Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Linux Business Software Government The Courts GNU is Not Unix Programming Linux News IT

How Nokia and Linux Can Live Together 155

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the playing-nice dept.
Bruce Perens writes "Ari Jaaski of Nokia is concerned that the Linux developers need to learn to live with DRM, SIM-locking, and 'IPR'. But they won't. Fortunately, Nokia can do all that it wants with Linux, while being GPL2 and even GPL3-compatible. The key is knowing how to draw bright lines between different parts of the system. That's a legal term, and in this case it means a line between the Free Software and the rest of the system, that is 'bright' in that the two pieces are very well separated, and there is no dispute that one could be a derivative work of the other, or infringes on the other in any way. All of the Free Software goes on one side of that line, and all of the lock-down stuff on the other side." A very interesting read, and a good how-to for any company that is looking to use GPLed code as part of their products, or even just make their products to be hacker-friendly.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

How Nokia and Linux Can Live Together

Comments Filter:
  • Hmm (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mccalli (323026) on Saturday June 14, 2008 @10:45AM (#23791891) Homepage
    From the summary: "Nokia is concerned that the Linux developers need to learn to live with DRM, SIM-locking, and 'IPR'. But they won't. "

    Rephrased by me: Nokia is concerned that they need Linux developers need to learn to live with DRM, SIM-locking, and 'IPR'. And they won't.

    Cheers,
    Ian
    • by Odder (1288958) on Saturday June 14, 2008 @04:25PM (#23794553)

      If Nokia allows me to remove the parts of their device that do SIM locking and DRM, they might as well not bother with DRM. Code that prevents me from removing such things violates GPL3 and Nokia will not be able to distribute any GPL3 code on a device like that. They won't even try if they believe what they tell others about respecting "intellectual property". A system that won't work if it's modified by the user is not a free system.

      Nokia is not the real villain. US Cell phone companies may not allow free software devices to access their networks now or ever. This is probably what Nokia spokesmen think is the reality developers have to get used to. I'd rather get used to spectrum freedom [greaterdemocracy.org] and forget about US cell phone companies.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by fatphil (181876)
        You completely misunderstand GPL3. They can distribute any GPL3 programs they like on their device as long as they honour the GPL3. GPL3 does not say "you must not ship this on a device which also contains non-GPL programs".
  • The Bright Line (Score:5, Interesting)

    by camperdave (969942) on Saturday June 14, 2008 @10:46AM (#23791899) Journal
    Looks like the Bright Line for me may be the Nokia label, if they are going to maintain their attitude.
    • Re:The Bright Line (Score:5, Interesting)

      by mrsteveman1 (1010381) on Saturday June 14, 2008 @11:34AM (#23792215)
      I don't think Nokia is taking the wrong position here, they have to satisfy a number of different interests, and as long as they comply with the license terms of the software they use I don't see a problem.

      The alternative is to choose a different OS to build on, and with some exceptions most open source advocates don't want to see that happen, because it would be bad for the platform if companies stop using it.
      • The alternative is to design devices that don't use their infrastructure. The alternative is to deliver a product to consumers that allows them to flagrantly violate all the monopolistic regulations governing the airwaves, operate mesh networks for communications outside of centralized control, and send these bastards the way of the horse and buggy. These guys can be rendered redundant by simple pieces of hardware placed into a critical mass of hands. And, inevitably, eventually, thankfully... they will.
        • by deathy_epl+ccs (896747) on Saturday June 14, 2008 @12:23PM (#23792565)
          He's planning on being a little more insidious this time... he wants them to change the name to Gnokia.
        • Re:The Bright Line (Score:4, Insightful)

          by NDPTAL85 (260093) on Saturday June 14, 2008 @12:53PM (#23792743)
          Thats more than a bit of wishful thinking. Most consumers don't care one bit what OS runs their phones. They're not in this for your revolution, princess.
          • They may not care what OS it runs, but they know the difference between contracts and free.
          • by Sloppy (14984)
            They care whether or not the damn thing works. If a device obeys DRM, then it doesn't quite work.
            • by sumdumass (711423)
              Actually, if we are still talking about the majority of people, DRM doesn't mean is doesn't work. They will never attempt to turn a TIVO into a toaster. They will never write a program that sorts their video collection and sends the list to your phone so you can call the TIVO and tell it what to play instead of using the remote right next to you.

