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

06.29.12

With UEFI, Microsoft Assaults the General Public License (GPL) and Computing Freedom in General

Posted in GNU/Linux, GPL, Microsoft at 8:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Legal aspects of UEFI

Capitolio

Summary: Some GPL- and UEFI-related news

THE company which emanated from a Microsoft marketing exec to FUD the GPL (amongst other things) claims to have released a new thing, this time less on the propaganda side and more on the products side:

Black Duck Software announced new code analytics services to produce the new Black Duck Code Quality Audit (CQA) report.

Black Duck Software has announced the availability of expanded audit services with the addition of new code analytics that can help organizations acquiring new technology better track the code in their environments.

By tracking code they are able to issue reports with bias against GPL-type licences (they signed a deal with Microsoft before they started doing this). Meanwhile, Microsoft is putting the knife to the GPLv3-licensed GRUB 2, using its predatory UEFI plot [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]. Just as it arrives Canonical is left with little choice but to drop it (responses to UEFI varied from protest to abandonment of GRUB at Canonical and cowardly acts from Red Hat [1, 2, 3, 4]), due to Microsoft’s anti-competitive behaviour. The UEFI mess spreads further now:

Early support for UEFI SecureBoot is now available via qemu-kvm for messing with this troublesome technology in a virtualized world.

Before running for the hills thinking this is another attempt to thwart Linux by pushing UEFI SecureBoot into virtualized environments, this isn’t the case. This early SecureBoot support in qemu-kvm comes from the Linux kernel community. In fact it’s from James Bottomley, a well known kernel developer working in conjunction with the Linux Foundation.

The Linux Foundation Technical Advisory Board has been trying to get UEFI SecureBoot in qemu-kvm since real hardware relying upon this “secure” technology is still difficult to find until Windows 8 begins shipping. Bottomley built an Intel Tianocore boot system with the openSUSE Build System, discovered a gnu-efi bug, and made some other SecureBoot-related accomplishments for the benefit of Linux.

And that, with the demise of particular software, leads to the weakening of GPL along with freedom in computing. Microsoft knows what it’s doing here. Anything that harms copyleft licences is good for Microsoft.

As a side note, the above is part of a trend. Many journalists like to pick on Richard Stallman. Commonly enough they point to the fact that he does not browse the Web directly with a browser; Stallman sets an example and strives to be role model in some sense by drawing attention to the fact that the NSA et al. spy on Web surfers and he responds to this threat to human rights (he is, after all, an activist in this area) by one of the more reasonable actions, as not many options are left when sites do not support encrypted or anonymous routes in. Those who ignore this are either apathetic or pretend to not know this; the former is a case of ignorance and the latter is malicious — a strategy intended to daemonise Stallman and those who seek to highlight a real problem, maybe even address it or at least take it into account. Likewise, we have been seeing a daemonisation of the FSF, GNU. and the GPL, courtesy at times of Microsoft proxies. A lot of the time writers pretend not to understand “freedom” and use all sorts of straw man arguments. That could very well be seen when Stallman agreed to go on the Linux Action Show (we tried to ignore it so as not to give them attention because they are longtime FSF bashers).

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

A Single Comment

  1. NotZed said,

    June 29, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    Gravatar

    Go have a look at the membership of the linux foundation:

    http://www.linuxfoundation.org/about/members

    It’s a who’s who of multi-national, billion dollar companies. Like any union, the linux foundation exists to protect the interests of it’s membership. Big businesses love tivoisation, because it means they get to sell more disposable crap and ‘control the experience’ (i.e. force upgrades rather than let users do it themselves). This is what we have here, every computer sold has the potential to become a tivo-ised appliance, out of the countrol of the customer and in control of the vendor. What vendor wouldn’t jump at the chance?

    And what does it matter if you get all the source to the kernel (even excluding all the binary modules which should never have been allowed in the first place) if you can’t modify it! Redhat or other commercial distributions don’t care: already you cannot modify and compile your own kernel without losing the support you supposedly paid for.

    In short: don’t look to the linux foundation for any hope. Locked-down hardware and software is exactly what they want.

    With the UEFI stuff we essentially have the age-old problem of the loss of the public commons to private interests; which is exactly what the GPL was designed to prevent. It even included the default language ‘and later versions’ because it could not foresee every future attack on it – but some short-sighted fools decided to remove that part against their own interests.

