FSF should separate GPLv3 changes (Linux.com)
Posted Oct 18, 2006 23:18 UTC (Wed) by paulpach
Parent article: FSF should separate GPLv3 changes (Linux.com)
I used to work for a company that leased appliances with embedded linux. The company fully complied with the GPLv2.
As a matter of security we used DRM to prevent anyone from tinkering with the boxes inside the customer's network.
Note we LEASED the appliances, so they where ours, yet we where clearly distributing software. Also the customers actually LIKED this since this allowed them to sleep better at night knowing they did not have to trust anyone else other than us. We would completelly break their trust (and maybe some contract agreement) if we gave our keys to anyone else.
It would be imposible for the company to include any GPLv3 software in that device. If most of the tools moved to GPLv3, we would not be able to use linux at all, and thus the patches that we often sent to different proyects would stop being produced. Everyone (proyects we contributed too, customers, and ourselves) would loose if we where forced to move to WinCE. Plus honestly, there would be no value for the customer to change the code inside for our particular application.
Putting our code in ROM, was completelly out of the question since the appliances required upgrading on a frequent basis, and the customers where all around the country. Shipping them a rom chip every other week would be a mayor annoyance for our customers, and would severely hurt in our ability to respond quickly to our customers issues and security fixes.
The company is very gratefull to the linux kernel developers and busybox developers for not going to the GPLv3 as it would most likelly bankrupt the company.
On all the time I was there, I NEVER heard anyone complain or even want to modify the code inside the appliance. Quite the opposite, customers where relieved when told about this feature. Developers also did not care, they happily received our patches and NEVER complained.
P.S. forgive my grammar, english is my second language
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