[uClinux-dev] Possible GPL violation by PQI

Ryan Baumann rfbaumann at gmail.com
Wed Aug 3 17:37:07 EDT 2005


Precise name of the product: PQI mPack P800

Contact information:

Taiwan Head Office:
  14F, No.16, Jian Ba Road Chung Ho City, Taipei, Taiwan, R.O.C.
  Tel : 886-2-8226-5288
  Fax : 886-2-8226-5268 . 886-2-8226-5269
USA Office:
PQI CORPORATION
46539 Fremont Blvd., Fremont, CA 94538
TEL: +1-510-6517281     FAX: +1-510-6517240
  WEB: www.pqimemory.com
  Sales: sales at pqimemory.com     Customer Service: support at pqimemory.com

The firmware uses a modified version of the Sigma Designs uClinux
2.4.17-uc0 kernel (available here:
http://www.uclinux.org/pub/uClinux/ports/arm/EM8500/). In my previous
encounters with similar devices, they have kept the portions of code
that dealt with the EM85XX chipset in a seperate binary module loaded
at run-time (this is the case with my Bravo D1). This is not the case
with this firmware. All the EM85XX-specific modifications are embedded
directly into the linux.bin kernel image, with no source available to
reproduce the kernel. I contacted PQI a week ago through their
"Contact Engineer" web form, but have received no response.

How the license was violated:

-copyright notice of the copyright holder is not preserved
-source code is completely missing, requests for source code ignored
-no written offer for source or copy of the license included

Firmware can be downloaded here:
http://www.pqi.com.tw/download.asp?filetype=5

The firmware is a modified romfs filesystem (it has a nonstandard
header that you must strip before being able to use it with normal
romfs tools).

-Ryan Baumann



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