Kogan to comply with GPL requirements for Android source

Australian electronics company Kogan has said it has had only one request for source code, and that it intends to comply.

Kogan Technologies says it is working to make the source code available to one of its customers after receiving a request to comply with the terms of the GNU Public Licence (GPL) used in a number of the company's Android-powered mobile phones and televisions.

Although much of Android is licensed under the Apache Software Licence, due to its Linux kernel, parts of the mobile operating system are still subjected to the terms of version two of the GPL.

On Monday, Ausdroid reported the attempts of local developer Benjamin Dobell to exercise his right under the GPL to receive a copy of the source code running on his Kogan Android-powered phone and smart television set.

"If you distribute copies of such a program, whether gratis or for a fee, you must give the recipients all the rights that you have," the preamble of the GPL v2 states.

"You must make sure that they, too, receive or can get the source code. And you must show them these terms so they know their rights."

Kogan today told ZDNet that the company would comply with the terms of the licence.

"This is in relation to the new Kogan Agora HD smartphone, which we launched just weeks ago," the company said. "We have had only one request for the source code, and we are working to make that available to the customer who has asked for it.

"We will notify the customer in question when the source code is ready."

Kogan's assertion that it has only received one request flies in the face of claims made by Dobell on xda devlopers, where in a forum thread, he said he had requested the source code for his Kogan phone as well as his Kogan television.

"I don't know precisely what GPL (or LGPL) licensed software runs on my Android TV (KALED473DSMTZA) and my Android phone (KHPHN05ANDA), because the licences weren't included with the devices (which is actually a violation of the licences)," wrote Dobell. "I haven't bothered investigating on my own, because I would have assumed you at Kogan already had access to this information and would be able to provide it to me."

Updated at 16:50 AEDST, November 6: Kogan Technologies later clarified to ZDNet that it would be releasing "all source code that has been requested by customers".