Setting up a GPL Request for companies in China?
gus at projectgus.com
Wed Nov 10 00:05:34 CET 2010
On Mon, 2010-11-08 at 14:35 -0600, Kenney Phillis wrote:
> There's a lot of companies in China which are producing tablets with gnu
> source. One of the companies that i know of is Zenithink. I'm wondering
> what the best choice is to go about making the gpl source request is for
This has been discussed quite a few times in the past few months, but I
think the choices remain as before. You have the carrot, or the stick.
The stick has no real effect in China. If people threaten, there is
nothing to back them up and this effectively just puts the OEM off-side.
(I don't see you advocating threats, I just wanted to get that out of
The stick has potential when the product is re-distributed by companies
outside of China, and I think this is where negative pressure should be
focused. If those suppliers start applying pressure up the chain (in
terms of potential lost revenue), then the Chinese companies have a
reason to change their practices.
The carrot is also interesting. However, it seems to come up against the
fact that many companies still consider GPL source releases to be a
release of their intellectual property and trade secrets, and they are
reluctant to allow it. It seems like, in general, Chinese tech company
culture is especially like this.
In this regard, I'm really interested in any insights people have into
the thinking that backs these attitudes on the manufacturers' side.
The one other thing is encouraging people to buy and use products with
compliant source code, and pointing to related advantages such as better
custom firmwares, etc. Unfortunately, as yet there aren't a lot of these
positive cases in the Android tablet space. The WM8505 tablets have
picked up a few small features thanks to the GPL kernel source release,
but nothing earth-shattering.
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