Subject: Re: embedded systems vs. GPL
From: ghost@ALADDIN.COM (L. Peter Deutsch)
Date: Wed, 16 Jun 93 00:38:32 PDT

>    Date:      Tue, 15 Jun 1993 23:19:43 EDT
>    From: "Russell Nelson" <nelson@CRYNWR.COM>
> 
>    Has anyone put GPL'ed software into an embedded system?  How have you
>    dealt with the source requirement?
> 
> We have a number of customers who have problems with exactly that.
> 
> I've talked to rms about this; he's amenable to adapting for this
> circumstance (at least for LGPL code), but the FSF board is not.
> Their understandable concern is that it would encourage people to put
> code into roms rather than ship w/src, which would be a step
> _backwards._
> 
> The short answer, for our embedded customers, is that they don't, at
> least not so far.

A couple of my customers have considered doing this.  What I've told them
is that they have to ship the (complete) source code with their systems,
in some machine-readable form (not necessarily in the ROM), or else
include the offer to supply source code in the documentation for their
product.  I guess I don't understand how embedded code raises any new
issues -- I see ROMs as just another recording medium, not intrinsically
different from disk or tape.  Now, I don't raise the issue of the LGPL --
I've taken a consistent position that Ghostscript is not a library, and
that any work incorporating the GPL'ed Ghostscript must be GPL'ed in its
entirety (unless it falls under the "aggregation" provision, which I've
recently had to clarify in order to start cracking down on some abuses of
it).

L. Peter Deutsch :: Aladdin Enterprises :: P.O. box 60264, Palo Alto, CA 94306
ghost@aladdin.com, ...decwrl!aladdin!ghost ; voice 415-322-0103 ; fax 322-1734
	    "Implementation is the sincerest form of flattery."