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GPL Violations By D-Link and Boxee 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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GPL Violations By D-Link and Boxee

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  • by Aqualung812 ( 959532 ) on Monday April 18, 2011 @10:13AM (#35855138)


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

  • by DMiax ( 915735 ) on Monday April 18, 2011 @10:16AM (#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)

  • Re:Yeah? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 18, 2011 @10:29AM (#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? (Score:4, Informative)

    by lavalyn ( 649886 ) on Monday April 18, 2011 @10:39AM (#35855400) Homepage Journal

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

  • by Carewolf ( 581105 ) on Monday April 18, 2011 @10:56AM (#35855594) Homepage

    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

  • Re:Cue the flamewars (Score:4, Informative)

    by Millennium ( 2451 ) on Monday April 18, 2011 @11:04AM (#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 (Score:5, Informative)

    by Eunuchswear ( 210685 ) on Monday April 18, 2011 @11:28AM (#35855880) Journal

    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.

  • by the_bard17 ( 626642 ) <> on Monday April 18, 2011 @12:41PM (#35856704)

    Then why aren't the terms provided at the time of purchase?

    Last time I bought software at a retail store, nobody asked me if I agreed to any terms before I paid for it.

    Let me guess... some judge somewhere says that the purchase is not complete until I proceed to install the software, and it asks me to agree to the EULA. If I don't agree, I'm free to return the software or not use it. Even if the retailer won't allow the return (the box is open) and the manufacturer directs me to the retailer.

    If you can't tell, I have little respect for EULAs.

  • by DaHat ( 247651 ) on Monday April 18, 2011 @01:46PM (#35857812) Homepage

    Again... it is not clear that the copy of gpgv2 is in violation of the GPLv3.

    Unless the code used to build it is different than that on some major repository or distro... they can simply point to that for the code in question.

    If they modified it and are not making available their changes... then yes, they are in violation of any version of the GPL.

    If you cannot use your own custom version of gpgv2 in place of what they are without their magic keys... then they would be in violation of the GPLv3.

    Nothing said in the post indicates any of the three... and until it does, this is an accusation which needs to be proven by the accuser, not the accused.

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