              That's right. It the product continues to meet the advertised specifications and work like it did when they purchased it, the majority of people think it just works
        • by Colin Smith (2679) on Saturday June 14, 2008 @01:19PM (#23792981)
          Every year... They are basically doing what the OLPC people would love to do in their wettest dreams.

          These guys can be rendered redundant by simple pieces of hardware placed into a critical mass of hands.
          How many handsets do you make and sell?

          You see, putting a "simple piece of hardware" into a critical mass of hands is not the same as copying a piece of software. It is a linear process, you need an infrastructure which can produce and distribute that critical mass of handsets and that requires a huge investment.

          Getting Linux onto Nokia phones is a huge leap forward, it is a step past the desktop which is now largely irrelevant. As long as they stick to the GPL (and they will, their lawyers and developers will be perfectly aware of the issues) what they actually do with it is up to them. That is almost certainly going to include DRM, locked down hardware and patented software because that is what their customers (the mobile networks) demand of them.

          But you know what? That phone is still a Linux box.

          I say good luck to them.
           
      • as long as they comply with the license terms of the software they use I don't see a problem.

        The GPLv3 forbids a lot of things Nokia wants to do.

        it would be bad for the platform if companies stop using it.

        It wouldn't matter much for the platform at all if companies continue to use it, but contribute nothing at all. In that case, they may as well not be using it.

        Basically, Nokia has three simple options: Either play by the rules, pay me for my efforts, or don't use my code. That's one more option than you get with proprietary software, by the way.

        • Re:The Bright Line (Score:5, Insightful)

          by mrsteveman1 (1010381) on Saturday June 14, 2008 @01:29PM (#23793103)
          Huh? How does the GPLv3 even apply at all to separate code? I fail to see how simply running software alongside GPLv3 code suddenly causes the GPLv3 to apply to the entire platform or any other code running on it. If Nokia builds interfaces and media applications in userspace using their own code the GPLv3 has nothing to do with it.

          Furthermore, the kernel is GPLv2, so V3 is never going to apply to anything they do to the kernel anyway.

          Like i said, they are going to avoid linux if the license issues become ridiculous, and FSF seems to want to push that direction even when companies comply in full.

          What makes you think Nokia doesn't contribute back to Linux? You think the only value to be had comes from code being contributed back? Simply having the largest handset manufacturer in the world using Linux gives the platform legitimacy it otherwise DOES NOT HAVE. And in any case i question your implication that Nokia doesn't contribute anything to Linux.

          As far as i can tell Nokia IS playing by the rules, the problem is the rules keep fucking changing.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            If Nokia builds interfaces and media applications in userspace using their own code the GPLv3 has nothing to do with it.

            I was making an assumption, but answer me this -- if they are playing by the rules, why did they say that they "aren't ready to"?

            It sounded very much like they were wanting the community to work with them to develop DRM.

            Simply having the largest handset manufacturer in the world using Linux gives the platform legitimacy it otherwise DOES NOT HAVE.

            Huh?

            Linux has had a large chunk of the server market for a very long time. It's used in all kinds of embedded devices other than Nokia. And it makes a decent desktop OS.

            Linux already has legitimacy. About all Nokia is at this point is another checkbox, so we can say "Oh yeah, IBM uses it,

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by mrsteveman1 (1010381)
              "Huh?

              Linux has had a large chunk of the server market for a very long time. It's used in all kinds of embedded devices other than Nokia. And it makes a decent desktop OS."

              My point is, Linux is just now breaking into this market, there are some niche devices using it, motorola does and some other Nokia phones do, but up to this point it has been a minority compared to symbian, WinCE, and now the ARM branch of OS X. Having the largest phone manufacturer in the world pushing Linux hard (hell they OWN TrollTech
              • Thats the legitimacy im talking about, when random phones are running Linux and no one seems surprised about it, and end users don't even know, because its so widespread.

                And the same is true in many other places. BSD is in pretty much every modern network stack. Some flavor of Unix, and most often Linux, is in a majority of webservers -- millions of people use Google every day without thinking about the fact that it runs Linux.

                If you mean "legitimacy within the mobile industry", fine, though it would show how myopic that industry is if they haven't seen it coming from the places Linux already owns. But Linux has more than justified its existence.

                This isn't a "screw over your users" restriction, this is a "protect our service against theft" issue

                You can paint every DRM is

                • The thing is, stuff like satellite television HAS to be encrypted, and they protect that system quite actively. So if TiVo wants to make a box with that satellite system integrated, they have to protect it or there won't be a box at all.

