[vlc-devel] GPLv3 again
remi.denis-courmont at nokia.com
Wed Jul 25 01:34:54 CEST 2007
On Saturday 21 July 2007 20:39:42 Neil Woodall wrote:
> As the top technical person in a company that makes IC for TV's (and
> other devices) and supplies software to run those TV's, the anti TIVO
> portion of GPLv3 will cause a lot of problems.
> We are now seeing customer acceptance of using Linux as an OS for the
> devices, but if GPLv3 means that we have to supply enough of the source code
> to allow unrestricted use of the hardware...that could be a problem.
Yes. At least, it's not as bad for VLC than the kernel.
> When the user installs their own software and the TV breaks, is it a
> hardware defect or a software defect...and how do you prove that it's
> because someone replaced the software with their own?
Userland is not as bad as kernel - the underlying software could signal
non-warranted modifications. But it remains an extra cost for sure.
> If the user installs software that bypasses DRM, does that break the license
> for the TV set manufacturer and cause them not to sell TV's with that
> feature anymore?
It is weird to implement DRM with GPL (even v2) code. In any case, you're
going to have to give up the source code so that a desktop PC will presumably
be able to break the DRM. Or DRM is really going to be done in hardware,
which is beyond the point.
While I do buy the maintenance argument, I barely buy the DRM one.
> Consumer embedded devices typically require a lot of IP licenses to make
> them useful. Violating one of those licenses in a way that causes it to be
> withdrawn from the manufacturer could make the device useless and force the
> manufacturer to stop selling the product.
It is likely that these licenses are already not GPLv2 compatible.
Particularly if there is patent licensing.
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