Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 5th Apr 2011 22:48 UTC
Google Is Android still open now that Google has postponed the source code release of Honeycomb, version 3.0 of the mobile operating system? I've been reading a whole boatload of articles and blog posts on the web claiming Android is no longer open, but it seems like very few people seem to actually understand what 'open' really means when it comes to the GPL and the Apache license. Here's a short primer.
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Small correction
by anda_skoa on Wed 6th Apr 2011 14:52 UTC
anda_skoa
Member since:
2005-07-07

The only way to get Honeycomb (the binary) is to buy a Xoom. This means that the only people who have the right to access the Honeycomb source code (the part covered under the GPL) are those who have bought a Xoom. If you do not own a Xoom, you have zero and nada right to claim access to Honeycomb's source code.


This is not entirely true as it depends on the version of the GPL and the chosen option for fullfilling the source availability clause.

The Linux kernel is licenced unter GPL version 2 and if the Xoom did not ship with the kernel sources e.g. on a CD/DVD as part of the package, the written offer to ship the source code is valid for any third party (GPL v2, Section 3b).

The easiest way to comply with the GPL is really to just ship the source with the binary. In this case ones doesn't have to bother to have it available as a download or on request.

This is, btw, a reason why excuses like "can't have GPL in app stores because it would require app store to have source downloads" are just that: excuses.
The app store's policy could just require that the app bundle contains the sources, thus complying to section 3a (GPLv2) or 6a (GPLv3).

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