EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

06.30.07

GPLv3 & iPhone – Looking Beyond the Disinformation (Corrected)

Posted in Apple, FSF, GPL, Hardware, Tivoization at 1:32 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

It sure is pretty, but look underneath the surface.

Let’s start by clarifying that I don’t have anything against Apple. In fact, I used a Mac for over year at work. There is, however, a hidden similarity between some aspects of Windows Vista and the iPhone. Both are attractive to one’s eyes, but there are hidden dangers (and possibly agendas) which are being centralised and then embedded in that very rigid product.

Due to simultaneous big announcements, followed by release of the iPhone and GPLv3, some sites are talking about GPL’s effect on the iPhone. Some articles seem very critical, but not rightfully so. Various bits of software on the iPhone, such as KHTML, are GPLLGPL-licensed, but this does not mean that companies will get ‘punished’ immediately, if at all. Some articles embrace and use dramatic licence to make issues seem greater than they truly are.

Apple will not be affected. It might, however, need to honour the code that it uses. KDE [*libraries* are] is still GPLv2LGPL-licensed [see correction in the comments below]. So, let’s look beyond this. The iPhone does not even have an SDK. Development for the iPhone is restricted to Web browser widgets. The bigger issues are moral ones and are not to be confused with licensing. The press seems to be missing this core point.

Last night, the FSF sent out an E-mail calling the iPhone “Defective by Design”. That is the tagline and label consistently used to describe products that make use of DRM and restrict (or altogether eliminate) consumer rights. There are other modern and sophisticated smartphones that neither mimic nor replace the iPhone, but they are truly open and they earned some positive early reviews. Trolltech’s Greenphone and OpenMoko are just two examples, but let’s not get promotional here.

The message to take here is that it’s rather ironic that GPLv3 is released at the same time as a product whose deficiencies might be highlighted by the big announcements (not to mention heated discussions that accompany and follow the FSF’s limelight). A few days ago, amid some excellent news for Linux, Richard Stallman reminded us why restrictions are dangerous. You are encouraged to read this if you haven’t.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

6 Comments

  1. anonymous said,

    June 30, 2007 at 11:15 am

    Gravatar

    WebKit uses LGPL, so no problem about breaking a license. I’m interested on WebKit, maybe something like iPhone but with game joystick (for emulators) and DRM-free in all means as I wanto to use software like ScummVM :)

  2. Anonymous said,

    June 30, 2007 at 6:48 pm

    Gravatar

    Is someone still taking this site serious?

    > Various bits of software on the iPhone, such as KHTML, are GPL-licensed

    KHTML is of course LGPL licensed. Maybe you will learn about the licenses and their differences (which eg doesn’t oblige Apple to release complete source of Safari) one day.

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    June 30, 2007 at 8:36 pm

    Gravatar

    Thanks. I’ve corrected the text to indicate there’s a mistake there.

  4. Anonymous said,

    July 1, 2007 at 2:12 am

    Gravatar

    > I’ve corrected the text to indicate there’s a mistake there.

    You corrected the wrong part and did not make it better. It still reads: “such as KHTML, are GPL-licensed” (should be *L*GPL) and “KDE is still LGPL-licensed” (should be KDE *libraries* are LGPL licensed, the other parts of KDE are under various licenses).

  5. Roy Schestowitz said,

    July 1, 2007 at 4:54 am

    Gravatar

    Thanks. I’ve changed the text again. Please let me know if it’s still deceiving.

  6. Roy Schestowitz said,

    July 1, 2007 at 6:34 am

    Gravatar

    Speaking of LGPL code and Apple, Slashdot has just brought the following to the readers’ attention:

    http://wiki.winehq.org/Parallels

    “Parallels Desktop for Mac(www.parallels.com) contains Wine’s Direct3D code according to http://www.parallels.com/en/licensing/. So far(June 30th, 2007) attempts to ask them for the modified source code failed. This page is meant for keeping track of this, without starting legal action or a publicity campaign yet.”

What Else is New


  1. The Lobbyists Are Trying to Subvert US Law in Favour of Patent Predators

    Mingorance, Kappos, Underweiser and other lobbyists for the software patents agenda (paid by firms like Microsoft and IBM) keep trying to undo progress, notably the bans on software patents



  2. Patent Trolls Based in East Texas Are Affected Very Critically by TC Heartland

    The latest situation in Texas (United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas in particular), which according to new analyses is the target of legal scrutiny for the 'loopholes' it provided to patent trolls in search of easy legal battles



  3. Alice Remains a Strong Precedential Decision and the Media Has Turned Against Software Patents

    The momentum against the scourge of software patents and the desperation among patent 'professionals' (people who don't create/develop/invent) is growing



  4. Harm Still Caused by Granted Software Patents

    A roundup of recent (past week's) announcements, including legal actions, contingent upon software patents in an age when software patents bear no real legitimacy



  5. Links 18/11/2017: Raspberry Digital Signage 10, New Nano

    Links for the day



  6. 23,000 Posts

    23,000 blog posts milestone reached in 11 years



  7. BlackBerry Cannot Sell Phones and Apple Looks Like the Next BlackBerry (a Pile of Patents)

    The lifecycle of mobile giants seems to typically end in patent shakedown, as Apple loses its business to Android just like Nokia and BlackBerry lost it to Apple



