In recent years, Linux has become very popular with embedded devices, which in many cases illegally use Linux to create competitive products in violation of licenses. We already know that Linux is published under the GNU GPL license, with all that this implies, well, it seems that this license could be being violated by a well-known manufacturer: Symantec.
That's what a Google engineer and Linux security expert has revealed. His name is Matthew Garrett and he has specifically pointed to the product Norton Core Router as the focus of this license violation by using Linux and not meeting certain requirements that the GNU GPL license implies. Said router with this striking shape works with a well-known Linux-based system, the OpenWRT that many of these embedded network devices use to work.
Symantec has taken advantage of OpenWRT and QCA Software Development Kit (QSDK), another open source project. Both are a good option to build a competitive product like the Norton Core Router, but sometimes, the manufacturers and designers of these types of products benefit from the work of the community and do not respect certain conditions. In this case, being under the GPLv2 license, it would imply that Symantec should share the Norton Core Router code with the world, but it does not.
That is one of the conditions of most restrictive licenses like GPL versus other more permissive like BSD. That is why some like Apple have chosen systems like FreeBSD and the like for their systems, because that way they were guaranteed to be able to create closed code based on them and not have to share it.We will see what Symantec's reaction is to what Garrett has discovered, but of course it is not something new, it has already been done and unfortunately, I think other manufacturers will continue to do it.