Technicolor GPL Source Code Request

Hello everyone,
As you might know, Technicolor uses OpenWrt in all their new modems and routers and they seem to be quite proud of it.
One or more Technicolor representatives even gave a talk at the Openwrt Summit in 2015, 2016 and 2017.
Technicolor was even listed as an OpenWRT "gold sponsor", whatever that means.

So I thought that getting the source code for the software running on their modem/routers would be relatively easy. That does not seem to be the case.

They have a page on their website dedicated to "Open Source" where they list which open source/free software is used in each of their software versions and they also have an email address to request the code. Great, right?

I sent three emails over the course of a month, but all of them were ignored (yes, I checked the spam folder). I then used the contact form on their website, even though it is meant to be used to request technical support.
The tech support guy told me that he contacted the "Open Source Support team" and was told that two of my emails had been received and that the code was being prepared and would be ready in about 30 days from when I sent the first one. After a month I didn't get any answer. I wrote back asking for the status of my request and was told to wait 10 more days. As you might guess, that time has passed too and I have yet to receive anything, even just a "sorry, we encountered some more difficulties and will be able to give you the code by...".

According to other posters in other forums, Technicolor's Open Source team either comes up with bullshit excuses telling you to wait n days and presumably hope that in the meantime you forget about your source code request, or they don't even bother to answer. The last known significant source code release from them seems to have happened in December 2015, when they released the code for the TC72xx series of cable modems.

For the record, I'm looking for the source code used in the TG789vac V2 modem/router, sw version 17.2.278-0901008, which AFAIK is based on Chaos Calmer. Any later version would be fine as well, if they for whatever reason don't happen to have that specific one.
I am also looking for the code used in the DGA4130 modem/router, sw version 17.3.0177-1681038 or later, and for the code used in the DGA4132 modem/router, sw version 17.3.0177-1681035 or later. However, I didn't ask for these last two yet, because apparently just sending me the code for the first one seems to be an insanely difficult task for them.

I'm sorry if I bored you with this rant, but the point
of this is, maybe major OpenWRT contributors should be made aware of this and, in my humble opinion, should consider not allowing any more Technicolor representatives to give talks at the next OpenWRT summit, at least until their company makes a significant effort to comply with the GPL and with other applicable free/open source software licenses that are at the heart of the OpenWRT/LEDE project. It is not fair for them to keep boasting about using OpenWRT if they keep blatantly ignoring its license terms, and it would be extremely hypocritical to ignore their non-compliance while inviting them to speak at the Summit.
What do you think?

(I'm sorry if my English is not perfect, I hope to have been clear enough nonetheless).

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Horrible, and quite common. I have code requests into the following projects I discovered were OpenWRT-based too:

  • Broadband-Hamnet - based on OpenWrt Kamikaze

  • AREDN - based on Broadband-Hamnet (they provided provided their Git link, but not sure where section of code I need is located)...they are now experiencing internal intellectual property issues, so the developers are likely indisposed - as you'll see, there is a rant by one of the alleged rights-holders; and the pertinent content of the site has been removed

Others have noted on this forum they are seeking code for:

  • Verizon/Frontier Broadband Gateway G1100 (unknown Linux-based OS with a GPL notice, but no code)
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Have you tried contacting the FSF Licensing & Compliance Team?

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I contacted the Software Freedom Conservancy at sfconservancy.org, which represents the interests of the Samba and Busybox projects that are used in these routers as part of OpenWRT, and was told to try again and to have patience. I did exactly that, but nothing happened. I was told that they will contact Technicolor sooner or later, but unfortunately (as expected) their queue of violations is very long, so they don't know how long this will take.

Unfortunately, contacting the FSF will probably be useless, since Technicolor's products, at least according to the documentation present in their website, do not use software whose copyright belongs to the FSF (common utilities such as DD are provided by Busybox) so, according to the GPL, the FSF can not legally act against Technicolor. The only ones who can do so are:
-Any OpenWRT developer
-Any Linux kernel developer
-Any developer of Busybox, Samba and any other software used in their devices

I have a partial list of Technicolor modem/routers that do not seem to have publicly released sources:

-TG582n and TG582n v2 (sold by Fastweb and Tiscali)
-ST585v6
-TG585 v7/v8 (and possibly earlier revisions, but I was not able to determine whether they even ever existed)
-TG587n v2 and v3 (sold by Telstra in Australia and Alcadis in the Netherlands)
-TG588v (sold by Go in Malta and Fastweb in Italy)
-TG589vn V2 and v3 (sold by Fastweb in Italy and Zen in the UK)
-TG782 and TG782T (Sold by allnet in Germany)
-TG783 (Possibly sold by an unspecified Finnish internet provider)
-TG784n v3 (and possibly earlier revisions, but I was not able to determine if they even ever existed)
-TG785 (Possibly sold in Mexico)
-TG787 (Sold by BBOX in France)
-TG788vn (Sold by Fastweb and Tiscali in Italy)
-TG789vac Xtream 35b and TG789vac v3
-TG790 (Verizon branded)
-TG794 (Verizon branded)
-TG797n v2 and v3 (Sold by Fastweb in Italy, Q-Telecom and Telstra in Australia)
-TG799vac (Sold by Telstra in Australia and Telia in Sweden)
-TG799vac Xtream 35b
-TG799vn v2 (sold by Telecom Italia, now TIM, in Italy)
-TG800vac (Sold by Telstra in Australia)
-TG1100 (Sold by Fastweb in Italy)
-DGA4130 (Sold as "Smart Modem Evolution" by TIM in Italy)
-DGA4131 (Sold as "Fastgate" by Fastweb in Italy, although the same name is also used to refer to several different modem/routers by several manufacturers with the same plastic case and the same web interface, but different hardware)
-DGA4132 (Sold as "TIM HUB" by TIM in Italy)

