Cisco admits iPhone license violation

Cisco said it plans to work on one license compliance issue in its Linux-based WIP300 iPhone

Cisco Systems plans to resolve a single license compliance issue regarding the use of Linux in one of its iPhones, the company wrote in a blog posting, but a researcher contends that Cisco has more work to do.

Cisco is working on fixing one problem in the WIP300 iPhone model, John Earnhardt, senior manager of global media operations for Cisco, wrote on Cisco's news blogon Saturday.

He said that Cisco has also investigated other issues that an open-source software researcher raised, but has verified that the phone complies with its licensing agreement except for the one issue.

Last week, Armijn Hemel, an open source enthusiast and consultant with Loohuis Consulting, revealed that he'd reverse engineered Cisco's iPhone WIP300 and found that Cisco hasn't properly shared code used in the phone. The phone runs Linux and Cisco licensed the operating system under the GNU General Public License (GPL), requiring it to share the source code for changes to the operating system that it distributes.

Hemel spoke with Cisco in October, alerting the company to the omissions, he said. He first began publicly talking about the licensing violation last week.

When he first talked to Cisco, he didn't identify the exact code that hadn't been shared but late last week he sent the networking giant a technical report pointing out the relevant code, he said during a phone interview on Monday. He contends that the phone has more than one issue and that he will watch for updates from Cisco. The company hasn't yet posted any changes or additions to the code it has already shared, he said.

The relevant code doesn't enable any type of radically interesting technology, Hemel said, so it's possible that Cisco, like many other companies and individuals, simply failed to notice that it hadn't shared the code. Sifting through code to ensure that it's properly shared can be a tedious and expensive proposition, Hemel said.

The incident points to larger issues in the open source community. Many GPL licensees fail to appropriately adhere to the terms of the agreement, sometimes simply because they haven't implemented internal policies to ensure that they properly document and share their innovations, said Shane Coughlan, Freedom Task Force coordinator for the Free Software Foundation Europe, during an interview last week. One voluntary organization, the GPL Violations Project, for which Hemel works, has successfully enforced 100 license violations, both in and out of court.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Nancy Gohring

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?