer/HS-DTGL

What? Licence Exact Violation
 ?  ?  ?
 ?  ?  ?

Terastation-Pro-GPL

Available Source Code

This is the GPLed source code for the TS-TGLR5 aka Terastation Pro v1.
Look at the

Possible Violations Terastation Pro v1/TS-TGLR5

What? Licence Exact Violation
 ?  ?  ?
 ?  ?  ?