Android runs on the Linux kernel which is open source and is also protected by the GNU General Public License, version 2. Technically, it implies that any chipset vendor / OEM who makes use of android falls under these laws and has no choice but to comply with them and release the source code to the public in accordance.
Unfortunately, quite a few OEM’s have always been reluctant to release the same. One common thing among all of them is the chipset they use, MediaTek.
MediaTek is a chinese chipset maker responsible for almost all of the cheap dual sim phones available in the market.
Sadly, MediaTek has been charging a Licensing Fee to device manufacturers for Linux Kernel source code. This is completely shameful and illegal. This is undoubtedly an insult to all those hardworking Linux kernel developers.
We at Techzei have been behind certain Indian OEM’s for the source code but got back nothing. We did look for possibilities of suing but due to time constraints we had to abandon our plans. Micromax & Karbonn are examples, they too use MediaTek processors. Our earlier post on the same can be seen here : Micromax, Karbonn & GPL Violations
Having said all this, we are delighted to see XDA recognized developer Lokifish Marz take on MediaTek for the source code. He has given a formal request for source code and also insisted that he may have to proceed legally if they don’t comply with the laws and release the source code.
It is also disheartening to see Free Software Foundation remain silent on this issue.