When a license is the "single point of failure"

Last week, at CeBit, I had the opportunity to witness the launch of the GenIVI consortium. Graham Smethurst, of BMW, did an excellent job summarizing the challenges facing automotive OEMs and Tier 1s that led to the creation of GenIVI. The theory is that you can plug-in any conforming middleware (speech rec, navigation engine, etc.) into the GenIVI framework. The ultimate goal of GenIVI being to create standard interfaces to reusable modules. I walked away struggling with only one point: his contention that everything in GenIVI was created to remove any "single point of failure".

The reason I struggled with this point was because of the use of a single OS, Linux, for GenIVI. While there might be many distributions of Linux they all share one thing in common the GNU Public License (GPL). If Linux is the only OS for GenIVI, then it stands to reason that GPL then becomes THE single point of failure. (see my thoughts on GPL in automotive)

If it were me, I would have built GenIVI on an industry standard API like POSIX rather than a specific OS. In this way even the OS licensing could be varietal (GPL, LGPL, BSD, etc.)