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. When Google Used Alex Converse to Raid the Public Domain With Software Patents

    In its overzealous pursuit of software patents, Google is now turning public domain methods into private 'property' (in defiance of critics)



  2. Mark Kokes, the Man Behind BlackBerry's Patent Aggression, Leaves the Company

    The man behind the patent troll-like behaviour of BlackBerry is leaving



  3. WordPress Demonstrates That Facebook's Patent Strategy is Deterring/Alienating Developers

    React is being dumped following Facebook's attempt to restrict distribution/derivatives using software patents



  4. Links 19/9/2017: Pipewire, Mir Support for Wayland, DRM in W3C

    Links for the day



  5. Links 18/9/2017: Linux 4.14 RC1, Mesa 17.2.1, and GNOME 3.26 on Ubuntu Artful

    Links for the day



  6. Patent Trolls Update: Eolas, Conversant (MOSAID), Leigh Rothschild, and Electronic Communication Technologies

    Patent trolls are still being watched -- as they ought to be -- even though some of them shy away, hide from the media, engage in dirty tricks, and file more lawsuits



  7. Microsoft is Promoting Software Patents in India in Another Effort to Undermine Free/Open Source Software, Microsoft-Connected Trolls Are Still Suing

    The ongoing patent threat to Free/libre Open Source software (FLOSS) and the role played by Microsoft in at least much of this threat



  8. Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Under Attack by IBM and Other Patent Parasites Who Undermine Patent Quality

    The PTAB, which has thus far invalidated thousands of abstract/software patents, is under a coordinated attack not by those who produce things but those who produce a lot of lawsuit



  9. Why the Mohawk Tribe Should Fire Its Lawyers and Dump the Patents Which Now Tarnish Its Name

    In order to dodge the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) with its Inter Partes Reviews (IPRs), the Mohawk tribe is being exploited -- very much in direct detriment to its reputation and status



  10. Amazon and Google Have Both Become Part of the Software Patents Problem

    The transition from so-called 'defensive' patents to offensive patents (ones that are used to suppress competition) as seen in Amazon and in Google, which is already suing rivals and is pursuing additional patents by acquisition



  11. Unless Physical, Inventions Are No Longer Patent-Eligible in US Courts, But USPTO Ignores Precedence

    Even though the ability to enforce software patents against a rival (or many targets, especially in the case of patent trolls) is vastly diminished, the US patent office continues to grant these



  12. Citing the European Patent Convention, Spanish Court Tosses Lawsuit With EPO-Granted European Patent

    The quality of European Patents (EPs) -- a subject of growing levels of scrutiny -- as demonstrated in Barcelona this summer



  13. Links 16/9/2017: More of “Public Money, Public Code”, Equifax Failed to Patch for Months

    Links for the day



  14. BlackBerry Has Turned Into a Patents and Licensing Company

    The Canadian company that made fairly reputable phones early in this century is left with nothing but the power to sue other companies -- a power to which it increasingly gravitates



  15. European Patent Office Continues to Paint a Rosy UPC Picture Even Though the UPC May Already be Dead

    The European Patent Office (EPO) doesn't let facts get in the way as another week passes with UPC promotion and further staff repressions



  16. Tax Evasion by Patent Boxes and Lies About Small Businesses (SMEs) in the Corporate Media

    The lobbying effort of the patent 'industry' -- and its largest beneficiaries -- paints its own perks as something that's intended for their small/minuscule competitors (whom they actually attempt to misrepresent and crush)



  17. Links 15/9/2017: Mesa 17.2.1 RC, Wine 2.17, WordPress to Ditch React Over Patents

    Links for the day



  18. The UPC Fantasy is Going Nowhere as Complaints and Paperwork Pile Up

    Many submissions and complaints about the Unitary Patent have time to arrive before the end of October as a decision on the matter seems as distant as 2018



  19. At Event of EPO SLAPP Firm, a Suggestion That the UPC Should be Scrapped Because It's Stuck

    Just like the TPP, the UPC is now in a potentially fatal deadlock, so people with a stake in the outcome consider starting again (almost from scratch)



  20. Watchtroll Helps the EPO Peddle Fake News About the Unitary Patent (UPC)

    The Unified Patent Court (UPC) isn't happening; the EPO, however, keeps on pretending that it can already operate as though the UPC got the green light



  21. Links 14/9/2017: Plasma 5.11 Beta, Q4OS 1.8.8, Orion

    Links for the day



  22. Links 13/9/2017: Blender 2.79, Qt 5.10 Alpha, GNOME 3.26 “Manchester”, Parrot 3.8

    Links for the day



  23. Amazon's Infamous Patent is Dead and the World's Richest Man Failed to Fulfill His Promise on Software Patents

    Amazon continues piling up a lot of software patents even though its founder once pretended (only after enormous public backlash) that he would pursue far shorter terms for software patents



  24. EPO Gets Together With Patent Radicals to Promote Software Patents

    Watchtroll, a widely-known site of patent extremists with the agenda of promoting software patents, gets together with the EPO for a puff piece in the form of an "exclusive" interview



  25. Patent Boxes Are for Tax Avoidance, But in the Land of Tax Avoidance (Switzerland) No Avoidance for Software Patents

    The world leader in European Patents (EPs) refuses to acknowledge software patents or barely respects these



  26. Latest Attempts to Blow Air Into the Sails of the Sinking Unitary Patent (UPC)

    A survey of the latest media mentions and interpretations of the UPC, which don't quite stack up when compared to reality



  27. Links 12/9/2017: Linux 4.13.1, digiKam 5.7.0

    Links for the day



  28. Patent Maximalism Duo: Watchtroll and Patently-O Now Conjoined and Mutually Referencing One Another

    Radical sites like Watchtroll are spreading their ideology and harassment tactics to sites such as Patently-O, run by Dennis Crouch from the University of Missouri School of Law



  29. Complaints About Google Patents, R3 Patents, and the EFF's Campaign of Exposing/Disarming Patent Trolls

    A mix of interesting developments surrounding patents, including a nasty campaign by Dominion Harbor Group to smear patent reformers



  30. Latest Assaults on PTAB and More PTAB Bashing, This Time by Anticipat

    The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), which helps eliminate patents granted in error (a lot of software patents), is still besieged by the patent 'industry'


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