RE: Do Android releases violate GPL before the source is released?

adam at adam at
Sat Mar 5 05:33:57 CET 2011

Nope, I was wrong. The GPL'ed code is kept seperate from the larger Android source. The kernel source is kept at 

Isn't that always the way? Research. Don't find the answer. Mail a list. Find the answer. 

Sorry all for the noise.


-----Original Message-----
From: adam at
Sent: Friday, March 4, 2011 11:01pm
To: legal at
Subject: Do Android releases violate GPL before the source is released?

Hello All,

I wasn't sure where to ask this question; I figured was the best place. If this is off topic or the wrong place I apologize. Any help figuring out where to ask would be appreciated.

The next major version of Android, Android 3.0 "Honeycomb," is currently being sold to consumers on the Motorola Xoom tablet. However, the Android 3.0 source has not yet been released to the public. Android is made up of various pieces of software held under various licenses, including the GPL (e.g. the Linux kernel.) Right now a consumer can walk into Best Buy and purchase a Xoom tablet but cannot access the source code for the GPL'ed software it ships with. I checked both the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) and Motorola's open-source website and neither of them list the Android 3.0 source or make mention of how the source would be obtained.

My question is: does this violate the GPL? Major releases of Android often debut shipping on new hardware before the source is released (often weeks before.) Are the AOSP, or Google, or the hardware manufacturers then violating the GPL during that time where the source is unavailable?

Again, thanks for reading. I hope I'm interpreting this incorrectly and someone can point out how.

Adam Drew

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