[mythtv-users] Commercial releases of MythTV?

Patrick Reynolds reynolds at cs.duke.edu
Fri Mar 19 13:02:43 EST 2004

On Fri, 19 Mar 2004 steve at nexusuk.org wrote:

> If they modify the code, they are required to make it freely available
> under GPL.

The requirements of the GPL have nothing to do with modification.  If they
distribute binaries of GPL-licensed code (whether modified or not), they
must distribute source along with the binaries, or later upon request.  So
if the source is on the box in a way that a developer can reasonably
extract it, that would count.  Of course, if I buy an HMC and extract the
source, then I am free to distribute it under the GPL to anyone I wish.

They do not have to send source to the MythTV copyright holders or even
tell them that MythTV has been modified or redistributed.

They do have to distribute source in the "preferred form ... for making
modifications to it."  IOW, they can't obfuscate it, and sending you a
printout is not acceptable.

> Of course they may not have modified the code - they might be
> running a vanilla version of Myth.  One thing they have obviously done is
> developed their own theme, which (IMHO) would be considered derived work
> and so also required to be released under GPL.

A theme is a set of image and XML files.  It doesn't link, statically or
dynamically, against any GPL-licensed source.  So it's not a derivative
work -- unless it was based on a pre-existing theme that was GPL'd.


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