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GPL Violations By D-Link and Boxee

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the hard-to-be-honest dept.

Crime 251

An anonymous reader submitted a link to a bit of a rant on GPL issues connected to D-Link and Boxee. They spend quite a bit of time explaining "Tivoization is a dangerous attempt to curtail users' freedom: the right to modify your software will become meaningless if none of your computers let you do it. GPLv3 stops tivoization by requiring the distributor to provide you with whatever information or data is necessary to install modified software on the device."

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Yeah? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35854968)

And what are you going to fucking do about it? The GPL is easy to violate because there are no repercussions. Companies do it all the time because they know they can get away with it. If the worst penalty they pay is an article on /. and a few negative comments, they'll take that to the bank all day long.

Re:Yeah? (4, Insightful)

BRSloth (578824) | more than 3 years ago | (#35855012)

GPL is based on copyright, dictating the rules by which the work can be transferred (or sold, or given). It's the same as breaking the Microsoft EULA when you pirate your Windows copy.

Surely, there may be not enough GPL authors going after people breaking their licenses, but it falls on the same category [I *think* the FSF sometimes offers legal help for those trying to sue companies to enforce their GPL-licensed products.]

Re:Yeah? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35855296)

It's the same as breaking the Microsoft EULA when you pirate your Windows copy.

No. An EULA takes away rights on something you bought, the GPL gives you rights on something you've copied for free (or bought for money, but GPL gives you the right to copy it for free after that).

Re:Yeah? (3, Informative)

lavalyn (649886) | more than 3 years ago | (#35855400)

This is why the FSF asks for copyright assignment in GNU projects. They become party to the license, and can act on its infringement.

Re:Yeah? (1)

trebach (2044090) | more than 3 years ago | (#35855136)

No, they get sued if they don't bring the offending products into compliance with the GPL.

Re:Yeah? (2, Interesting)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#35855220)

No, they get sued if they don't bring the offending products into compliance with the GPL.

By whom? Maybe the EFF.

I think part of the problem is that, to the best of my knowledge, the GPL hasn't been fully tested in court, and there is no single body (and certainly not with a lot of resources) who can police this. I'm not even sure the EFF has standing to sue everybody who might do this ... unless the GPL says they're the effective copyright holders for everything GPL'd, short of an amicus curiae the EFF doesn't own the code which is alleged to have been violated.

A lot of companies seem to more or less say "too bad" when it comes to the provisions and providing this stuff ... they're just not willing to provide you with the details you'd need, admit that they're using the GPL'd software, or provide you with the sources even if they are. So, effectively they rip it off with impunity and laugh at you.

If there's no actual consequence for these companies, what is going to change? This is far from the first time we've heard about companies flipping the bird at the terms of the GPL.

And, really, based on my experience with my latest D-Link router ... it might be time to consider a change anyway. My latest router has a tendency to lose connection on one of its ports, and has some issues which may or may not be the fault of Vista.

it HAS been tested as far as I remember (2)

Isaac Remuant (1891806) | more than 3 years ago | (#35855556)

Re:it HAS been tested as far as I remember (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#35855808)

And, from your own link [techrights.org] :

A settlement with a comment from the judge saying "she sees the GNU GPL to be an enforceable and binding license".

Some guy was denied standing to sue since he didn't establish a valid anti-trust claim.

In one case a judge ruled "the GPL was not material to a case dealing with trade secrets derived from GPL-licensed work".

A legal precedent in Germany.

Apparently BusyBox has mostly settled, and agreed to release code.

Again, Linsys and Cisco settled.

As much as we all would like to GPL upheld in court, and some of us would like to say that this has been definitively settled by a court, it seems like in a lot of ways it's a lot murkier than that. Some jurisdictions have upheld it, some judges have commented that it should be legally binding, and many cases have been settled ... which means they don't really provide actual precedents in terms of case law.

I'm just not convinced that there is enough actual legal precedent to say in most jurisdictions that violating the terms of the GPL has been consistently upheld. So far, it seems to be a fairly hodge-podge collection of cases which established various things to various degrees.

I'm certainly not convinced that one of the references you cite actually authoritatively establish this in enough jurisdictions to say the matter has been resolved. I'm not arguing against the GPL ... I'm saying I don't believe that the issue has become cut and dried enough that with enough lawyers you couldn't convince a judge otherwise.

Re:Yeah? (-1, Offtopic)

jabberw0k (62554) | more than 3 years ago | (#35855186)

-1 profanity

Cue the flamewars (1, Offtopic)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#35854970)

Is it that time of the day already? Time for a free software vs. open source vs. "I just want something I can use damn it!" flamewar...