                  That isn't the same sort of "we sold you this song but you can't do what you want with it". Granted content owners are pushing much further than "you paid for service so we let you use the content", i realize they are dictating terms of use, but at the basic level satellite
                  • The thing is, stuff like satellite television HAS to be encrypted

                    Why?

                    That isn't the same sort of "we sold you this song but you can't do what you want with it".

                    That is exactly the effect. We sold you access to this channel, but you can't do what you want with it.

                    at the basic level satellite HAS to be DRM'd to prevent service theft.

                    It seems to me that it has pretty much the same amount of effectiveness as any other DRM, though. Which is, "None at all."

                    Thats why i believe TiVo is being so protective, and why i don't have as much of a problem with what they did. I don't like it, but i understand.

                    I don't much care what they do -- so long as they write the software. If they use my software, they play by my rules.

                    You CAN still tinker with the software, you just can't run modified copies of that software on the hardware

                    Or, in other words, you can't still tinker with the software. You can port it to different hardware, sure, but as it stands, you can't tinker with the software w

                    • Satellite has to be encrypted because they broadcast everything all the time, over an entire country. If they don't encrypt it, people can receive it without paying, its a compromise. They need to just quit broadcasting everything at the same time, just like cable needs to quit using the entire coax line. IP transmission on demand is the future.

                      If they quit doing that, this sort of DRM likely wouldn't be necessary, and at that case i agree, the DRM is anti-consumer and completely ridiculous.

                      We do diverge he
                    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                      Satellite has to be encrypted because they broadcast everything all the time, over an entire country. If they don't encrypt it, people can receive it without paying, its a compromise.

                      That's a reason why they do it, not why they have to. It's heavily ad-supported already -- seriously, they've got commercial breaks every five minutes, and every ten minutes or so, there's a small chunk of actual TV in which 25% of the screen is not taken up by an animated ad -- with audio!

                      I haven't looked at the economics of it, but it really does seem like satellite could operate on pretty much the same principles as over-the-air TV.

                      I value having the source for certain things simply because i can make use of it elsewhere, and i can see what its doing. I'm not as concerned about modifying software in place, though i realize other people value this greatly.

                      I value both quite a lot.

                      I value being able to understand what's going

                    • They would probably claim that the ads support the channels and their owners even though people also pay for those channels to some degree. That side of things is probably somewhat separate from the business of broadcasting the signals to the satellite and then down etc.

                      The service fees for DirecTV I imagine go mostly toward maintaining the infrastructure needed to broadcast from space, I mean they own their own satellites don't they? That's gotta be expensive

                      I think the entire thing has become inflated, th
                    • Anyway its not gonna change any time soon i think
                      Really depends how fast someone can get IPTV working. I think we need more projects like Sanctuary [sanctuaryforall.com] -- though that seems to have mysteriously evaporated / been bought.
                • by sumdumass (711423)
                  Sorry for getting in the game so late but I take issue with the printer driver story being used as access to the hardware. First, he modified the software on the computer, not the printer. He didn't flash any firmware or anything into the printer.

                  You see, we are talking apples to oranges here. He change the communication streams being sent and listened to what was being received. TO say that gives you a right or some inherent notion of being able to execute code on any hardware, you really have to ignore r
                  • First, he modified the software on the computer, not the printer. He didn't flash any firmware or anything into the printer.

                    I see your nitpick and raise you an analogy.

                    TO say that gives you a right or some inherent notion of being able to execute code on any hardware, you really have to ignore reality.

                    No, what gives me the right to execute code on any hardware is the fact that I bought that hardware, which makes it mine.

                    Not even going to respond to the accusations of lying...

                    • by sumdumass (711423)
                      When you buy hardware that only does certain things, then you purchased it knowing full well what it would do. If you decide to make it do something it was never represented as being able to do and break it, that's your fault not the manufacturers who won't let it boot without a certain file bein present. And yes, I'm talking about TIVOs and shit like that.

                      You didn't buy a general purpose computer, you purchased an appliance the does certain things. It you attempt to make it do something else and break it,
                    • If you decide to make it do something it was never represented as being able to do and break it, that's your fault
                      Indeed -- my fault, I voided the warranty, fine. Kind of like opening up a laptop -- you get to a certain point, and there are stickers which say "Warranty void if sticker removed."

