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I don't know if anyone here noticed, but recently a small flame war has started against BMW using Open Source with violation of GPL licensing, it looks like the whole case is just a big mis-understanding, if anyone is interested with more reading about this topic, here's the link for source: https://shkspr.mobi/blog/2016/03/bmw-and-the-gpl/
 

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Interesting, fairly sure they would never have to provide the whole code if GPL used in part, might have a 'payment' of some sorts if a root owner can be traced, or if someone really really wanted, the cut out section with GPL in... it'll blow over as it doesn't amount to much :)
 

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Interesting, fairly sure they would never have to provide the whole code if GPL used in part, might have a 'payment' of some sorts if a root owner can be traced, or if someone really really wanted, the cut out section with GPL in... it'll blow over as it doesn't amount to much :)
Viral Licensing

The GPL is sometimes described as 'viral', GPL v.3 especially so.

Basically the terms of the GPL are along the following lines. Any code that makes use of code that is GPL-licensed must also itself be licensed with GPL and open sourced. So if you're a software engineer who downloads a bit of GPL'ed source code and includes it in your project, or installs it on the computer/car/spacecraft and your program makes use of it at run time, then your project must also be released as open source code under GPL terms. If you don't then you have broken the terms of the license, and if challenged in court you may lose.

The second part of that - makes use of at runtime - is increasingly being seen as a major problem. The lack of a "linking exception" in GPL (which is specifically added in the Lesser GPL) has unknown (it's not been tested in court) consequences. The problem lies in that no one has decided whether "linking" constitutes a 'derived work', and until that's resolved many outfits are getting scared off using GPL code at all. The ongoing court case between Oracle and Google over the use of Java in Android may have a bearing on this. "Linking" is effectively making use of a programming interface, and Oracle vs Google is about whether such an interface can be copyrighted.

Restricting Worthy Endeavour

This is all fine if you're an amateur not seeking to make a living from your code. But it is a real problem if you're a company trying to make a profit, and that profit stems largely from keeping your source code secret (i.e. almost every product that has software in it). And it's not even as if there's much choice these days - there's so much "standard" stuff out there that is GPL it's becoming increasingly hard to avoid using it.

This is a problem because there are things society wants / needs that require a truly large organisational effort. And such an effort only comes about if there's something in it to make it worthwhile for the participants (salary, profits, etc) and pay the costs (steel, energy, etc). GPL assumes that altruism can achieve anything and that "anything" is cost free. However, no one is going to altruistically develop and build cars.

Note that there is actually quite a lot of IPR sharing in the car industry, a gentlemen's agreement for the greater good whilst still allowing for competition and profit.

Actual Consequences

Of course it's only an actual problem if there are any commercial consequences.

* Bad news headlines? Well, I doubt that many people will make car purchase choices because manf. A hasn't has stuck to GPL whilst manf. B has. GPL compliance is a long way down the list.

* Sued in court, fined / court order? Possibly - but this seems to be very rare. There's plenty of companies that are in breach of GPL who have attracted headlines in the technical press but everyone else, including their customers, seem remarkably unmoved. Actual enforcement attempts seem more focused on companies involved in the tech sector. We all like a freebie, and we're not likely to let our tarnished consciences get in the way.

* Arguably there's some benefits - having an unresolved GPL violation in the product line is a bit like a poisoned pill. Anyone plotting a takeover might back off if they realise the crown jewels are 'at risk'.

For the tech world the 'unpalatable' nature of GPL is beginning to cause problems too. There's a lot of software that has been written by companies that has been open sourced, but not under GPL. This software, some of it very important for the future of the tech world, cannot be incorporated into Linux because of Linux's GPL license. And some of it is far too big for OSS contributors to recreate (their approach thus far to solving this problem).

Unfortunately it's not possible to persuade each and every single one of the thousands of developers behind Linux to chill out, relax, and accept someone else's gift with open arms instead of getting juvenile about the nature of the rules about how they have to share it with their brother.

Alternatives

There is a related license called Lesser GPL which removes this condition, which is tremendously beneficial. However it is entirely up to the original author as to what license they choose to release their code under. There are plenty of programmers out there who are entirely content with LGPL, and plenty who aren't.

This is also the reason why QNX - the operating system that underpins a lot of BlackBerry mobile phones - is proving popular with the car industry. It's not open source (it costs money, but not too much money), so there is no problems using it in the ICE, engine management, etc.

Android mobile phones use Linux, but they don't use glibc (the run time library that all desktop Linuxes use). Instead Android provides a different library that is not GPL, specifically to ensure that Android App Developers can write proprietary applications and charge money for them.

And if you look at products like Play Station 4, Mac OS X, iPhone iOS, etc. they all avoid the use of GPL code altogether. They use FreeBSD instead, which is open source but licensed completely differently. Basically that license says "do whatever you like with out code", which is far more altruistic than GPL.

That Blog Post

The Blog post that Canni linked to is moderately interesting. It seems that BMW are using software from WindRiver. This is a company owned by Intel, and amongst other things they do a 'hardened' real time Linux. WindRiver have themselves been accused of violating license terms and conditions related to open sourced Linux kernel hardening software. The developer of that code has got so fed up of WindRiver repeatedly ignoring the license terms he's taken it off line.

It also looks like BMW basically have a reasonable grip on and control of their use of GPL licensed code, and the poster just didn't read the owners manual properly saying where in the system the licenses could be read.

Sorry - not much actual car / BMW content in what I've written!
 

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So this is why our cars can be remapped????????????.
Or what am I missing here??
GPL,QNX?????????????????
 
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