Re:Cue the flamewars (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35855060)

Really? I don't see any flamebait material here, just an article about a (purported) violation of the GPL - a company has taken opensource software and are supplying modified versions of it without fulfilling their side of the GPL: They are either not supplying the sourcecode in a state where the user can verify it, alter it and use it or are specifically stopping the user from altering the code they are given.

What isn't clear (to me) is whether the clauses relating to an author or company supplying code which cannot be modified and used on the device (due to checksumming or some other nefarious means) is in violation of GPLv2, and which version of the GPL the software Boxee uses is.

Re:Cue the flamewars (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35855224)

It says it right in the article and how to reproduce it yourself. GPLv3. Learn to read.

Re:Cue the flamewars (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35855596)

You mean this bit:

gpgv2 --help

gpgv2, apparently, verifies gpg version 2 signatures, you can read about it here: http://linux.die.net/man/1/gpgv2

All that proves is one of the utilities in the distro uses GPLv3. This strikes me as irrelevant, as I could install this under Cygwin on a windows machine and it would not automatically apply GPLv3 to Windows itself; you could not say, "Hey, run 'gpgv2 --help' and send the results to Microsoft!!11!"

I was merely vaguely wondering what version GPL the "Boxee code" might be and also whether GPLv2 protects one from some of the evils described. Thanks for being so helpful.

Re:Cue the flamewars (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35855656)

Boxee is NOT a small-time open-source community project by people who do it out of love; it is now a big money operation and they are using dirty tricks to exert control they should not have.

They use customers' and investors' money to have road trips and keg parties

Evil!

They're like RIAA executives buying yatches, but they just have road trips!

Big money operation! Way to go open source guys!

Re:Cue the flamewars (4, Informative)

Eunuchswear (210685) | more than 3 years ago | (#35855880)

All that proves is one of the utilities in the distro uses GPLv3. This strikes me as irrelevant, as I could install this under Cygwin on a windows machine and it would not automatically apply GPLv3 to Windows itsel

That's not the point. If you had gpgv2 on windows you could update it, Windows won't prevent you from doing that.

If you have gpgv2 on this boxee thingy you can't update it - the tivoisation prevents that.

That is a gplv3 violation, so they have no right to distribute gpgv2.

This may or may not apply to other software on the boxee.

Re:Cue the flamewars (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35855892)

This strikes me as irrelevant, as I could install this under Cygwin on a windows machine and it would not automatically apply GPLv3 to Windows itself; you could not say, "Hey, run 'gpgv2 --help' and send the results to Microsoft!!11!"

And you know what doofus? After you've installed Cygwin you can upgrade that GPLv3'd application yourself! Without having to ask Microsoft for a signing key that allows you to do so. The issue here is that they are redistributing an application that requires them to allow users to modify/upgrade and install that application to their device.

Did the obstetrician drop you at birth doofus?

Re:Cue the flamewars (3, Insightful)

Tanktalus (794810) | more than 3 years ago | (#35855914)

Here's the basic issue. gpgv2 is GPL3. It's in the box. The user cannot modify it, as per the GPL3 license. Thus, Boxee is failing to meet the GPL3 license obligations.

It doesn't matter if the main code is proprietary. It doesn't matter if the kernel is GPL2. What matters in the court of law is that this particular piece does not live up to the license obligations that the author placed on the code as a condition of copying. If the authors of gpgv2 sued, Boxee would lose, assuming the GPL stands up in court (which I expect it would).

Re:Cue the flamewars (-1, Flamebait)

pnewhook (788591) | more than 3 years ago | (#35855222)

Ok I'll start!

Basically GPL is a violation of my rights to publ,ish source code and make money off of it. No one has the right to force me to release my developed code for free. It is a companies right to protect their IP and GPL prevents that. All free softare if truly free should be GPL.

GPL is really another word for socialist run software development.

Re:Cue the flamewars (5, Insightful)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 3 years ago | (#35855258)

Basically GPL is a violation of my rights to publ,ish source code and make money off of it. No one has the right to force me to release my developed code for free.

You're under no obligation to release your code under the GPL. You can release it under any licence you want. If you choose not to abide by the GPL, you cannot base your software on GPLed code. Go and write your own software from scratch, and don't steal mine.

Re:Cue the flamewars (-1, Troll)

pnewhook (788591) | more than 3 years ago | (#35855268)

So what you are saying is GPL is not free. They should be prevented from classifying it as such.

