Monday, October 15, 2007


DViCO is a Korean company which produces quite popular TViX media players. Most of them are based on Sigma Designs reference board and run some kind of embedded Linux. They even have a GPL page on their website with the full text of GPL v2 and a link to the source code tarball, which indicates that they admit to using Linux in their systems and understand what GPL is.

The only problem is that the above tarball, which is supposed to include the full sources of their software along with the compilation instructions, is identical to the one released by Sigma Designs for their EM8500 reference board. As TViX system has clearly different hardware and software, these source won't run "as is" on their hardware and clearly do not contain their modifications, i.e. derived work, to the GPL code.

Unfortunately, this is very typical and common case of GPL violation.

Interestingly enough, their "firmware upgrade" image appears to be encrypted in some way as I did not manage to find any of the known Linux filesystem images inside of it when I tried to get shell access.

DViCO "GPL" page
Sources of Sigma Designs EM8500 reference board

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Anonymous Unlogic said...

Why havent anyone repoted this violation to the free software foundation?

4:54 PM  
Blogger Demiurg said...

I did. However, remember that FSF is not the police and in many cases of GPL violations they can do nothing. For instance, when the are not the copyright holder. Or when the infringing company has no representation in the US.

5:57 AM  
Anonymous strerror said...

Out of curiousity have you got any further with the Tvix? They've released a new model, the 6500A, which quite a few of us are interested in hacking. I've had a look and couldn't find any of the normal filesystems, though I suspect that it's using ROMFS. I'd be interested in your opinions about how to progress any further.

4:25 AM  
Anonymous zwanzig said...

take a look at

2:54 PM  

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