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CnM Minibook, xine, and GPL

If you remember my post from yesterday about xine license being violated, I was able to contact CnM through KMS support contact. They have been very friendly, and are taking the right steps to correct the situation, the answer yesterday came very quickly:

Hi Diego,

Thanks for bringing this to our attention, we will rectify this as soon as

I am waiting for contact details from the manufacturer for anyone wishing to
get hold of the source code, which will be via post or download from our

We will be adding this information to our web site as soon as possible and
making sure that customers are aware of this when they purchase the product.

I will email back when this has been done to check that you are happy that
we are complying fully with the GPL Licence.


Stephen Jones

And then again today, after a request if I could quote them on the blog:

Hi Diego,

Sorry for the late reply, but I wanted to have as much information as
possible for you.

We have rectified the licensing information on our site, included an address
to request a copy of the source code and will have the code available for
download very soon.

The next batch of miniBooks will be shipping with an addition to the welcome
letter which includes information about the GPL Licence and how to request a
copy of the source code.

I think we have covered all the necessary parts of the GPL by doing this,
but if there is anything else that you believe we may have missed please can
you email me back with advice on it.

You can put the contents of this email and the previous one on your blog if
you would like, it might paint us in a better light because some people have
been saying that we were unwilling to comply with the GPL and have been
obstructive when contacted. I would like to think this isn’t the case and we
have tried to resolve this issue as quickly as possible.

This miniBook might not be the ideal platform for development because there
are no applications on it to allow access to the underlying OS, but I know a
few developers have already figured a way around this and it is probably a
challenge to get it setup the way you want it to be.

Thanks for your pointing out this problem and your help with resolving the


Stephen Jones

And as they said, the information is available on MiniBook site (in particular, you can see this page). It might not be perfect yet, and the source code is not yet available for download, but it’s the first step, and took less than two days, in August, to come to this point.

I guess CnM made a mistake in good faith, and they are interested in playing by the rules and fix it. It’s nice to see.

The same doesn’t seem to old true for someone else…

Comments 3
  1. It’s nice to see that they care enough to try to comply with the license. Lets hope they get the sources available soon too.

  2. I have one of these units and belived it has a RISC CPU from Ingenics in China. I have been able to download the 2.4 Kernel from the CPU Manufacturers site…There is a lot of software there as well.Be aware its a really slow link. I guess the Olympics has something to do with that.I’m interested in getting some applications onto it. i know its not fast but for my hamradio applications it is an ideal product.

  3. I don’t think it’s the same software set at least; I can’t find xine-lib on those pages, and as far as Rob is letting us know, it is provided with that.But I’m sure CnM will do their best to comply fully with GPL and will provide the sources so that Linux 2.6 can run on the box. I’ll keep everybody updated once I get to the xine sources, so that their frontend can be available and eventual improvements can be kicked in xine-lib itself.

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