Subject: Re: embedded systems vs. GPL
From: Bob Weiner <weiner@PTS.MOT.COM>
Date: Wed, 16 Jun 93 19:23:53 -0400


> 
> From: gumby@CYGNUS.COM (D. V. Henkel-Wallace)
> Date: Wed, 16 Jun 93 01:57:01 EDT
> 
>    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.

Could you explain a bit more clearly what the problem with the GPL is.
If I shipped someone a shrinkwrapped binary of GPLed code, I'd include a card
explaining how to obtain the source.  If I shipped someone a refrigerator
with GPLed code embedded, I'd include a card explaining how to obtain the
embedded source.

Why is mixing GPLed code in embedded systems really any different than doing
so in non-embedded systems?  Of course, the audience may be very different
and the customer might not be able to do anything with the code without
specialized equipment, but I don't see why the burden on the supplier would
be any more or less.

Bob