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One complaint the Linux community has had with Lindows is its seeming ignorance of the terms of the GNU General Public License, which forbid things like End User License Agreements (EULA), and require software distributors to release their modifications to GPLed code. Remember, this is a Linux distribution, and Linux (or GNU/Linux if you're with the FSF) is still Free Software. Back in April, the Free Software Foundation was tailing Lindows, asking "where's the source?" after a Lindows Insider tipped the FSF off to the fact that the source code was nowhere to be found on the install CD or on the Lindows Web site (although several readers pointed to links on the Lindows site that led to the source code for several KDE products that were included with the distribution).
"We are in the midst of negotiations" with LindowsOS, says Brad Kuhn, v.p. of the FSF. "Our general counsel, Eben Moglen promised [Robertson] a rewrite of the EULA," the original of which is sure to raise the hackles of anyone who's a fan of the GPL. But Moglen has been on vacation for the past several weeks and didn't deliver a new EULA in time for the SPX release. "My hope is that they haven't released unilaterally," Kuhn says.
"They were moving toward compliance based on our recommendations. [Robertson is] willing to move," he says. We located a compliant-looking source file tree at http://net2.com/lindows/source/pool/debian/, but the individual files need to be examined before coming to any conclusions.
"We're still upset that it had to happen this way," Kuhn says, "but we don't hold grudges. If there's a problem with the EULA still, we'll get it fixed. Normally these violations don't happen so publicly. We try to work behind the scenes."