Building a free future in embedded devices
Posted Oct 21, 2006 15:55 UTC (Sat) by dirtyepic
In reply to: Building a free future in embedded devices
Parent article: Free gadgets need free software
> Because GPLv3's relevance to Rockbox is not in the promotion of Rockbox
> to hardware manufacturers. Rockbox's property as _free software_ makes it
> attractive to hardware manufacturers.
I see what you're saying, that the GPLv3 would insure that any device created and distributed with Rockbox firmware be open and free of any DRM mechanisms that limit the end user's freedoms. But do you honestly believe for a second that any given hardware manufacturer in the world is going to rely on independent third-party software that it has absolutely no control, influence, or power over to run their devices? That would be a mind-bogglingly retarded business move. Just consider the QA nightmare that would be. What happens if (when) the third-party decides to move in a direction that directly conflicts with your business plan? What happens if (when) the RIAA comes knocking on your door demanding you remove FM recording capability? What happens if interest wanes out and the project is abandoned?
Basically, to have any semblance of control over the software, the company has to maintain their own fork. With GPLv[2,3] licensed software, they're required to distribute the source along with their modifications back to the user and therefore the community. With GPLv3, they must also provide keys to any DRM mechanisms in their devices which prevent the user from running modified code.
Or, they can just write their own software and not have to deal with any of this bullshit.
Guess which one they usually go with.
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