Re: GPLv3 Position Statement

From: Gene Heskett
Date: Mon Sep 25 2006 - 17:05:59 EST

On Monday 25 September 2006 10:27, Lee Revell wrote:
>On Mon, 2006-09-25 at 20:51 +1000, Neil Brown wrote:
>> Tolerance of binary blogs seems to be steadily dropping.
>> As far as I can tell, the DVD-CSS is purely a legal issue today - the
>> technical issues are solved (I can watch any-region on my Linux
>> computer, and in Australia, the law requires that all DVD players must
>> ignore region encoding as it is an anti-competitive practice).

I suspect thats history now, with the DMCA proposals now being voted on

>Tolerance by who? As far as I can tell tolerance for binary blobs by
>the typical Linux desktop user is higher than ever.

Generaly speaking, from someone way up in the top level of the bleacher
seats here, thats true, as for instance the ndiswrapper scenario, required
by the rules of the various radio spectrum regulating agencies around the
planet. They would never, ever, give approval to a driver that was 100%
open source because of the ease with which the open source coder could
make them illegal, either for frequencies used, or for the Transmitter
Power Output one of these software radios COULD be made to do.

>They consider it a
>bug if their distro does not automagically install the nvidia/ATI
>drivers, and immediately write you off as a GPL zealot if you even
>mention that a tainted kernel cannot be debugged.

No, I do not, and never have said too much about it (as if anyone would
listen to me anyway) unless I was pissed because the kernels available
driver was obviously broken and caused crashes etc. We DO understand,
very well, that troubleshooting a problem just isn't possible when the
srcs are not available, meaning there is no way in hell you can certify
that the tainting driver didn't scribble all over memory it has no
business scribbling into.

Begin rant:

Yeah, we'ed be fools to say we don't have a political agenda when we're
forced to use substandard or questionably legal means for reasons related
to the above. But give us credit for understanding the reasons. What we,
the users, need in many cases, is a contact address to address our vents
to, for instance for someone at broadcom, high enough to have meaningfull
input to the discussions in the board room, that we could mail-bomb with
requests for better support. If 3000+ people who bought their stuff with
some well known makers label on it, like HP, and found they couldn't use
that builtin radio and do it 100% legal and compatibly, would email (and
Cc: your countries regulatory agency too) that chip maker and gently but
firmly bitch, that bit of 'politics' might well bring about some
constructive change in broadcoms (and the regulatory agencies involved)
attitude vis-a-vis specs release so better drivers could be written.

End rant.

Cheers, Gene
"There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty:
soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order."
-Ed Howdershelt (Author) and AOL/TW attorneys please note, additions to the above
message by Gene Heskett are:
Copyright 2006 by Maurice Eugene Heskett, all rights reserved.
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