Re:Cue the flamewars (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 3 years ago | (#35855388)

While I get the humor of your trolling, how does any of that say that GPL is or isn't free, or how is that even part of the discussion?

Re:Cue the flamewars (1, Troll)

pnewhook (788591) | more than 3 years ago | (#35855422)

Because it is touted as 'free as in freedom' but comes with restrictions. BSD fits that motto better as I can do anything I want with BSD code. GPL is only free as in no cost to purchase.

Re:Cue the flamewars (3)

thaylin (555395) | more than 3 years ago | (#35855538)

Tell me, in a free society are you able to do anything you want, or are you able to do what you want as long as it does not infringe on the rights of others? The GPL is free as in Freedom..You can take someone's code, and modify it however you like, you can use it however you see fit, but you still must not infringe on the rights of the author. It is the right of the author to put restrictions, just like it is the right of a free society to make laws that make sure you live within the rules of that free society.

Re:Cue the flamewars (2)

pnewhook (788591) | more than 3 years ago | (#35855734)

You cannot say that I can use it however I see fit, but then say it also has restrictions. The two are incompatible. BSD is truly use as I see fit and fits the free as in freedom motto much better than GPL.

Re:Cue the flamewars (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 3 years ago | (#35855832)

It's not in the spirit of free software to mop up "free" code and turn around and slap it into a proprietary product.

It's like eating fruit without planting a seed.

Re:Cue the flamewars (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35855578)

Because it is touted as 'free as in freedom' but comes with restrictions. BSD fits that motto better as I can do anything I want with BSD code. GPL is only free as in no cost to purchase.

You are absolutely uninformed troll.
the only freedom gpl does not allow is to steal the freedom provided be gpl and if it provided that it would be worthless and m$ will take all the code in their offerings of proprietary software.
also GPL'ed software *BOLD^100* CAN BE SOLD *BOLD^100* http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/selling.html

Re:Cue the flamewars (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35855614)

Did you miss the part where it explains that it's designed to guarantee that it can be distributed freely? (At a price of zero) To guarantee that something will always be free of charge you need to RESTRICT the ability to sell it in the future.

Worst than being a troll is failing as a troll.

Re:Cue the flamewars (1, Troll)

pnewhook (788591) | more than 3 years ago | (#35855718)

Did you miss the part where I would have to release any changes to it even if those changes were meaningless to everyone else? I'm not talking free as in cost, I'm talking free as in n o restrictions which is what 'free as in freedom' implies. Exactly my point is the GPL should change their motto to 'free as in no purchase price' as it is NOT free as in freedom.

Re:Cue the flamewars (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35855760)

With the GPL you can make all the changes you ever want to your own code, and you're under no obligation to submit patches back to upstream. You are only required to reveal source code to people you make a copy of the modified software for.

Re:Cue the flamewars (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35855408)

You jelly? RTFM and learn to use boost, noob.

Re:Cue the flamewars (1)

pnewhook (788591) | more than 3 years ago | (#35855464)

Huge binaries and ridiculously long compile times?? No thanks.

Re:Cue the flamewars (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35855518)

Then implement _everything_ yourself in asm so your bins can be small and your compile times can be short. No one is forcing you to use anything else. I suggested boost because I assumed you at least wanted some sort of base, but you're free to make everything from the ground up.

See you in five years once you have a working implementation!--all harshness aside, you're free to have no connection to foss.

Re:Cue the flamewars (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35855460)

Why not read the GPL instead of listening to what "they" say... and spread their incompetence?

It's not that much to understand. It's a well written license (template) used by many people who do not cough on their money before they spend it.

Re:Cue the flamewars (-1, Troll)

pnewhook (788591) | more than 3 years ago | (#35855474)

Read it. Socialist drivel.

Re:Cue the flamewars (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35855708)

There are enough capitalist licenses (templates) that you might prefer... you might even write your own one.

Re:Cue the flamewars (2, Insightful)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 3 years ago | (#35855536)

Maybe you should look at licenses that don't place any restriction on what people do with your code.

Then, once you've got a really great project, I'll take it, place it under my own licence that forbids you from even mentioning it again, and call it my own. Since I can afford scarier lawyers than you, there's nothing you can do about it.

How does that sound?

Re:Cue the flamewars (2)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 3 years ago | (#35855698)

The GPL is not free in the same way that I'm not "free" to murder you.

Re:Cue the flamewars (0)

pnewhook (788591) | more than 3 years ago | (#35855746)

Oh yes, those two are EXACTLY the same...

-1 RTFM moderation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35855660)

The GP represents a kind of ignorance you see a lot in public fora. Is anyone looking at some kind of moderation to flush that kind of post, such that we don't have to waste time with it?

