Buried alive in GPL violations

It's not funny anymore. The current rate at which new GPL violations get reported and/or discovered, especially from the appliance/embedded market is really alarming.

For example, I haven't yet seen a single Linux-based NAS product that was even remotely license compliant when first analyzing it. And I'm not only talking about the SoHo NAS boxes with one or two hard disk drives, but even about enterprise storage systems.

On the Enterprise end We're now also Seine carrier grade network equipment such as SONET/SDH switches, metropolitan area Ethernet, DSLAMS and the like.

Also, in some areas of business, competing companies seem to make the same mistake again, rather than learning from their competitor. Some time ago I had to resolve GPL issues with Maxtor Shared Storage drives, when they were first released. Now I found out that Western Digital has similar systems called NetCenter. Ordered one, and it came without GPL license text, written offer or source code.

Finally, there is one good example though. For a very long time, a product that I analyzed was actually GPL compliant. It's good to see that there are a few who get it right, from the beginning: The APC NetBotz family of products. The manual contains a reference to the source code, which can be obtained from ftp://ftp.netbotz.com/gpl/.

Anyway, I need a break (see my holiday related post). Hopefully I'll get back from that trip rested, with lots of energy and an extra portion of patience. This has become more of a burden than I ever thought.

The second and third quarter of this year definitely are the right time to think of a way to incorporate gpl-violations.org as an NGO/non-for-profit. One that can actually pay somebody hunting down those cases, doing the day-by-day work. I have a dream that in some point in the future I can once again concentrate on cool and interesting development, like most other hackers do.