Dell checks for open-source licensing misstep

The company is called out by developers for failing to publish source code used in Android-based Dell Streak, as required by the GPL license.

Dell Streak
Dell Streak CNET

Dell is responding to concerns in the open-source community that it didn't comply with the rules governing Android software used in its Streak tablet.

The Streak was released in the U.K. in June, and in the U.S. in July . Recently, a group of developers started a mini-protest online after they found, they said, that Dell failed to release some source code components for the Streak as required by anyone using software governed by the GNU General Public License.

The GPL requires those who use software governed by the license to make available any changes they made to the software. It's not unknown for companies using GPL code in embedded computing devices--the Linux kernel being a prime example--to be called out by open-source and free-software fans for their shortcomings.

Dell responded to the criticism via a post on Twitter Wednesday, saying, "We're reviewing concerns re: the #dellstreak source code. We intend to comply with all applicable requirements. More details soon."

About the author

Erica Ogg is a CNET News reporter who covers Apple, HP, Dell, and other PC makers, as well as the consumer electronics industry. She's also one of the hosts of CNET News' Daily Podcast. In her non-work life, she's a history geek, a loyal Dodgers fan, and a mac-and-cheese connoisseur.

 

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