There is a very serious danger of it being used to quash legitimate dissent, which is where the interesting challenge lies. Maybe meta-moderation addresses that completely, maybe not.

Re:Cue the flamewars (1)

jimwelch (309748) | more than 3 years ago | (#35855288)

Do you mean this? Or are you just being "cute" or a devils advocate? Did you forget your sarcasm tag?

Re:Cue the flamewars (4, Insightful)

robmv (855035) | more than 3 years ago | (#35855310)

Easy, do not link to GPL code. You ask for your rights but do not want to respect the rights of the GPL code authors?, When you link to GPL code, nobody is forcing you to release your code, your decision to link and use GPL and distribute it is what force you to do that, do not want to do it? do not take the decision to use GPL code in your software

Re:Cue the flamewars (-1, Redundant)

pnewhook (788591) | more than 3 years ago | (#35855368)

Their motto is free as in freedom, but comes with restrictions. If they want to call their software free then their motto should b e free as in no cost of purchase. But it clearly is NOT free as in freedom.

Re:Cue the flamewars (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#35855444)

I'm sorry we are violating your liberty by preventing you from committing rape and murder.

Fortunately, we do not use the Marquis de Sade's notion of what liberty means.

Re:Cue the flamewars (0)

pnewhook (788591) | more than 3 years ago | (#35855486)

Now THATS a strawman argument!!

Re:Cue the flamewars (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35855524)

Bollocks. It's most definitely about freedom, not price. Specifically, the freedom of the recipient of the software. Tivoization is exactly opposite this, and that it's permissible by GPLv2 is simply a bug. AGPLv3 attempts to extend the freedoms to the users as well.
Your argument is presumably based on trying to give every freedom to a maker, where it already resided before the GNU project. As a result there was a decline in sharing.

Re:Cue the flamewars (1)

Issarlk (1429361) | more than 3 years ago | (#35855926)

Freedom of the _software_ not the people.

Re:Cue the flamewars (5, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#35855326)

Basically GPL is a violation of my rights to publ,ish source code and make money off of it.

Not true ... it prevents you from taking code you got under the GPL, modifying it, and releasing it as closed source. You are free to write your own code from scratch. You just can't write derivative works and not play by their terms.

Things like LGPL allow you to use the library to connect to, and the stuff you write is completely your own and you can do anything you like with it.

GPL is really another word for socialist run software development.

Yes, that's true. If you want to have your code not be "tainted" by the implied socialism of a license which forces you to share, then don't start with GPL'd code as a base.

You're arguing that you should be able to take the GPL code, modify it, and then change the terms of the license so you don't have to play by the rules. If you want to do that, something like a BSD or an Apache license might be more suited for you. But, just because you want to take GPL stuff and make it not GPL, doesn't mean you have any right to use the code in a way that violates their license.

You are completely free to write something from scratch and not look at anything GPL'd at all. If you don't have the time and energy (or the skillset) to write your own version ... well, nobody is required to provide it to you. You're whining about the GPL being socialist while at the same time acting like it's someone else's responsibility to write the software you base your own off ... which is socialism, but geared to your benefit.

Re:Cue the flamewars (1)

pnewhook (788591) | more than 3 years ago | (#35855392)

Everything you say is true. My issue with GPL is that they call it 'free as in freedom' This is clearly not true. That should be the motto for BSD. GPL is more like free as in no cost to purchase, bit it is not free in the non monetary sense given the restrictions that come with it.

Re:Cue the flamewars (1)

b0bby (201198) | more than 3 years ago | (#35855548)

It's free as in freedom *for the end users*, not for the person using the code in a commercial product. An end user can freely take the code and do what they want with it, and never release any of their changes. If, however, someone wants to redistribute it (as in, say, a Boxee box) then they need to follow the rules of the GPL & allow the end user the same freedom that they had. It's pretty simple really.

Re:Cue the flamewars (1)

pnewhook (788591) | more than 3 years ago | (#35855680)

Simple yes, but restrictive and not free as in freedom.

Re:Cue the flamewars (5, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#35855562)

My issue with GPL is that they call it 'free as in freedom' This is clearly not true. That should be the motto for BSD. GPL is more like free as in no cost to purchase, bit it is not free in the non monetary sense given the restrictions that come with it.

Well, yes ... that's hard to dispute, and it more or less comes down to some philosophical stuff which not everyone always agrees with.

I guess it depends on "which" version of "free" you mean ... free as in beer, free as in free, free as in Libre, and who knows what else.