                      I have not yet found a laptop manufacturer which goes beyond these stickers and rivets the case shut. Even Apple doesn't do shit like that anymore.
                    • by sumdumass (711423)
                      Lets take a tivo, when you buy a TIVO you aren't buying a general purpose computer, you are buying a TIVO that does certain thing. If you alter it and it doesn't work any more, it is your fault.

                      This isn't about voiding a warranty, it is about a product protecting the content and actions it takes from you doing things that bypass those protections and still working as designed. When you buy an appliance, it is just that, and appliance that does certain things. A Tivo is an appliance. When you change that app
        • Re:The Bright Line (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Bruce Perens (3872) * <bruce@perens.com> on Saturday June 14, 2008 @01:41PM (#23793201) Homepage Journal

          The GPLv3 forbids a lot of things Nokia wants to do.
          Slashdot can be frustrating at times, especially when people don't read the article pointed to before they comment. I sat down and spent two hours explaining that you can indeed do what Nokia wants in the context of GPL3, you just have to know how. And that's what this is about. Please do read it.

          Thanks

          Bruce

          • by bytesex (112972)
            I think it's safe to say that what Nokia wants is different from, and opposed to what RMS wants, even if both parties haven't come down to defining it to its legal-speak extremes. Because as long as there is a layer of software underneath your OS/userland that you're not allowed to modify to exercise your freedom to tinker and pass on, RMS will be opposed to it. He may not (yet) have worded it so in whatever the current version of the GPL is, but I do think that this is in his line of thinking.

            I realize I
          • Re:The Bright Line (Score:4, Insightful)

            by HiThere (15173) <`charleshixsn' `at' `earthlink.net'> on Saturday June 14, 2008 @04:46PM (#23794751)
            Now explain why we would want to help them.

            GPL code can be used in a lot of ways, and perhaps Noika can use it in the way they desire. But I have no desire to help them in doing so. And I see no advantage in helping them in doing so.

            I don't really see any advantage in Linux running on a lot of locked and sealed boxes, and that seems to be all that Noika is offering. I'm not really against allowing them to do that, as long as they abide by the licensing agreements. (I'm contemplating using AGPL from now on, though.) But I don't see ANY reason to help them. And I don't see any reason to use licenses friendly to their desires, when they so totally ignore mine.

            Personally, if he can do what he wants with the existing licenses, it makes me think that perhaps the licenses need to be changed, but I'm not certain. We don't explicitly forbid using FOSS to send spam, so maybe this is also something that should be tolerated. But I put it in the same class, or possibly worse.

            • Re:The Bright Line (Score:5, Insightful)

              by Bruce Perens (3872) * <bruce@perens.com> on Saturday June 14, 2008 @05:07PM (#23794945) Homepage Journal

              Now explain why we would want to help them.

              If they paid some of us. I did explain that the Linux developers weren't going to be interested otherwise, but that Nokia could do what they wanted with their own paid engineers if they designed it the way I laid out. I will even help them, at my full consulting rate, if they want, and will put some of that back into my work on Free Software.

              Meanwhile, I'm just out to dispel incorrect assumptions about Linux and the Linux developers. We are business-friendly, darn it. We're just not out to give business a gift.

              Personally, if he can do what he wants with the existing licenses, it makes me think that perhaps the licenses need to be changed

              When I wrote the Open Source definition, I prohibited the prohibition of any sort of field of endeavor whatsoever in an accepted Open Source license. It was a matter of making Open Source practical for people to use. RMS also rejects such a prohibition, and says we should speak out against unethical use rather than prohibit it in our licenses. This just came up in his statement about use of Free Software in the Oyster card system. The example I knew of then (the Berkeley Spice license prohibition on use by the police of South Africa) had persisted long past the end of apartheid, and thus had an effect opposite of what had been intended.

              Bruce

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by PastaLover (704500)

              Now explain why we would want to help them. GPL code can be used in a lot of ways, and perhaps Noika can use it in the way they desire. But I have no desire to help them in doing so. And I see no advantage in helping them in doing so.

              The upside about having linux run on these cellphones is that porting existing applications and writing new ones for this platform will become easier. For many people it will not matter if the phone itself is locked down, rather it only matters that they will be able to write their own applications or modify existing ones and deploy with minimum hassle. If Nokia is against that, well then they're barking up the wrong tree and their relation with the open source community will necessarily be a cold and dis

        • Re:The Bright Line (Score:4, Informative)

          by luca (6883) on Saturday June 14, 2008 @03:17PM (#23794055) Homepage
          Hey, Nokia is actually contributing developers and code to various projects, so they're not the kind that just takes without giving back. Maybe you're confusing them with broadcom.
      • Re:The Bright Line (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Bruce Perens (3872) * <bruce@perens.com> on Saturday June 14, 2008 @01:36PM (#23793181) Homepage Journal

        and as long as they comply with the license terms of the software they use I don't see a problem.

