Licence text and fabs
Posted Oct 3, 2006 0:58 UTC (Tue) by stevenj
In reply to: Licence text and fabs
Parent article: Busy busy busybox
You're being deliberately obtuse to score cheap rhetorical points. You didn't specify an MD5 hash, but you specified a "hash" (no serious cryptographic hash requires a secret key) and, in any case, your example was a "virtual ROM". I explained how to create a virtual ROM without requiring secrets of any kind and in compliance with the draft GPLv3—no encryption or authorization "key" exists or is required, in the same way as for a physical ROM.
The only problem comes if the manufacturer wants the ability to modify the software while denying this ability to users.
My description of the rationale for restricting this and not ROMs being one of parity (between distributor and recipient) comes straight from Eben Moglen and RMS, not from hearsay, so Ciaran is mistaken in implying that distinction is merely "convenience":
If Manufacturer A wants the software he sells in the hardware to stay one version forever, he has a simple way to do it: he can put the software in ROM. He has no power to modify it, and the user to whom he gives it has no power to modify it. That doesn't violate GPL version two and it doesn't violate GPL version three, in current draft. We will not publish a draft that would be violated by that conduct. What we object to is the attempt to say "I will keep the right to modify the software, but I won't allow you to have the same right of modification that retain" because that's simply a technical way of evading the requirement of the licence to pass along all the rights you got.
The fact that you continually depart from the text of the draft license and ignore extensive evidence of the true rationale to conjure scare scenarios that don't exist does not inspire confidence in your analysis.
And, by the way, your argument that it is "immoral" could equally well be applied (and has been applied, usually by BSD advocates) to GPLv3—this is the usual argument against "viral" clauses. The usual retort is that it is simply quid pro quo: if you want to distribute my code as a part of your software (or hardware), you need to satisfy my conditions. And the conditions of the GPL have always been aimed at the same thing: giving every user (whether the manufacturer or the end-user) the same ability to modify, run, and redistribute the code. You may disagree with this goal, but you have yet to provide any convincing argument that the GPLv3 departs from this spirit.
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