BSD is free and unencumbered, and it has its place.

GPL is free almost in the sense that the software itself is "liberated" and has its own rights, intended to ensure that the software remains equally free for anybody who might ever want it, and that you can't take away the rights of the software to remain free -- I like to think of the GPL'd software as almost emancipated and with a stake in things.

Some software is free as in free, but you have no rights to do anything with it or make derivative works.

The GPL is more like a "bill of rights", both for the software and anybody who might like to use it, and is intended to benefit pretty much everybody, in perpetuity, and part of the way it achieves that is to limit the extent to which you can take it and stop adhering to that ideology. Since it uses copyright as its foundation, it necessarily has to retain restrictions to you ... you only have rights to make copies of this work if you adhere to the terms. BSD is more along the lines of "have this for free and do anything you like", no restrictions or limitations, no obligations ... just code to do with as you please.

Unfortunately, the two camps often have very opposite points of view in terms of which is "better" or "more free" -- I've used both fairly extensively, and they each have their place. It's really hard to come down on one side or another without it more or less devolving into screeching monkeys, which is what usually happens when this comes up on Slashdot. :-P

Re:Cue the flamewars (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35855844)

Issues. ....

Yes.. you seem to a have a fair deal of those.

Re:Cue the flamewars (1)

ThunderBird89 (1293256) | more than 3 years ago | (#35855338)

No one has the right to force me to release my developed code for free.

You're right. Nobody has the right to do that, IF you developed the code from scratch yourself. If you took someone else's work, which was published under the GPL, and ran with it, however, the original developer has every right to bring you to court and have them force you to release, if not the whole thing, at the very least the relevant sections.
If you don't want to release your stuff, fine, don't. But don't use GPL-protected material during development either!

GPL is really another word for quid pro quo, or bittorrent: you get, but you have to give back too.

Re:Cue the flamewars (1)

pnewhook (788591) | more than 3 years ago | (#35855406)

Agreed. Then is isn't free as in freedom then is it?

Re:Cue the flamewars (1)

ThunderBird89 (1293256) | more than 3 years ago | (#35855462)

Theoretically, I should be free as in 'no money asked', but I'm not sure about that, it might allow for charging for the code. If it doesn't, you 'pay' back the copying by returning your efforts/improvements/contributions to the commons.

Re:Cue the flamewars (0)

pnewhook (788591) | more than 3 years ago | (#35855502)

If it was free, that payback should be optional as in BSD, not forced as in GPL.

Re:Cue the flamewars (1)

ThunderBird89 (1293256) | more than 3 years ago | (#35855542)

That's free, like speech. This is free, like beer. Big difference.

If you've got something against it, use the BSD license, or write your own for all we care.

Re:Cue the flamewars (0)

pnewhook (788591) | more than 3 years ago | (#35855566)

Clearly you care as you are responding to me.

GPL: Free as in commie free.

Re:Cue the flamewars (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 3 years ago | (#35855878)

The GPL explicitly doesn't ban selling the product - the FSF has always been very clear on that.

Of course, a side-effect of the GPL is I can buy one copy of a product and release the source code totally free of charge out of the goodness of my heart and there's nothing the person who sold it to me can do. Which means it's vanishingly unlikely anyone will ever have much luck trying to sell GPL'd software.

Re:Cue the flamewars (1)

ShadowFlyP (540489) | more than 3 years ago | (#35855602)

It is free as in freedom. The question is who is the freedom for. You're looking at it from the wrong point of view.

The GPL attempts to ensure the freedom of the end-user while BSD gives freedom to the developer. The origin of the GPL stems from frustration over having to deal with (as a user) bugs and lack of features in closed-source code:

"I had already experienced being on the receiving end of a nondisclosure agreement, when someone refused to give me and the MIT AI Lab the source code for the control program for our printer. (The lack of certain features in this program made use of the printer extremely frustrating.) http://www.gnu.org/gnu/thegnuproject.html [gnu.org] "

By ensuring that users have the right to the source code (GPLv2) and the right to run their own modified source code (GPLv3), the GPL gives freedom to them.

Re:Cue the flamewars (2)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#35855386)

GPL is really another word for socialist run software development.

Actually, 'socialist software development' would be where you let someone else develop the software, then steal it and put your name on it.

Re:Cue the flamewars (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35855576)

That is what he means. He wants to take GPL software, and use it in his work and not share-alike.

Re:Cue the flamewars (3, Informative)

Millennium (2451) | more than 3 years ago | (#35855682)

Basically GPL is a violation of my rights to publ,ish source code and make money off of it.

