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. Links 28/12/2014: Red Hat CEO Talks, Ruby 2.2.0 Released

    Links for the day



  2. Links 26/12/2014: Devuan in the News, New PCLinuxOS

    Links for the day



  3. Links 23/12/2014: Updates on GNU/Linux in China and N. Korea

    Links for the day



  4. Links 22/12/2014: GNU/Linux at Sky News, Another Tizen Camera

    Links for the day



  5. IRC Proceedings: November 30th, 2014 – December 20th, 2014

    Many IRC logs



  6. Links 21/12/2014: China and Linux, GNOME Shell 3.15.3

    Links for the day



  7. The New Age of Games for UNIX/Linux But Not for Windows, Microsoft is Openwashing Windows-Only Games

    The world is moving to GNU- and Linux-powered platforms, so Microsoft withdraws GNU/Linux support from games it buys and starts openwashing its Windows-only games



  8. Microsoft Essentially Sends Malware to Windows and Bricks It

    Microsoft is once again bricking Vista 7, demonstrating lack of reliability or very low quality programming



  9. Microsoft Lays Off Staff, Cheapens Labour as More Companies Are Dumping Microsoft's Lock-in, NSA-Friendly Services, and Windows

    A look at some of Microsoft's latest woes, including an appeal for cheaper labour amid decrease in business



  10. Links 19/12/2014: Robolinux 7.7.1 LXDE, Red Hat Thriving

    Links for the day



  11. Another Microsoft Partner Markets Linux FUD Using Logo, Name, and Lies

    Microsoft's partner Alert Logic is trying to label a feature of Linux a security flaw and even makes marketing buzz for it



  12. Redmonk is Spreading Black Duck's Anti-GPL Talking Points After Payments From Black Duck, Microsoft

    CBS' ZDNet spreads the GNU-hostile narrative which comes from Redmonk, funded by Microsoft and Black Duck, citing Black Duck, which also comes from Microsoft and is a partner of Microsoft



  13. 'Good' Software Patents From EA Show Cases Where DRM is a Patent Infringement

    Where two evils collide the public benefits, or how some software patents discourage the use of DRM



  14. Richard Stallman: What Does It Mean for Your Computer to Be Loyal?

    New article from Richard Stallman



  15. Links 18/12/2014: LinuxQuestions.org Polls, Fedora for POWER

    Links for the day



  16. Links 16/12/2014: Google and ODF, Civilization: Beyond Earth Comes to GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  17. Bill Gates' Pet Troll Intellectual Ventures is Collapsing as Founder Quits

    Intellectual Ventures founder leaves after an exceptionally large round of layoffs, despite [cref 77299 recent subsidies from Sony and Microsoft]



  18. Keeping Software Patents Out of Europe Following the Demise of Software Patents in the US

    Instability in the EPO seemingly prevents further expansion of patent scope, which is the subject of scrutiny of EPO staff



  19. Links 15/12/2014: OSI 2014 Annual Report, GPLv2 Court Test

    Links for the day



  20. Links 14/12/2014: Calligra 2.9 Beta, Krita 2.9 Beta

    Links for the day



  21. Software Patents Are Dying in the US, But Patent Lawyers Refuse to Admit It

    Patent lawyers continue to distort the reality of software patents' demise in the United States



  22. Links 13/12/2014: Android Wear “Lollipop”, European Commission and FOSS

    Links for the day



  23. Time to Take Microsoft Out of British Aviation Before Planes Crash Into Buildings

    London's mighty Heathrow Airport among those affected by a Microsoft-reliant air traffic control system which is not being able to properly recover from an outage, and not for the first time either



  24. News From France and Germany: Battistelli Under Fire, But Not Fired Yet, Just Firing His Opposition

    The régime headed by Benoît Battistelli and his criminal deputy continues to overthrow or pressure out everyone who is not 'loyal' to the régime



  25. Links 12/12/2014: Linux++, KDE Frameworks 5.5.0, Calligra 2.8.7

    Links for the day



  26. The USPTO is Broken: New Evidence Presented

    The scope of patents, as evidenced by some statistical figures and individual patents, shows that the USPTO is broken and must be reformed or dismantled



  27. US Patent Reform (on Trolls Only) More or Less Buried or Ineffective

    An update on efforts to reform the patent system in the United States, including the possibly imminent appointment of Michelle Lee to USPTO leadership role



  28. Software Patents in Canada Not Dead Yet

    Canada's patent status quo increasingly like that of the United States and Canadian giants like BlackBerry now pose a threat to software developers



  29. Dreaming of a Just Christmas: When a Third of EPO Walks Out to Revolt and European Judges Attack the EPO Over Abuses

    Information about the abuses of Battistelli et al. at the EPO are finally receiving wider coverage and increasing the strain on Battistelli's authoritarian reign



  30. Links 11/12/2014: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.1 Beta, Firefox 35 Plans

    Links for the day


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