safety-critical systems can use ROM
Posted Oct 18, 2006 20:40 UTC (Wed) by RareCactus
In reply to: safety-critical systems can use ROM
Parent article: FSF should separate GPLv3 changes (Linux.com)
Ok, I have been searching the text of the GPLv3 to see just how it proposes to enforce end-user modification rights. This paragraph at the end of section 2 seems relevant:
The Corresponding Source also includes any encryption or authorization keys necessary to install and/or execute modified versions from source code in the recommended or principal context of use, such that they can implement all the same functionality in the same range of circumstances. (For instance, if the work is a DVD player and can play certain DVDs, it must be possible for modified versions to play those DVDs. If the work communicates with an online service, it must be possible for modified versions to communicate with the same online service in the same way such that the service cannot distinguish.) A key need not be included in cases where use of the work normally implies the user already has the key and can read and copy it, as in privacy applications where users generate their own keys. However, the fact that a key is generated based on the object code of the work or is present in hardware that limits its use does not alter the requirement to include it in the Corresponding Source.
And section 3:
3. No Denying Users' Rights through Technical Measures.
Regardless of any other provision of this License, no permission is given for modes of conveying that deny users that run covered works the full exercise of the legal rights granted by this License.
No covered work constitutes part of an effective technological "protection" measure under section 1201 of Title 17 of the United States Code. When you convey a covered work, you waive any legal power to forbid circumvention of technical measures that include use of the covered work, and you disclaim any intention to limit operation or modification of the work as a means of enforcing the legal rights of third parties against the work's users.
So maybe I was incorrect in saying that using ROM to provide constraints on the program would be contrary to the license. I'm not sure-- I'm not a lawyer. :(
In any case, there are still enough odious and ambiguous clauses in this license that I believe any sane company wouldn't touch it with a ten-foot pole.
to post comments)