8 Dec 2009 mjg59   » (Master)

Barnes & Noble's GPL fun

Barnes and Noble's new nook ebook reader is now shipping to people. Mine[1] is due to turn up tomorrow, but the instruction manual is available for download already. Quoting from it:

Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this Agreement, certain components of the
Software are licensed subject to the General Public License Version 2.0, a copy of which is attached
as Exhibit A (the “GPL License”). You may not use these components except in compliance with
the GPL License. In addition, you may have additional rights with respect to such components
under the GPL License, including, without limitation, the right to obtain the source code for such
components from us. You may obtain a copy of such source code by contacting us through the
contact information provided on the Web Site. We will provide such source code in accordance
with the GPL License.

Which is all very promising[2], except contacting them via either phone or email reveals that nobody has the faintest idea what I'm talking about. I can certainly imagine that they have other concerns right now (delaying your initial shipments by up to two weeks depending on how early people ordered suggests some kind of utter failure somewhere in the chain), but it's depressing that approximately nobody appears to be able to get this right.

[1] I had a Sony, which unfortunately had a bit of an accident. On the other hand, it was running 2.4, so maybe it was a lucky escape of some sort?
[2] Well, apart from the traditional confusion of the GPL as something that claims to restrict use

Syndicated 2009-12-08 22:39:55 from Matthew Garrett

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