Software Freedom Consortium (SFC) Publicly criticize and call on John Deere, the world’s largest agricultural equipment manufacturer, to hand over the source code in accordance with the provisions of the GPL open source license.

In a blog post published on Thursday, SFC Compliance Director Denver Gingerich pointed out that these farm implement manufacturers use GPL software to make money, such as some farm implements with software (tractors, combines, etc.), because the manufacturers of these implements use GPL software under the agreement, but did not fulfill the obligation of the GPL to open source the software code of the agricultural tools,Farmers have been deprived of the power to repair their tools.

The GPL open source license is highly contagious. It stipulates that if a project uses code with a GPL license, the project must also share the source code.

The blog post specifically criticized John Deere by name, calling it a “particularly egregious violator.” The most widely deployed GPL software on Deere’s agricultural machines is Linux. Like most Linux distributions, the version of Linux inside the Deere machine uses several programs under copyleft licenses, but it never released any source code. As a result, when farm tools are damaged at the software level, farmers cannot repair them by themselves, and can only continue to turn to the farm tool manufacturer for help, or buy new products.

SFC has tried for years to work with John Deere to resolve the company’s violations, Gingerich said, but the implement maker has been uncooperative, highlighting a “drag” tactic, such as taking more than 10 months to send SFC the first An incomplete software package, the package still has no specific source code.

The SFC is also calling on other organizations to challenge John Deere over “alleged GPL violations of the agreement and antitrust laws.” Foreign media The Register asked Gingerich “Will SFC consider taking legal action?” Gingerich replied that the focus of SFC’s appeal now is to obtain the software source code used by farm implement manufacturers to help farmers repair tractors. This is the top priority.

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