If you want to make money off of what you publish, you are free to do so. One specific business model is verboten -namely, closing the code- but that is only one business model among many. A number of companies are doing quite fine making money off of open-source code, and they do so in a number of different ways. The only thing stopping you from doing this same thing is that you don't want to. That's your prerogative, of course, but you have no grounds to complain that you are being prevented from making money.

No one has the right to force me to release my developed code for free.

By default, no. The GPL is an agreement, not a law. You yourself give the authors of GPL software the right to force you to open your code when you agreed to use their software: those are the terms of the agreement. If you don't want to agree, that's fine: just don't use GPL'd code, and you're golden.

It is a companies right to protect their IP...

Completely correct. This is why you should not violate the IP rights of the author of GPL'd source code by closing it. If you don't like those terms, fine; don't use GPL'd source code.

...and GPL prevents that.

Completely false. In fact, in order to make it work for you, you're going to have to protect your IP. You will, however, not be allowed to tread on the IP rights of the authors of the code you are selling: not your own, and not anyone else's. If you are uncomfortable with this, all you have to do is not use GPL'd code.

All free softare if truly free should be GPL.

Um... did you miss some words in your sentence here? It doesn't make sense in the context of the rest of your post.

Re:Cue the flamewars (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35855312)

Intellectual property laws are incompatible with Libertarianism.

No GPL-3 software means no violation (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35855050)

This guy doesn't make the smallest bit of sense. Nobody uses GPL-3 software. Almost no software is under GPL-3.

Re:No GPL-3 software means no violation (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35855116)

Spot on.

I just checked the XBMC source and it's licensed under GPL 2, and I believe the Linux kernel is currently still licensed under GPL 2 as well.

So basically, there is no story here at all.

Re:No GPL-3 software means no violation (2, Informative)

Aqualung812 (959532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35855138)

RTFA:

The Truth
Your Boxee Box was shipped containing GPLv3 software. You should be able to install modified versions of software to your Boxee Box.

Re:No GPL-3 software means no violation (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 3 years ago | (#35855280)

Yet he doesn't even name a single piece of this GPLv3 software that Boxee uses. The entirety of his proof is:

Once you have a command prompt on your Boxee Box, type “gpgv2 --help” et voila, you are greeted with the GPLv3 header.

Wow, soooo convincing.

Re:No GPL-3 software means no violation (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35855342)

Yea, notice step 1: Reset your box to factory default. The only GPLv3 piece of software on the box is GPG, and it was removed in a firmware update, so the case here is extremely weak.

Re:No GPL-3 software means no violation (1)

rsimpson (884581) | more than 3 years ago | (#35855762)

Well, yes, that was my thinking as well. But then I thought, "Hey, what if I wanted to reset to the factory default (which is arguably better) and just use that and never connect to the internet and receive the latest firmware update. Then, what if I wanted to make a change to gpgv2 and run the changed binary on my Boxee. In terms of the GPLv3, I *should* be able to, but I can't because I don't have the encryption keys required for the modified image to work".

It is all well and good if they have removed the offending software in recent updates (no way to check though, since you can't get any sort of shell access on the box anymore), but at one point they did violate the GPLv3. And for it, they should make ammends by providing the required keys ... even if it is only for that 1 single version that they released a long time ago that I still have the ability to run. However, the key for that build, and for any other build would be the same ... which I suppose is a win for people wanting to hack their Boxee Box.

Re:No GPL-3 software means no violation (1)

faedle (114018) | more than 3 years ago | (#35855940)

Not as weak as it may seem.

Being as they distributed gpgv2, which is licensed under the GPLv3, means that somebody can make a claim for the cryptographic keys required to make gpgv2 run on the target hardware. The fact they removed it in a software upgrade doesn't change the fact that a GPLv3-licensed binary was distributed: the fact that the binary is still on the machine (and able to be restored by a factory reset) actually proves that GPLv3 code is likely STILL being distributed.

It's a lot more than a technicality. A common-sense interpretation of both the GPLv3 and case law says that there is an actionable claim here for a license violation.

Re:No GPL-3 software means no violation (1)

Duradin (1261418) | more than 3 years ago | (#35855924)

I wonder if any virus scanners can be set to detect GPL code to keep your product/project from being infected.

Re:No GPL-3 software means no violation (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#35855932)

Yet he doesn't even name a single piece of this GPLv3 software that Boxee uses. The entirety of his proof is:

Once you have a command prompt on your Boxee Box, type âoegpgv2 --helpâ et voila, you are greeted with the GPLv3 header.