All of them use Linux and Busybox. Several of them (all the most recent ones, running the so-called "Homeware" software platform) use a modified version of OpenWRT.

Not releasing the source code is not an uncommon problem with manufacturers, and although it is against the license terms to do this, that is not the worst part.

The problem is that Technicolor is currently being treated as a valuable partner of OpenWRT, while in fact they refuse to release the source code.
Does anyone know who is actually in charge of organizing the OpenWRT summit? I want to contact them to let them know, but I found just a list of names without any email address and without a clue as to who does what.

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@lleachii Unfortunately this violation is pretty serious and many, many devices are affected (see above for a partial list). Since Technicolor is obviously profiting from it and not giving anything back in return, I'm surprised that no one has spoken up until now.

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Hauke made an announcement on the mailing list regarding the summit:
http://lists.infradead.org/pipermail/openwrt-devel/2018-June/012982.html

Thanks, I contacted him to let him know of this. I don't know what can be done, but this is possibly the worst license violation in the history of OpenWRT up until now, at least for the number of devices involved, yet nobody seems to care. Maybe it's not some big manager's fault and the blame can be placed on a lazy employee, after all in their website there are detailed PDFs listing what open source software is used in each firmware version, so at least it looks like the company cares, however this does not excuse them, they still must respect the GPL.

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To add insult to injury, I have just received a response to my last email reminder, telling me to "please expect some delay due to the holidays". While normally that would have been a perfectly reasonable excuse, they are conveniently ignoring the fact that my first email request was sent 50 days ago.

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My user in our Italian forum request source code at least every week... It's 5 month that we are waiting for code... They don't even respond to some email... The real violation is in the kernel module, in the module there is clearly a GPL LICENSE but no code provided.

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@Ansuel I am actually a user on the ilpuntotecnico.com italian forum too where I published the GPL sources I received for the Vodafone Station 2 aka Sercomm SHG1500/Huawei HHG1500.
Several users at whirlpool.net.au and forum-orange.com also asked for the code and received either no answer or copy/paste "we are working on it" responses.
On a side note, thank you for your great work on unlocking and modding Technicolor modem/routers.

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AFAIK there is a limit in witch they can give no answer and not provide the source... After this time we can say that this behavior is illegal.

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@tmomas I received an answer from Hauke on Saturday, he talked to a Technicolor employee who said that "this should not have taken so long" and that this issue will be taken care of. I hope this will solve once and for all the problems @Ansuel and others have encountered, too.

I also hope that whoever is responsible for this will be at the very least reprimanded for damaging the company's reputation.

I will post an update as soon as anything noteworthy happens, and I plan to delete this thread if Technicolor shows a permanent change of behaviour towards GPL compliance.

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I am somewhat confused by this thread.

Are we saying that no one can use OpenWrt as an operating system as a base for their products running proprietary "closed source" code?

If this is the case OpenWrt is only a toy for home use.

It is stated here that Technicolor are a Gold Sponsor so must be "giving something on return".
Can someone clarify the actual issue here?

Issue is that Linux kernel uses GPLv2 licence which allows you to use the kernel for free and for whatever you want but in return you must provide all of your changes to the kernel and the rest of GPLv2 and v3 licensed applications.

And since pretty much every vendor uses Linux kernel as base they are obliged to follow those rules.

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How do we know they have made changes?
Do they say they have?
The rant here seems to be that they have not released the source code of the entire router.
No manufacturer would want to do this. Many hundreds or thousands of hours of development could go onto their own code for their products on what is a very competitive market.

Well just the fact that they use OpenWrt as base makes sure that changes are made.
Rant is that they dont respect the licence of the software that they use for free and make money off.

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So OpenWrt is only a toy for home use?

Well, that's a bit of the point of the GPL - how many thousand hours of development have been put into the Linux kernel? If you want to profit from that, you have to make your changes public as well. I think that's more than fair.

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Whats your issue?
Point is if you use Linux or anything else you have to respect the licence of the software.
EOD, If you dont like the licence write your own kernel from scratch.

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So yes then. OpenWrt IS just a toy for home use.
No one will release the sources of their proprietary code that their business is based on.