First let me say that overall the OpenWRT project (and related projects) are pretty good about respecting the GPL. The reason for this post is more a reminder prompted by several violations I have run in to at other sites. I just wanted to remind everyone that when you compile and release binaries from GPL source code you have certain responsibilities with respect to ensuring the receiver of the binary also has easy access to the source. They have to be able to easily recreate the binaries from source that you are responsible for providing. I have run into many instances lately of GPL violations at several sites, including one very large and well known vendor who should know better (I have been in discussion with their web master for the last couple of weeks trying to get this corrected, nicely).
It saddens me that people disregard this responsibility. It is precisely because of the GPL that we are even able to have this OpenWRT project at all. It is because of the GPL that we are able to customize our routers like we are. Please, take the extra 5 minutes and document anything you may have changed in a package and provide your Makefiles etc so the next guy/gal can take your changes and build upon them. To me there is little difference between providing a commercial proprietary application for download (warez) and a customized binary only release of a GPL program. You are breaking the license that the author placed on their software in both cases.
Ok, enough preaching because I know that even I may not be fully in compliant with the binaries I release but I think I am. If anyone sees anything wrong with how I am releasing my custom binaries let me know and I will correct it. I have created a lot of RPMS from softtware licensed under the GPL but I also offer the SRPM (something the vendor I mentioned earlier did not do for something). I have created an ipkg of net-snmp. net-snmp is licensed under the BSD license so I don't really *have* to release it's source code but I have treated it just as if it were a GPL package. If net-snmp were GPL instead of BSD I think I would be in compliance. Here are the netsnmp packages I am referring to.
Someone point out if there would be GPL violations here (again, pretend this is a GPL based package):
The reason I ask is I was thinking about putting out some Kismet ipkgs and Kismet *is* GPL and I want to take care in complying with the license.
Some things I see overlooked and worth taking a loot at:
http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.htm … ndedBinary
http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.htm … erentSites
And this one will make you think twice. It's one that I don't know if I am prepared to handle should I get a lot of requests (which I doubt will ever happen):
http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.htm … OnInternet
At any rate, I just wanted to post a reminder. Most people know about the GPL and appreciate what it gives us and that we respect the licenses like I do but for those who are new to all of this... Considering the OpenWRT project doesn't release firmware images it's pretty hard to not to be in compliance with the license. I think this is good practice. Thanks for doing it this way! Again, this is not a scolding to anyone here, it's more of a "please don't get into the bad habits that a lot of other sites seem to be getting in". Thanks!