Well, if there was no GPLv3 code on the device, then in precisely what way would it have the header for GPLv3 in the device?

That would imply two broad conclusions:

1) Boxee is including license headers for software they don't ship, just in case you would like to be able to read it, but that in no way implies they have any GPLv3 code.
2) They have GPLv3 code as evidenced by the fact that that it was there in the first place.

I don't know about you, but I have never included license information for software I'm not including in any product I've ever been party to creating or maintaining.

You're right that it's not possible to know what all is included, but I'm hard pressed to believe that if you have the headers you don't also have at least something using that license.

Re:No GPL-3 software means no violation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35855190)

I've upgraded all my licences to GPLv3, and I'm not the only one doing it.

Re:No GPL-3 software means no violation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35855248)

Yeah, I'm sure the whole world cares what the license to your no-name projects on sourceforge are. I'm sure we were all waiting with bated breath hitting our F5 keys waiting to see if you were going to ugprade to GPLv3.

Re:No GPL-3 software means no violation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35855652)

+1, can spell "bated". Are you sure you're on the right web site?

Re:No GPL-3 software means no violation (3, Informative)

Carewolf (581105) | more than 3 years ago | (#35855594)

This guy doesn't make the smallest bit of sense. Nobody uses GPL-3 software. Almost no software is under GPL-3.

Almost no software, and certainly no major projects. Except, of the top of my head: GCC, GPG and Samba

don't ever trust promises of new features (4, Insightful)

alen (225700) | more than 3 years ago | (#35855062)

some of the complaints are that promised features were never implemented. learned this a long time ago. buy on the feature set at the time of sale, don't ever trust a company to implement new promised features. after the sale they are thinking about selling the next version, not paying developers to code software you already paid for

Re:don't ever trust promises of new features (5, Funny)

Pvt_Ryan (1102363) | more than 3 years ago | (#35855172)

I AGREE!!!! I did that with a Playstation 3... oh wait a sec...

Re:don't ever trust promises of new features (0)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 3 years ago | (#35855404)

hahahaha. This needs to be modded up.

Re:don't ever trust promises of new features (3, Insightful)

trebach (2044090) | more than 3 years ago | (#35855252)

Don't ever trust a company to retain features offered at the of sale either.

Re:don't ever trust promises of new features (3, Insightful)

delinear (991444) | more than 3 years ago | (#35855790)

Don't ever trust a company.

Re:don't ever trust promises of new features (3, Interesting)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 3 years ago | (#35855378)

Add in all the problems that the networks are throwing at Boxee and the other network devices and they have a big fight in their hands. I do find this flame post most amusing because he is screaming about a lack of openness as well as the lack of DRM filled streaming services. Odds are very high that the media companies are requiring the locks for security as well as the causing the delay of services!

In other words just get a Roku box. Mine works great.

Re:don't ever trust promises of new features (1)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 3 years ago | (#35855390)

Yup. This is also why I never pre-order games. Just ask the people that pre-ordered Duke Nukem Forever 10 years ago. Companies will get my money once I agree to purchase what they're actually selling.

Re:don't ever trust promises of new features (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35855416)

If you don;t trust that a product has its advertized or promised features don;t but it. That's not so hard is it.,

Re:don't ever trust promises of new features (1)

phorm (591458) | more than 3 years ago | (#35855508)

New features. How about current capabilities?
Motorola milestone and flash support come to mind (requires Android 2.2, which for many countries didn't get implemented for YEARS, and others didn't get provided at all).

One of the many reasons my next phone will *NOT* be a Motorola. I'm thinking HTC for the next round.

Re:don't ever trust promises of new features (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 3 years ago | (#35855758)

don't ever trust a company

I think you could have shortened it to that. A company has one goal: make money. As a general rule, everything not stipulated in the contract is something they can and will stiff you on if the PR won't be too bad, and everything stipulated in the contract is something they can and will stiff you on if the ensuing lawsuit won't be too bad.

no GPL issue with tivoization (5, Informative)

DMiax (915735) | more than 3 years ago | (#35855176)

First: there is no issue with GPL and tivoization. GPLv2 allows it and GPLv3 forbids it, full stop. It is as clear as day and every developer can make an informed choice as to what he/she wants to allow with the code.

Now it seems that these things include GPG that is under GPLv3. So it looks an awful lot as a violation, if confirmed. At the same time it seems that the program was removed by online firmware updates, so everything would be kosher for the GPLv3 (that gives the option to stop distributing the offending code and be legally safe)

GPL issue with tivoization (2, Insightful)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | more than 3 years ago | (#35855398)

GPLv2 didn't "Allow" what Tivo did, it overlooked it. Once Tivo Inc. showed GNU just how evil a corporation can be, they had to spend time and money creating GPLv3, time and money that could have been spent actually doing something, instead had to be spent on lawyering.