        Jaaksi never explained fully what the problem was but I suspect he was concerned with licensing, and upcoming licensing like GPL3 that tries even harder to enforce the freeness. I've shown that he can live with that without getting any concession from the developers regarding DRM, SIM locking, and bondage business models.

        The problem for Nokia and all is that building modern operating system features is horribly expensive, and unjustifiable when they are already there for the picking, no charge. But they haven't quite figured out how to put the two pieces - free and proprietary - together in a way that satisfies everyone. I can tell them how. I'd really prefer that they paid for this sort of lesson, that is one way I support myself after all, but could not let such a public example of mistaken corporate strategic thinking about Linux pass by unchallenged.

        Bruce

      • by Sloppy (14984)

        I don't think Nokia is taking the wrong position here, they have to satisfy a number of different interests,

        Their main interest should be in maximizing profits through sales. And it is, but the problem is that their sales are to carriers rather than users.

        I think we clearly have a situation where service/phone bundling is harming the market for phones, harming the utility of the devices, and harming consumers.

        When a manufacturer gets up on a stage and explains that they wish for their device to work

    • Re:The Bright Line (Score:4, Insightful)

      by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968.gmail@com> on Saturday June 14, 2008 @03:16PM (#23794051) Journal
      What I don't get is why these companies keep trying to screw over the GPL when there is BSD which has a license that'll let them do pretty much whatever they want. Which is kinda ironic when you think about it: All these companies who are so uptight and anal retentive when it comes to DRM and protecting "their" IP seem almost hellbent on stealing the work of all those GPL coders for their DRM schemes. Personally I'm tired of this "treat the customer like scum" routine and refuse to buy any DRM crap,period. But that is my 02c,YMMV
  • You do not have sufficient rights to view comments before this one.
  • by Enleth (947766) <enleth@enleth.com> on Saturday June 14, 2008 @11:05AM (#23792029) Homepage

    When I learned electronics, engineers built products by soldering together resistors and transistors. But today, the job of engineers is to build derivative works by combining units of intellectual property owned by third parties. That's not what they're trained for, and it's a mine-field of potential litigation for every company that puts software in its products
    This is exactly why, while being fascinated with electronics and embedded systems, I don't want to work in the consumer product industry when I graduate. Even if the pure research work in the field pays less than product development. I feel that the "engineering" constrained by sales requirements and legal gibblerish is not really engineering anymore and, being able to see its outcomes - dozens of devices that show unspeakable amounts of absolute blockheadedness and lack of ANY thought in their design - I don't want to have anything to do with it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Even if the pure research work in the field pays less than product development.

      Don't go in to electronice research unless you have a passion for chip fabbing. If you want a researchy job where you get to build cool stuff, then you want a research job where you need to build said cool stuff to get the research done. You can get thin kind of thing in science research if you choose the right branch and department. Basically choose a field where building cool stuff is a means to an end, not an end in itself.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Enleth (947766)
        Actually I'm aiming for robotics, which is IMO one of the few electrical engineering-related fields where almost no typical consumer products exist, while there's plenty of research aimed at building cool stuff and, if one really needs more profits, quite a bit of industrial desgin, which actually isn't all that bad because most of the time the "customers" are engineers, too.
    • by jhoger (519683)
      There are many constraints on engineers who work in the real world. You won't usually get a budget to make a product that no one wants to buy, for example. You won't get a budget for a product that will be so expensive to make that the target market cannot afford it.

      The patent issues are there and by and large, unless you work in an IP company, it isn't the focus of your job, though you may spend a month out of a year working on a patent or figuring out how to work around a patent.

      Academicians have differen
      • by Enleth (947766)
        Maybe I wasn't clear enough - of course, there are constraints in the real world, but in research and industrial design those constraints are usually practical and reasonable and, in the case of designing a product, the requirements will boild down to "make something solid and useful". That's still good. It's the consumer product design that calls for "make something crippled that breaks just after the warranty expires, restricts the user and is awkward to operate - millions of idiots will buy it anyway". T
  • by Cheesey (70139) on Saturday June 14, 2008 @11:16AM (#23792097)
    This is exactly how digital restrictions of any kind can be compatible with free software. You have a division between free and non-free, and as Perens suggests, maybe it's the kernel/user interface, or physical separation, or a virtual machine. What matters is that the division exists and that it preserves all of the software freedoms that the licence requires.

