Tina Gasperson of NewsForge.com wonders whether Empower Technologies is violating the GNU General Public License (GPL) in the methods used to distribute LinuxDA — a version of Linux that runs on Palm and Palm-compatible PDAs. Gasperson writes . . .
“The PowerPlay III PDA is cheap: $89. It runs on an embedded version of Linux called LinuxDA, by a company called Empower Technologies. Empower's version of Linux isn't free like beer, but there has also been a question as to whether it's free like speech. Paul Leung, the CEO of Empower, isn't interested in hashing out the details with NewsForge.”
“Back in late July, several people noticed that Empower Technologies had OS demos up for download that did not include any kernel source. Although the company has since put up a source tarball that, according to one downloader, consists mostly of a Netscape core file along with 4MB or so of kernel source, the Web site's legal page still has some dicey language concerning LinuxDA that definitely doesn't sound compatible with the GPL . . .”
“During the course of my conversation with Leung, I explained to him that when the demo, which he confirmed is based on the Linux kernel, was extracted, the license agreement I was presented with was not the GPL. 'You're getting into legal issues now,' he said. 'This is not a matter for your article, and if you persist I'll have to turn it over to the legal team.' . . .”
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