Some 4 months ago, I wrote about Palm shipping the Palm Pre CDMA version in a GPL incompliant way. You should assume that the company has learned about their mistakes and created opensource.palm.com as a site to host their source code, compliant with the GPL and other Free Software licenses
Yesterday, the Palm Pre GSM model started to ship in Germany through O2 Telefonica. The WebOS version installed on the device is 1.1.2, and they are doing an OTA upgrade to 1.1.3.
Both of those versions are not available on the Palm opensource website!
Again the same mistake!
I wonder how much this tells us about the development procedures and release management inside Palm. We know they use OpenEmbedded to build their packages and filesystem image. OpenEmbedded can automatically generate the source code tarballs (+ patches), so the entire process of putting them up at the website could and should be automatized. No manual intervention, no mistakes, no license violations.
I have asked my lawyers to send a letter to Palm, demanding immediate release of the complete corresponding source code. If they do not comply, I am prepared to take legal action against O2 who is distributing the devices in Germany. I desperately hope we do not have to escalate to this point. If we go there, I'd better not imagine how upset O2 will be about Palm and how this will affect their business relationship.
It is so easy for Palm to have that source code on their website. We know that for technical reasons (see above). Why are they deliberately exposing themselves to the legal risk? Why are they willing to accept all the negative PR from them not respecting copyright and the GPL?
Please don't get me wrong. I am not set out to continuously complain about Palm. I would like to see more Linux phones. But why do they have to do everything wrong they can do wrong? Why do they not have somebody to advise them on playing nicely with the legal requirements of the technology they use?