    Personally I think virtual machines are the way to go. You put your free software in one virtual machine and your GSM stack/software radio/DRM code/etc. in another, and run them both using a hypervisor. That way, you get all the benefits of free software without having to put the non-free components in hardware or on a separate CPU. Oddly enough, support for this kind of operation already exists in CPUs, e.g. ARM's Trustzone. Clearly manufacturers have been thinking about how to combine open software with secure components, and their solution is Perens' bright lines.

    Virtualisation is exactly how we will get the flexibility and openness we need in small computers without losing the features that network operators demand. Of course it's not a pure free software system any more, but you don't have the source for your x86 CPU microcode, so you're already using a hybrid system that runs both free and non-free code. The best advice is not to worry about it, and enjoy the improved flexibility that you get from being able to run your own code on *most* of the system, instead of none of it.
    • by mrsteveman1 (1010381) on Saturday June 14, 2008 @11:45AM (#23792291)
      Yea, but thats not enough for some people. TiVo didn't actually violate the GPL license either and they got attacked quite a bit.

      Granted they made the hardware measure the boot process before allowing it to boot, but the core problem is the same.

      People aren't going to be happy about a company using Linux on one hand, while locking the platform in some way.

      Freedom to tinker will show its head here sooner or later.
      • by Alsee (515537)
        TiVo didn't actually violate the GPL license

        I think they did.

        The GPL says that if you distribute an executable, you have to make available *ALL* of the source you used to compile that executable. If you you distribute an executable for a Cray supercomputer, you cannot supply DIFFERENT source code sufficient for a similar program that would run on a Commodore64.

        Unless I am mistaken, the TiVo executable has a signature added. That signature is, both in intent and in fact, a functional component of that intend
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by mrsteveman1 (1010381)
          You make perfect sense there I just don't believe you.

          Code signing doesn't require what you describe, you can sign code that has already been compiled and a system can check that signature before running it.

          What TiVo did to protect their systems was cause the firmware to measure the initrd and the initrd i believe measures the kernel, as far as i remember.

          It's probably worth noting that Linus doesn't see any problem with what Tivo did, and in reality the core goal of the GPL is to make sure anyone who IMPRO
          • in reality the core goal of the GPL is to make sure anyone who IMPROVES GPL software releases that code for use by others, especially for other uses.

            Bzzzzt.

            1. the freedom to use the software for any purpose,
            2. the freedom to share the software with your friends and neighbors,
            3. the freedom to change the software to suit your needs, and
            4. the freedom to share the changes you make.

            --The Foundations of the GPL [gnu.org]

            In fact, you are free to improve the software all you want for your own personal use and there are no requirements to distribute the changes you've made.

            • 1. you are free to take the source TiVo releases and use it for whatever you want.

              2. you can give it to anyone you want as per the GPLs terms.

              3. you can modify the source and still use it for whatever you want.

              4. you can give away the source you just modified in step 3 :D

              Nowhere in that list does it say "modify in place". You can't possibly twist the definitions given there to include "i can do whatever I want with the hardware you sold me simply because you put Linux on it".

              The GPL says you can change the
              • Why are you arguing against the obvious?

                What you call "twist" is exactly the chain of events that caused RMS to start the GNU project in the first place.

                RMS had a printer, the driver for the printer was broken, he wanted to fix THAT PRINTER. [oreilly.com] Not use the driver with some other printer, he wanted the only printer he had to work.

                You can't possibly argue that you should be allowed to screw with anything GPL software comes into contact with.

                Yeah, I don't need the GPL for that. I am flat out arguing that I have the right to screw with anything I own. FULL STOP.
                The GPL just makes it easier for me. Don't want to make it

                • I don't care about RMS printer. I do understand why he started the GNU project, yes, but this is 2008 and there are other considerations. As a comparison the RMS printer thing is a poor one, TiVo doesn't need driver support and works perfectly fine out of the box, its a finished usable device people don't need to program or otherwise screw with to make it work with their TV.

                  "I am flat out arguing that I have the right to screw with anything I own."

                  Well then, if this is the most important consideration here,
                  • I don't care about RMS printer. I do understand why he started the GNU project, yes, but this is 2008 and there are other considerations.

