> On Wed, 14 Jan 2004, Jun Sun wrote:
> > Since we are on this subject, I am curious if I buy a Cisco's router
> > whether it is considered that Cisco distributs the binaries to me
> > and whether I can demand for the source code if they are GPL'ed software.
> > I can see arguments go either way. Do open source community and
> > industry have some concensus on this issue?
> Please read the various licenses (GPL and other), and consult your
> lawyer. And if you want a definitive answer (in your jurisdiction)
> get the license tested in Court (and subsequent Appeals Courts). :-)
But Jun Sun asked whether distribution of a binary in a ROM inside a
black box might not really count as distribution. I don't think you
need a lawyer to resolve that. If the software was a computer game
(for example) I can't quite see its commercial owners smiling
indulgently and saying "it's only a ROM, carry on...", and I don't see
them having trouble over their position in court.
So yes, binary code distributed in a black box is still distributed,
and if it was GPL software you are entitled to the source code. It's
sensible of Cisco to put it quietly on a web site somewhere.
(not necessarily the view of MIPS Technologies)