The nation's biggest telco Telstra has made the open source software components used to build its T-Hub next-generation home telephone system publicly available, after it was criticised for keeping them private by an Australian software developer last year.
In November, local software developer Angus Gratton pointed out that a number of new Telstra products introduced throughout 2010, namely the T-Hub, T-Box media centre and potentially its T-Touch Tab tablet device, were based on the Linux operating system, which has substantial portions licensed under the GNU General Public License.
A common interpretation of the GPL is that it requires companies who distribute products based on GPL-licenced software must make source code to the software available to customers '” for example, include a zip file of relevant files on a documentation CD. In addition, a copy of the GPL licence should be included with licence documentation. Following Gratton's comments, Telstra pledged to comply with applicable open source licenses.
It emerged last week that Telstra has published a statement on its BigPond site acknowledging the GPL link and making the software available for download and noting precisely which software packages were based on the GPL or Lesser GPL and which ones had been modified.
'The terms of the GPL and LGPL, as well as the additional or/and modified open source packages (500MB) used by [T-Hub manufacturer] Sagemcom to build the T-Hub software can be mailed to you by expressing your interest,' wrote Telstra. 'Please provide your full name and mailing address, and a CD will be sent to you within 5 business days.'