The Belkin router fiasco
Posted Nov 13, 2003 9:08 UTC (Thu) by beejaybee
In reply to: The Belkin router fiasco
Parent article: The Belkin router fiasco
Yeah, I was going to say pretty much the same thing.
How's about not being allowed to sell a gadget without providing (a) a full hardware spec and (b) source code for all the firmware/software contained therein.
Note, I'm not suggesting that the software necessarily should be on "free" license. The gadget producer can retain the copyright to the software if they wish. What it _does_ mean is that users are permitted to compile the source code provided and compare the resulting binary with the code contained in the gadget.
This provides the capability for a user to verify all the functions provided by the gadget _without_ compromising the gadget producer's intellectual property rights.
Naturally I'd prefer a fully open structure; but I'm afraid that ain't going to happen any time soon, & meanwhile devices like routers, DSL modems etc. are required. At least the scheme I propose could be set in place _quickly_ and would allow errant gadget producers to be punished.
It would also end attempts to lock in hardware to software providers; e.g. with the hardware spec for XBox and the source code for the boot ROM, it would be possible to write third-party software to use the XBox for purposes other than that originally intended by the manufacturer. e.g. you could run linux on it, or use it as a firewall.
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