                    No, there are no other considerations. If you don't the terms of the GPL, DON"T USE GNU CODE. Simple as that. Why you do think Tivo or anyone else is entitled to violate the terms of the GPL? Because the source code is there? You think that means its in the public domain?

                    At least now you know your interpretation of the GPL is completely false and you have no reason to repeat that error again.

                    You can't possibly argue that you should be allowed to easily circumvent service theft protections simply because you like to tinker or because they used GPL software. And you really can't say they should HELP you do so, that's insane.

                    What part of develop your own code do you fail to understand?

                    • "No, there are no other considerations."

                      Look, I pointed out a number of situations where there are more important things to consider, and you ignored them.

                      "If you don't the terms of the GPL, DON"T USE GNU CODE. Simple as that. Why you do think Tivo or anyone else is entitled to violate the terms of the GPL? Because the source code is there? You think that means its in the public domain?"

                      I have yet to see any valid claim that TiVo violated the license on the code they use, show me otherwise. You can't, and i
                    • I have yet to see any valid claim that TiVo violated the license on the code they use, show me otherwise.

                      That's because I never made that claim. I thought I was clear when I wrote, "under GPL3 and under the intent of earlier GPLv2, Tivo can't do what they did. They found a loophole and exploited it, and that's why GPLv3 closed the loophole." What part of THAT do you fail to understand?

                      This is why TiVo hasn't been sued, they haven't violated the license IN ANY WAY.

                      What part of loophole and intent to do you fail to understand?

                      Now, Linus just said exactly what i said before, and he has a VERY firm understanding of the issues involved.

                      No, Linus does not. He has a firm grasp of what HIS goals are. Not what the FSF's goals are.

                      I mean jesus christ, if RMS's own words aren't enough to convince yo

                    • First: "No, Linus does not. He has a firm grasp of what HIS goals are. Not what the FSF's goals are."

                      Goals aren't relevant here, what is relevant is the license, and i do believe Linus understands GPLv2 very well.

                      "What part of loophole and intent to do you fail to understand?"

                      You may say that V2 has a loophole in it, but I don't believe that. Read my last paragraph to see why.

                      I'm also not making shit up, you said "If you don't like the terms of the GPL, DON"T USE GNU CODE. Simple as that." I think you're sp
                    • Goals aren't relevant here,

                      YOU ARE THE ONE WHO STARTED WITH THE GOAL TALK.

                      I'm also not making shit up

                      WHAT PART OF, under GPL3 and under the intent of earlier GPLv2, Tivo can't do what they did. They found a loophole and exploited it, and that's why GPLv3 closed the loophole." DO YOU FAIL TO UNDERSTAND?

                      never said TiVo or anyone else should be allowed to violate the terms of the GPLv2,

                      YOU MADE A CLAIM AS TO WHAT THE CORE GOAL OF THE GPL WAS. I REFUTED IT YOU REFUSE TO BELIEVE RMS'S OWN WORDS.

                      I also question the claim that no one foresaw this problem when v2 was written.

                      "NO ONE?" WHO SAID "NO ONE?" YOU SAID IT. QUIT MAKING SHIT UP.

                      That "no one" at the FSF was aware of what the atari 7800 may or may not have done

                    • Fuck RMS, he is irrelevant to this discussion. RMS "own words" are meaningless if you want to debate license issues, he can't arbitrarily reinterpret the license by speaking in public.

                      All that matters is what the license ACTUALLY SAYS, and both of us spelled out exactly what it says about keeping software free. I'm not even sure where you got the idea that i interpreted the GPL wrong, clearly i haven't.

                      "YOU MADE A CLAIM AS TO WHAT THE CORE GOAL OF THE GPL WAS. I REFUTED IT YOU REFUSE TO BELIEVE RMS'S OWN WO
          • by Alsee (515537)
            You make perfect sense there I just don't believe you.

            I'm unclear on exact what it is you don't believe.

            Note that I am not talking about Stallman's intent, or the FSF's four point principals of software freedom, or any of the other fuzzy-feely stuff I've seen others mention in this thread. I am saying I see a legal violation of the text of the GPLv2. I am saying that TiVo broke the law.

            What point(s) do you not believe?
            (1) The GPLv2 requires that if you distribute a binary executable, you must make source av
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      That way, you get all the benefits of free software without having to put the non-free components in hardware or on a separate CPU.

