BMW complies with GPL by handing over i3 car code

So soz, says blogger who accidentally sparked Global Viral Outrage FrenzyTM


BMW has sent Terence Eden a DVD containing GPL-licenced code used in its electric i3 model .

Why should you care? Because Oxford resident Eden last month inadvertently caused something of a global stir when he pondered the quality of the i3's software and the security of BMW's update mechanisms. Along the way he noticed that the i3's on-board “About” screen mentioned it uses some GPL-licenced code and idly wondered if the auto-maker complies with the licence.

Enter Australian Duncan Bayne, who wrote to the local BMW outpost asking to see the source code. BMW Australia operatives declined to do so and Bayne's correspondence with the company made it online. Social media got a hold of it before long and before you could say “licences aren't that interesting” sections of the open source world entered a state of Global Viral Outrage FrenzyTM.

Which Eden is now attempting to quell because BMW sent him all the GPL-licenced code used in the i3, just as required under the GPL.

He's posted the lot to GitHub and written that “In my original blog post, I speculated on BMW's GPL compliance, that was irresponsible of me.”

“Large companies move slowly,” he adds. “It's tempting to go off on a Twitter crusade if you haven't heard back after five minutes. Patience, grasshopper.”

Eden also has a little waft at Bayne, writing that “Customer service agents are geared up to deal with normal queries. It's unfair to take them to task for not understanding software licences.” ®

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