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Re: GPLv3 comedy unfolding -- Harkes: "GPLv3 seems to fall short on actu

From: Alexander Terekhov
Subject: Re: GPLv3 comedy unfolding -- Harkes: "GPLv3 seems to fall short on actually preventing tivoization"
Date: Tue, 19 Jun 2007 10:07:03 +0200

Jan Harkes wrote:
> On Mon, Jun 18, 2007 at 08:31:30PM -0300, Alexandre Oliva wrote:
> > On Jun 18, 2007, Linus Torvalds <> wrote:
> > > In the GPLv3 world, we have already discussed in this thread how you can
> > > follow the GPLv3 by making the TECHNICALLY INFERIOR choice of using a ROM
> > > instead of using a flash device.
> >
> > Yes.  This is one option that doesn't bring any benefits to anyone.
> > It maintains the status quo for users and the community, but it loses
> > the ability for the vendor to upgrade, fix or otherwise control the
> > users.  Bad for the vendor.
> Not really, Tivo could simply sell you a box without any installed
> software. The actual software is mailed to you on a credit card sized
> ROM when you activate service. When they want to (or need to) update the
> software they send out a new ROM card, maybe yearly as part of the
> service subscription renewal.
> The box could even be sold by third party vendors, I think they may even
> have started off that way, my old Series 1 had a big Philips logo on it.
> So now we make sure that this hardware refuses to boot any unsigned
> code, but it wasn't shipped containing GPLv3 software, so it's license
> terms simply does not apply.
> The software is shipped on a ROM card which can no longer be modified by
> the manufacturer or any third party, so it would seem to comply with the
> GPLv3. I can even imagine that the hardware is really general purpose
> but the ROM is encrypted so that only the BIOS/bootloader can unlock it.
> So the GPLv3 seems to fall short on actually preventing tivoization. It
> just requires an extra layer of indirection, ship hardware seperately
> from software.
> Jan
> -


"Live cheaply," he said, offering some free advice. "Don't buy a house,
a car or have children. The problem is they're expensive and you have
to spend all your time making money to pay for them."

        -- Free Software Foundation's Richard Stallman: 'Live Cheaply'

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