    The only hope is that fsf-endorsed or at least linux-only hardware will become more common – e.g. the rhombus-tech efforts and less-common cpus. Economically it’s a no-brainer – with margins so thin every cent counts, let alone 10s of dollars of licensing costs per 10s of dollars manufacturing costs per unit – but the threat will then become the courts which are really just designed to protect the incumbents from competitors.

What Else is New


  1. Some Perspective on Heartbleed®

    Our views on the whole Heartbleed® bonanza, which seems like partly a PR stunt (for multiple stakeholders)



  2. Microsoft is Leaving Windows -- Including Vista 8.1 -- Vulnerable to Non-Government Crackers, Not Only to NSA

    Microsoft makes it ever more evident that securing users of Windows is not at all a priority, and perhaps not even a desire



  3. Links 17/4/2014: Android RDP, New Ubuntu, RHEL 7 Milestone

    Links for the day



  4. Racing to 1984: Mass Surveillance, Cracking, 'Targeted' Assassinations, and Illegal Torture

    Links for the day



  5. More Microsoft Subsidies to Patent Troll Intellectual Ventures

    Microsoft hands money to Bill Gates' close friend who is the world's largest patent troll



  6. Aiding Microsoft Under the Disguise of 'Pro-FOSS'

    Not everything which is FOSS necessary becomes, by virtue of existence, a positive contribution, as we are constantly reminded by projects that help proprietary software and/or restrictions get a strong grip on FOSS



  7. Links 16/4/2014: Red Hat PR, Ubuntu LTS Imminent

    Links for the day



  8. Links 15/4/2014: Lots of PCLinuxOS Releases, Ukraine Updates

    Links for the day



  9. Apple and Microsoft Actively Lobbying Against Patent Reform in the US

    Apple and Microsoft are reportedly intervening/interfering with US law in order to ensure that the law is Free/libre software-hostile



  10. Lawsuit by Microsoft Shareholder Targets Fine for Crimes Rather Than the Crimes Themselves

    A new lawsuit by a Microsoft shareholder shows everything that's wrong with today's model of accountability, where those who are responsible for crimes are accused of not avoiding fines rather than committing the crimes



  11. Public Institutions Must Dump PRISM-Associated Software

    Another reminder that taxpayers-subsidised services should refuse, as a matter of principle, to pay anything for -- let alone deploy -- proprietary software with back doors



  12. GNU/Linux News: The Opportunities Amid XP EOL

    Links for the day



  13. Microsoft Gets Its Money's Worth From Xamarin: PlayStation 4 Now Polluted by Microsoft

    The Trojan horse of Microsoft, Xamarin, is pushing .NET into Microsoft's console competitor



  14. After Brendan Eich Comes Chris Beard

    Having removed Brendan Eich using bullying and blackmail tactics, his foes inside Mozilla achieved too little as we have yet another man (coming from inside Mozilla) acting as CEO



  15. Healthcare News: Free Software in Health, Humanitarian Causes

    Links for the day



  16. Links 14/4/2014: MakuluLinux, Many Games, More Privacy News and Pulitzer Prize for NSA Revelations

    Links for the day



  17. TechBytes Episode 87: Catching up With Surveillance (NSA, GCHQ et al.)

    The first audio episode in a very long time covers some of the latest happenings when it comes to privacy and, contrariwise, mass surveillance



  18. Server News: KVM, ElasticHosts, Other GNU/Linux Items, and Open Network Linux

    Links for the day



  19. Hardware News: Freedom, Modding, Hackability on the Rise

    Links for the day



  20. Distributions News: GNU/Linux Distros

    Links for the day



  21. GNOME News: Financial Issues, Mutter-Wayland, West Coast Summit, Community Participation

    Links for the day



  22. KDE News: Kubuntu at the Centre Again KDE Applications Updated

    Links for the day



  23. Techrights Rising

    Effective immediately, Techrights will do what it takes to bring back old volume and pace of publishing



  24. Links: Surveillance, Intervention, Torture and Drones

    Links for the day



  25. Mobile Linux Not Just Android: Jolla, WebOS, and Firefox OS News

    Links for the day



  26. Google's Linux Revolution: New Gains for Android, Chrome OS (GNU/Linux)

    Links for the day



  27. Free/Libre Databases News: MongoDB, NoSQL, and MySQL Branches/Forks

    Links for the day



  28. Open Access on the Rise: Textbooks, Journals, Etc.

    Links for the day



  29. Finance Watch (Watching What's Not Being Watched): Economic Warfare/Class Injustice

    Links for the day



  30. Climate and Ecology Watch: News About a World Being Destroyed

    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