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. IRC Proceedings: January 11th, 2015 – January 24th, 2015

    Many IRC logs



  2. Links 24/1/2015: Zenwalk Linux Reviewed, Netrunner 14.1 Released

    Links for the day



  3. The Latest 'Microsoft is Open Source' Propaganda a Parade of Lies

    Microsoft myth makers continue their assault on what is objectively true and try to tell the public that Microsoft is a friend of "Open Source"



  4. Apple -- Like Microsoft -- Not Interested in the Security of Its Operating Systems

    Apple neglected to patch known security flaws in Mac OS X for no less than three months and only did something about that vector of intrusion when the public found out about it



  5. As Battistelli Breaks the Rules and Topić Silences Staff, New European Parliament Petition for Tackling the EPO's Abuses is Needed

    The neglected (by EPO) Article 4a of the European Patent Convention (EPC) and the European Parliament petition/complaint against the EPO's crooked management



  6. Links 23/1/2015: Red Hat on IBM Power, Meizu Leaks With Ubuntu

    Links for the day



  7. Links 23/1/2015: Plasma 5.2, Manjaro 0.9-pre1

    Links for the day



  8. Microsoft is Dying Due to Free Software, Tries to Infect GNU/Linux With .NET and to Infect Moodle in Schools With Microsoft Office and OOXML Lock-in

    'Free' drugs (a proprietary software analogy) the new strategy of Microsoft in its latest battle against Free software, especially in schools where choice is a rarity (if not an impossibility), with the premeditated intention of forming dependency/addiction among young people



  9. Microsoft Symptoms of a Dying Company: More Boosters Depart, Back Doors Revealed, Microsoft's Outlook Cracked

    Bad news for Microsoft shortly before the marketing extravaganza served to cover much of it up



  10. The Collapse of European Patent Office Management Culminates With Resignations

    No blood is spilled, but even the management of the EPO is falling apart as the Director of Internal Communication is said to have just resigned



  11. New LCA Talk: Open Invention Network's Deb Nicholson on Software Patents and Patent Trolls

    Deb Nicholson's LCA talk is now publicly accessible



  12. Links 22/1/2015: GNU/Linux Sysadmin Opportunities, TraceFS Introduced

    Links for the day



  13. Links 21/1/2015: Andrew Tridgell, Torvalds Being Baited

    Links for the day



  14. Vesna Stilin Renews Her Fight for Justice in Željko Topić Case (EPO VP)

    Željko Topić's abuses continue to cloud the legitimacy of the European Patent Office, in which he is a Vice-President



  15. Failure of the EPO Can Derail the Trojan Horse of Software Patents and Patent Trolls

    Dazzled by his endless pursuit of infinite money and power, Battistelli pushes for expansion of patent scope (geographically too), but he won't have it without a challenge



  16. Links 20/1/2015: Linux 3.19 RC5, 30 Years of FSF

    Links for the day



  17. Translations of Member of the European Parliament Complaining About European Patent Office (EPO)

    French, German, Dutch, and English translations of the article from Dennis De Jong



  18. Microsoft, the Back Doors Company, is Gradually Dying and Trying to Embrace the Competition

    The world is leaving Microsoft's common carrier (Windows) behind, so Microsoft, which is shrinking, tries to conquer Free software and GNU/Linux



  19. Battistelli's Latest Propaganda War Tries to Convince EPO Staff That Željko Topić's Many Criminal Charges Don't Exist

    Battistelli's right-hand man, Željko Topić, is now facing real danger of prosecution and possibly arrest in his home country, so Battistelli rushes to defend this thug's reputation



  20. Links 18/1/2015: Sailfish OS RoadMap, ownCloud Turns 5

    Links for the day



  21. Strategy of Litigation With Patents Has Collapsed Since SCOTUS Ruling in Alice v. CLS Bank

    The latest figures from Lex Machina show a massive decrease (-18%) in patent litigation last month; lawyers look for ways to spin the data in their favour



  22. Patent Lawyers Can't Help Rewriting Alice v. CLS Bank History

    The league of patent lawyers -- people who profit at the expense of software producers -- keeps brainwashing the public about the patentability of software (both the rationale and the potential)



  23. Myths and Hype About Patents

    Distortion of history and fabricated reports about patents in the corporate media leave many people confused and ultimately unable to make rational judgment



  24. Large Corporations, Including Microsoft Allies, Call for Abolition of Software Patents

    The calls for ending all patents on software are getting louder and patents as a whole are de-emphasised as a business strategy



  25. Links 17/1/2015: Lennart Poettering in Headlines, Mageia 5 Beta 2

    Links for the day



  26. Links 16/1/2015: Chapeau 21, Tails 1.2.3

    Links for the day



  27. Links 15/1/2015: KDE Releases, Ubuntu Phone Delays

    Links for the day



  28. Links 15/1/2015: KDE Plasma 5.2 Beta, Elive 2.5.2 Beta

    Links for the day



  29. Google Has Eliminated Microsoft's Dominance in Operating Systems, Microsoft Resorts to Propaganda, Child Exploitation, and EEE

    As Linux becomes the dominant kernel at Windows' expense Microsoft pulls old tricks including media manipulation, AstroTurfing, co-opting schools (making Windows obligatory for future generations), and EEE (embrace, extend, and extinguish)



  30. Microsoft -- Like David Cameron -- Attacking the Computer Security Industry

    Microsoft's latest moves that help expose its real policy when it comes to computer security and people's privacy


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