As a side note, Tivo Inc. is losing customers, and every useless Tivo sitting unsold at a yard sale is a message to consumers that a Tivo box is worthless. If Tivo Inc. were to provide some small amount of functionality for these machine, they would at least be able to upsell some customers.

Re:GPL issue with tivoization (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#35855530)

Tivo has been relatively stagnant in a market driven by ambitious early adopters on one side and completely apathetic consumers on the other.

Instead of moving their own technology forward, they chose to try to enforce a bogus monopoly based on patents they never should have been granted.

Meanwhile, most consumers really couldn't care less about paying extra money to buy a Tivo and are more than willing to use the device provided by the cable company or even sit through commercials and "channel surf". Plus you've got stuff like iTunes and Netflix that completely bypasses all of the effort required to "capture broadcasts" for future use in something approximating Video on Demand.

People either "can't be bothered" or "simply want more". ...although old Tivos at a garage sale could simply be analog units made obsolete by that whole digital TV switch thing.

Re:GPL issue with tivoization (1)

mcmonkey (96054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35855822)

I don't think obsolete means what you think it means.

I have 2 analog Series 2 TiVos running right now, and they do everything they were advertised to do.

Re:GPL issue with tivoization (2)

tgibbs (83782) | more than 3 years ago | (#35855834)

Meanwhile, most consumers really couldn't care less about paying extra money to buy a Tivo and are more than willing to use the device provided by the cable company or even sit through commercials and "channel surf". Plus you've got stuff like iTunes and Netflix that completely bypasses all of the effort required to "capture broadcasts" for future use in something approximating Video on Demand.

I've tried some of the cable-company TiVo knock-offs, and they are substantially inferior. It is amazing to me that after all of these years, no other company has managed to match TiVo's reliability and user-interface design. If TiVo's patents help to keep them in business, that strikes me as an argument in favor of the patent system.

Re:GPL issue with tivoization (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35855778)

A document can not 'overlook' something. The GPL v2 did not contain provisions regarding digitally signing code before it can be run on a device. Nothing TiVO did was illegal or immoral. If GNU wants to provide conditions under which free software can be used they are the ones that need to continually review their license and ensure it covers all cases of freedom that they want to disallow.

Dirty Tricks Indeed (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35855212)

Did someone at Boxee actually edit a forum post to change the author's intent?

Forum Post Screenshots [infinityoverzero.com]

Is Boxee's operation really this shady?

c'mon Taco (1)

drougie (36782) | more than 3 years ago | (#35855292)

You don't capitalize by or other short prepositions in titles. How long have you been doing this? Maybe set this [homestead.com] as your homepage for a few days.

VLC rules by the way.

Wording (1)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | more than 3 years ago | (#35855414)

"tivoization"-- Nice word.

Re:Wording (1)

kvvbassboy (2010962) | more than 3 years ago | (#35855430)

Yep. Especially considering that Tivo didn't even violate the license.

Re:Wording (2)

wall0645 (1665631) | more than 3 years ago | (#35855884)

I fail to see how that has any relevance. Tivo did something free software people didn't like, and they named that thing "Tivoization" because Tivo was the first/highest profile (not sure which) culprit.

I'd get one (3, Insightful)

moco (222985) | more than 3 years ago | (#35855628)

...If it was "hackable". But it seems that hardware makers today want more than selling you their product. They want to make sure you don't use it unless it's in a way they approve of.

For now, I have alternatives (buy something else), but I am afraid my daughter will not have that option.

Re:I'd get one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35855930)

There are plenty of forums on the internet for hacking the TiVo if you really care about it. However, do not discuss piracy or you will be shot/shut down. The forums seem to hark back to the older days of the term "hacker", or people like hacking their TiVos enough to not want to bring the attention that piracy will bring, which would prompt TiVo to lock their boxes down even more. So get off your ass, quit complaining about how terrible TiVo is to actually try to protect their idiot users against themselves (if TiVos become a popular vector for piracy, TiVo will go out of business due to pressure from the content industry), and hack your TiVo already.

Disclaimer: I'm not a fanboy, just cognizant of the brand recognition that companies like TiVo and Apple have built up by implementing protections against the stupidest hackers. I do not own and have not ever owned a TiVo, and the only Apple products I own is a ~6 year old iPod I rarely use and iTunes (of course).

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