  8. EFF and CCIA Use Docket Navigator and Lex Machina to Identify 'Stupid Patents' (Usually Software Patents That Are Not Valid)

    In spite of threats and lawsuits from bogus 'inventors' whom they criticise, EFF staff continues the battle against patents that should never have been granted at all



  9. The Australian Productivity Commission Shows the Correct Approach to Setting Patent Laws and Scope

    Australia views patents on software as undesirable and acts accordingly, making nobody angry except a bunch of law firms that profited from litigation and patent maximalism



  10. EPO 'Business' From the United States Has Nosedived and UPC is on Its Death Throes

    Benoît Battistelli and Elodie Bergot further accelerate the ultimate demise of the EPO (getting rid of experienced and thus 'expensive' staff), for which there is no replacement because there is a monopoly (which means Europe will suffer severely)



  11. Links 17/11/2017: KDE Applications 17.12, Akademy 2018 Plans

    Links for the day



  12. Today's EPO and Team UPC Do Not Work for Europe But Actively Work Against Europe

    The tough reality that some Europeans actively work to undermine science and technology in Europe because they personally profit from it and how this relates to the Unitary Patent (UPC), which is still aggressively lobbied for, sometimes by bribing/manipulating the media, academia, and public servants



  13. Links 16/11/2017: WordPress 4.9 and GhostBSD 11.1 Released

    Links for the day



  14. The Staff Union of the EPO (SUEPO) is Rightly Upset If Not Shocked at What Battistelli and Bergot Are Doing to the Office

    The EPO's dictatorial management is destroying everything that's left (of value) at the Office while corrupting academia and censoring discussion by threatening those who publish comments (gagging its own staff even when that staff posts anonymously)



  15. EPO Continues to Disobey the Law on Software Patents in Europe

    Using the same old euphemisms, e.g. "computer-implemented inventions" (or "CII"), the EPO continues to grant patents which are clearly and strictly out of scope



  16. Links 16/11/2017: Tails 3.3, Deepin 15.5 Beta

    Links for the day



  17. Benoît Battistelli and Elodie Bergot Have Just Ensured That EPO Will Get Even More Corrupt

    Revolving door-type tactics will become more widespread at the EPO now that the management (Battistelli and his cronies) hires for low cost rather than skills/quality and minimises staff retention; this is yet another reason to dread anything like the UPC, which prioritises litigation over examination



  18. Australia is Banning Software Patents and Shelston IP is Complaining as Usual

    The Australian Productivity Commission, which defies copyright and patent bullies, is finally having policies put in place that better serve the interests of Australians, but the legal 'industry' is unhappy (as expected)



  19. Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Defended by Technology Giants, by Small Companies, by US Congress and by Judges, So Why Does USPTO Make It Less Accessible?

    In spite of the popularity of PTAB and the growing need/demand for it, the US patent system is apparently determined to help it discriminate against poor petitioners (who probably need PTAB the most)



  20. Declines in Patent Quality at the EPO and 'Independent' Judges Can No Longer Say a Thing

    The EPO's troubling race to the bottom (of patent quality) concerns the staff examiners and the judges, but they cannot speak about it without facing rather severe consequences



  21. The EPO is Now Corrupting Academia, Wasting Stakeholders' Money Lying to Stakeholders About the Unitary Patent (UPC)

    The Unified Patent Court/Unitary Patent (UPC) is a dying project and the EPO, seeing that it is going nowhere fast, has resorted to new tactics and these tactics cost a lot of money (at the expense of those who are being lied to)



  22. Links 15/11/2017: Fedora 27 Released, Linux Mint Has New Betas

    Links for the day



  23. Patents Roundup: Packet Intelligence, B.E. Technology, Violin, and Square

    The latest stories and warnings about software patents in the United States



  24. Decline of Skills Level of Staff Like Examiners and Impartiality (Independence) of Judges at the EPO Should Cause Concern, Alarm

    Access to justice is severely compromised at the EPO as staff is led to rely on deficient tools for determining novelty while judges are kept out of the way or ill-chosen for an agenda other than justice



  25. Links 14/11/2017: GNU/Linux at Samsung, Firefox 57 Quantum

    Links for the day



  26. Microsoft: Sheltering Oneself From Patent Litigation While Passing Patents for Trolls to Attack GNU/Linux

    Another closer look at Provenance Asset Holdings and what exactly it is (connection to AST, part of the cartel Microsoft subsidises to shield itself)



  27. The Patent Trolls' Lobby is Losing the Battle for Europe

    The situation in Europe is looking grim for patent trolls, for their policies and the envisioned system (which they lobbied for) isn't coming to fruition and their main casualty is the old (and functioning) EPO



  28. Unitary Patent (UPC) is Dead to the EPO and ANSERA is Not the Answer as Patent Quality Declines and Talented Staff Leaves

    EPOPIC comes to an end and the EPO does not mention the UPC 'content' in it; ANSERA, in the meantime, raises more questions than it answers and IP Kat makes a formal query



  29. Why Honest Journalism on Patent Matters Barely Exists

    Media coverage in the area of patent law is still appalling as it's dominated if not monopolised by those who benefit from patent maximalism



  30. Patent Maximalism Around the World

    A roundup of stories or spin observed over the past week, mostly favouring those who profit from patents rather than creation of anything


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts