mt6516 / Android / GPL violation

Harald Welte laforge at
Mon Feb 14 14:06:50 UTC 2011

Hi Andre,

On Mon, Feb 14, 2011 at 10:19:29AM +0100, André wrote:
> To my best knowledge, Mediatek's SDK for MT6516 is based around
> Android. Therefore, I guess, virtually all phones with this chip
> will run Android as shipped from factory, and it turn, that means,
> that good chunk of code is GPL. In theory, this means, that getting
> source code is enforceable. Anybody familiar enough with
> to submit this case there?

*hrm* I happen to have started both OsmocomBB and ;)

But please, before running around and pointing fingers at companies: Do you
have any evidence that Mediatek is in breach of the GPL?  I don't think so.

MTK is not selling any phones.  They are merely selling the chipset to phone
manufacturers.  If MTK has gone for '3a)' of GPLv2, then they have provided
the complete corresponding source code to the phone manufacturers.  _if_
that is the case, they have no obligation to provide any source code to any
3rd party.

If you buy a MTK chipsets + Linux kernel based phone, it is the phone
manufacturer / importer / distributor who needs to ensure GPL compliance of the
full device/product.

Please keep further discussion on MTKs GPL compliance off this list.  This
is a technical list on OsmocomBB development.

If you actually found some GPL violation in a product and have evidence, please
report it to license-violation at


- Harald Welte <laforge at> 
"Privacy in residential applications is a desirable marketing option."
                                                  (ETSI EN 300 175-7 Ch. A6)

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