Dell, at long last, has publically responded to criticism that it has failed to comply with the GPL and share the source code to the version of Android running on the Dell Streak mini tablet. Late last night, Dell blogger Lionel Menchaca tweeted, "We're reviewing concerns re: the #dellstreak source code. We intend to comply with all applicable requirements. More details soon."
Developers and tech enthusiasts have complained in various forums that Dell has been unresponsive to requests -- some as much as two weeks old -- to share the Streak source code. Dell uses a version of Android 1.6, based on a Linux kernel, which falls under the GPL. As such, say critics, Dell is required to share any new code it creates, including drivers and code that communicate with the Streak hardware.
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"I've just spent few hours trying to build android-msm-2.6.32 Linux kernel for Dell Streak. It turns out that it is impossible, without device specific board files," wrote a user on a forum at MoDaCo on Aug. 22. "These files are in the Linux kernel source tree Dell used to build kernel for Streak and Dell is obliged under the terms of GPL, to give this source to any owner of Streak requesting it."
Various users report that Dell has ignored emails and tweets requesting the code and that calling tech support directly has yielded responses along the lines of "We'll check into it and get back to you," but without any followup.