Oops, Linksys did it again...

For the third time, Linksys (now only a brand of Cisco) seems to be selling devices in a GPL-incompliant fashion. Following up the WRT54 case in early 2003, and the less-known WMA11B issues last year, they've now started to sell the ADSL2MUE.

I did a test purchase. It clearly contains the Linux kernel and other GPL licensed software. There is no mentioning of the GPL, no GPL license text, no source code, and no written offer anywhere in the package, manual or on the included CD-ROM.

I really don't get it. How could this happen again? Rumours say that the device was OEM'ed from somewhere else. Even in that case, Linksys should have enough GPL experience to include a statement like "if the product contains GPL or other copyleft-licensed software, the full corresponding source code has to be delivered" into their contracts with the upstream vendor.

Shortly after the warning notice had been sent by my legal team, some source code appeared on http://www.linksys.com/support/gpl.asp. I have not yet conformed that it is complete, but it looks like they even included the Texas Instruments' LZMA (de)compression bits, which no other vendor using TI's AR7 platform has been provided, even though they are a clear modification of the existing GPL licensed Linux kernel source code.

Linksys (Germany) officials have invited me to meet them. Due to restrictions of my travel schedule, the meeting will only happen in late July. I'm looking forward to that meeting and will remain curious about their interest in such a meeting :)