      But you already don't have to use virtualization. There's nothing to stop me from writing and running compiled C code on top of a Linux kernel and glibc. If it were a problem, we wouldn't have closed applications like Google Earth or Skype. Both the Linux kernel and glibc contain necessary license exceptions which allow this to happen.

      Why add the overhead of virtualization if it's not necessary?

    • by MtHuurne (602934) on Saturday June 14, 2008 @12:15PM (#23792511) Homepage

      For simlocks and other limitations that are close to the hardware this approach could work. I believe Sony does something like this for PS3 Linux.

      For DRM, it will be more tricky: if for example video goes through an open source layer anywhere between decryption and the video RAM, it can be intercepted. But if that entire path is closed, it will not be easy to make it integrate nicely with the open parts of the system.

      Some of today's phone have even more limitations, such as forcing the user to download ringtones, wallpapers, songs etc. exclusively from the telco's portal. Or the iPhone SDK license, which forbids VOIP applications from using the telco's data connection. Limitations like this cannot be enforced on any system that deserves the predicate "open". I don't know if that is Nokia's problem or the telco's, but in a market where telcos subsidize phones, they have a lot of influence on the hardware manufacturers.

  • All of the Free Software goes on one side of that line, and all of the lock-down stuff on the other side.

    Free stuff on the Linux partition, locked-down stuff on the Vista partition. :-)

  • All of the Free Software goes on one side of that line, and all of the lock-down stuff on the other side."

    With the trash can being positioned just on the other side of the line...

  • by A beautiful mind (821714) on Saturday June 14, 2008 @12:27PM (#23792599)
    ...with DRM. Nokia is just another company in the long line of companies that have to learn this or die.
  • by clang_jangle (975789) on Saturday June 14, 2008 @12:51PM (#23792735) Journal
    (1) Open the cell networks

    (2)Sell flat-rate or simple tiered access to the network

    (3)Sell a range of solutions, from bare bones "modems" to full-fledged gadgety smartphones

    (4)Stop trying to tell us what software and hardware we're allowed to fucking use on that network

    (5)Profit!!!

    It could all be so simple, were the bastards not so greedy . There are plenty of idiots who would still happily buy pink Razrs and crappy ring tones...
    • (4)Stop trying to tell us what software and hardware we're allowed to fucking use on that network

      I think most sysadmins/network engineers would agree that the network owners are totally within their rights to limit/approve/control/monitor the h/w and s/w in use on their networks. The network owners are trying to provide the most stable environment for the largest number of paying customers.
      I don't work for a telco but I do like to have a very reliable cell network (especially since I have no landline, voip etc).

      • We do have this great big contrary example of the Internet. It interoperates really well where the standards are followed. The stability problems that exist are mostly due to malware, and exist on closed networks too, and can be managed, although Microsoft isn't a good example of how to manage them.
        • Well, a giant amount of traffic on the backbone is spam, viruses, and illegal copying, so I can't really blame the telcos for not wanting their networks to turn into that ...
          • by hany (3601)

            Well, a giant amount of traffic on the backbone is spam, viruses, and illegal copying, so I can't really blame the telcos for not wanting their networks to turn into that ...

            Then they should push users to adopt something (almost anything) else than Microsoft Windows.

            Oh, sorry, cheap shot. :)

            But really. The solution is simple (even though maybe painful to some): People should bear the consequences of their decisions.

            So, if user chooses to use Windows (or Linux, Mac or whatever), is not able to keep it se

      • except its closer to being a sys admin where your company can only purchase mediocre equipment that is overpriced and *just* satisfies the minimum requirements through a specific list of middleman ordering companies...
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      You can already buy phones that don't use DRM or sim locking. You just have to pay the full manufacturing cost. As it turns out a lot of people like to get the handsets subsidised and deal with the DRM. I guess I don't see the issue here.
  • All this talk about openness vs. Nokia, brings bad memories to me. Has anyone tried to use a Nokia(or sony) provided USB cable to transfer data from a PC to a non-memory-expansible cell phone? "Hellish nightmare" is the least I can call it, really, where the cell phone makers trying hard to make our lives as hard as heck?
  • There is one caveat that you have to watch out for, if you run Linux hosted on another kernel. The FSF has taken the position that interfaces supported by a hosted implementation of an operating system are not native operating system interfaces... at least when the hosted implementation of the OS is "thin" enough: at least one UNIX-on-Windows implementation has had to avoid running GCC under their software and instead use a DOS/Windows port of GCC alongside their UNIX implementation. Running Linux in a VM,

Optimization hinders evolution.

Working...