Oh, Fusion Garage… Lately it seems the only good news which surfaces about your JooJoo tablet is the result of someone who doesn’t work for you doing something awesome with it — like installing Windows 7 on it.
Developer Matthews Garrett recently got the chance to spend some time with the JooJoo, and apart from his concerns about hardware oversights (which include a display which is connected upside-down, poor ACPI implementation, and generally shoddy coding) he’s got some serious concerns about their decision to not release source code.
The JooJoo runs a modified Ubuntu OS, after all, so they should be making the source available in order to play nice with Canonical’s licensing requirements. Garrett decided to email Fusion Garage about the GPL issue and was told to be patient, as Fusion Garage were “still actively making changes to the joojoo software [and] will make the source release available once we feel we are ready to do so.”
I’m not sure patience plays a role here, Fusion Garage, but non-compliance certainly does. Using code like Ubuntu to power a device which you’re already selling and shipping without releasing source? That’s dirty pool. I’m also not sure the argument about “actively making changes” is a logical defense — what decent hardware maker isn’t continuously looking at ways to make the firmware or software on their devices perform better?
Really, though, Fusion Garage’s nonchalance is probably to be expected from a company who, as Garrett puts it, builds a device which is “held together by a string and following wind.”
They only need to give the source code to people they actually have given the binary to; loaning out a review device probably doesn’t result in that requirement.
However, I think custom Linux versions aren’t going to make it on these tablets anyway. Unless something really unforeseen happens, the relevant platforms these days are iOS, Android, and MeeGo.
IBM lawyers told their staff to give a demo to Linus himself:
“So we found out that, I could show this nice running code to Linus Torvalds in an executive office, in an IBM lab, which was on IBM premises. And make sure that nobody took anything out so it wasn’t a distribution.”
If he took the JooJoo out of the Fusion Garage office, then Fusion Garage has to give him the source code.
A year from now, no one will likely remember who these people were.
and what their product was all about
Maybe they want to receive publication from a potential lawsuit from Canonical… That certainly will put them apart from other tablet makers 🙂
Only the copyright holder can take legal action,
Canonical does not hold the copyright to the software they distribute.
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