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

07.07.12

FSF and FSFE Both Speak Out Against UEFI; Ubuntu Drifts Away From FSF, Whereas Debian Comes Closer to FSF

Posted in Debian, FSF, Ubuntu at 10:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Restricted boot

Summary: Ubuntu — unlike Debian — trusts not the FSF and instead plays along with the UEFI plot, gets chastised for it

THE FSF has spoken out against UEFI right from the start (when Microsoft had made it public information); it ran a petition that got signed by over 30,000 people and organisations.

“Restricted boots” is the cartoon above, which came out through competing against other artists. It is something that Debian really seems to ‘get’ because it signed the FSF’s petition and its leader is working with the FSF to earn endorsement. Here is the message and a report from The H. It says: “Debian Project Leader Stefano Zacchiroli has announced a plan that aims to get the project included in the FSF’s list of free software distributions. To that end, Zacchiroli wants to set up a team within Debian that is actively working to resolve the remaining issues which prevent Debian’s inclusion in the list.”

Debian signed the petition as part of its strategy or philosophy which seeks to distinguish the project based on values. The FSF says: “With over 30,000 signatures to our statement and over a dozen high-quality submissions to our contest, I’m confident our message that Restricted Boot is a mistake has the attention of Microsoft and computer-makers alike. Now we need take the next step of turning this support into tangible results.”

“Debian signed the petition as part of its strategy or philosophy which seeks to distinguish the project based on values.”UEFI is not inevitable because Microsoft is falling (it will soon report losses), so it is very disappointing to see Canonical, which forked or branched off Debian, choosing to lean on Microsoft’s scheme. One columnist wonders if OEM pressure had something to do with it. He writes: “As the Linux community continues to debate the best way to deal with Microsoft Windows 8-certified machines that will have Secure Boot on UEFI, some nagging questions still remain as to why Canonical opted to take the solution it did.

“Both the Fedora Project and Canonical has publicly announced their proposed solutions to how users will be able to boot Secure Boot-enabled machines to Linux. Secure Boot requires that “all firmware and software in the boot process must be signed by a trusted Certificate Authority.” Microsoft is requiring that hardware makers of all Windows 8-certified machines be configured to meet these strict requirements.”

A Microsoft booster spoke to Canonical’s founder about it. Shuttleworth replied: “The SFLC advice to us was that the FSF could require key disclosure if some OEM screwed up. As nice as it is that someone at the FSF says they would not, we have to plan for a world where leaders change and institutional priorities change. The FSF wrote a licence that would give them the rights to take specific actions, and it’s hard for them to argue they never would!”

Swapnil Bhartiya, who runs a Ubuntu site, chastised Shuttleworth for it in his article “Is Microsoft More Trusted Than FSF: Ubuntu Chief Defends Grub 2 Drop”. To quote: “Free Software Foundation, FSF, recently published a white paper criticizing Ubuntu’s move to drop Grub 2 in order to support Microsoft’s UEFI Secure Boot. FSF also recommend that Ubuntu should reconsider their decision. Ubuntu’s charismatic chief, Mark Shuttleworth, has finally responded stating the reason why they won’t change their stand on dropping Grub 2 from Ubuntu.”

“The bottom line is, FSF and FSFE refuse to accept Microsoft’s UEFI plans and Debian does the right thing.”This is debated in Slashdot, which summarises as follows: “The Free Software Foundation recently published a whitepaper criticizing Ubuntu’s move to drop Grub 2 in order to support Microsoft’s UEFI Secure Boot. The FSF also recommended that Ubuntu should reconsider their decision. Ubuntu’s charismatic chief, Mark Shuttleworth, has responded to the situation during an interview, and explained the reason they won’t change their stand on dropping Grub 2 from Ubuntu. Shuttleworth said, ‘The SFLC advice to us was that the FSF could require key disclosure if some OEM screwed up. As nice as it is that someone at the FSF says they would not, we have to plan for a world where leaders change and institutional priorities change.”

To quote the top comment: “So in other words they’re anticipating not only that OEMs are going to accidentally or intentionally ship machines running Ubuntu that are locked down so that you cannot boot your own kernels on them but also that they won’t be able to convince the OEMs to fix their broken BIOSes to allow users to run their own code. By not using GRUB2 they ensure that said OEMs would have no legal obligations to allow you to run the code you wanted on the PC you’d just bought.”

It is worth adding that the FSFE made its opinion known by writing: “We demand that before purchasing a device, buyers must be informed concisely about the technical measures implemented in this device, as well as the specific usage restrictions and their consequences for the owner.”

The bottom line is, FSF and FSFE refuse to accept Microsoft’s UEFI plans and Debian does the right thing. My most recently installed distro is Debian and I have no regrets.

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

What Else is New


  1. Links 15/8/2017: New LibreELEC and More

    Links for the day



  2. The Collapse of Patent Quality at the EPO is Inviting to Europe Some of the World's Worst Patent Trolls

    As troll litigation soars in Europe we must take a careful look at the sorts of patents granted by the EPO these days and the policies that support such grants



  3. The EPO is Paying Journalists For Trips Abroad and May be Buying Fake Twitter Followers (Still)

    The EPO's media strategy -- a nefarious strategy which is costing many millions of euros and is corrupting the media -- explained in light of recent activity and reporting (in German)



  4. 'US Inventor' is an Extremist Group Created by Watchtroll (Not Inventors) to Troll the USPTO for Patent Maximalism

    The face behind so-called 'US Inventor' (an anti-PTAB group) which enlists, apparently, a handful of people and does not actually represent American inventors



  5. Links 14/8/2017: Linux 4.13-RC5, PostgreSQL 10 Beta 3, GCC 7.2

    Links for the day



  6. Links 13/8/2017: DebConf 2017 and GUADEC 2017 Wrapups

    Links for the day



  7. The Farce Which is Nokia's Patent Portfolio, a Ripoff of Other People's Ideas (and Patents)

    The untold story about Nokia's alleged ripoff (plagiarism) of other people's patents, which are now being used aggressively in a shakedown campaign even against OEMs that distribute Linux



  8. Software Patents Help Neither Software Developers Nor Society in General. It's Time to Bury Them All.

    The idea that patents for the sake of patents (or increasing the overall number of patents) is somehow beneficial to everything these patents touch is misguided and detrimental not only to practitioners but also to the public whose work contributes to



  9. The Latest Evidence of the Demise of Software Patents in the United States

    Even though some software patents continue to be granted, courts in the U.S. almost always reject these, signaling the end of software patents as a potent tool (unless there's an out-of-court settlement, usually because the defendant is too poor)



  10. Growing Unrest Over Patent Trolls Goes Political

    Encouraging signs for scientists and technologists: The push for the end of patent trolling (patent assertion by parasitic opportunists against vulnerable people who cannot afford legal defense)



  11. Pro-PTAB Lobbying Leaves the Patent Microcosm Squirming, Lying

    The High Tech Inventors Alliance takes another step forward in its defense of the USPTO’s Inter Partes Review (IPR) process (reevaluation of patents at PTAB); the patent microcosm cannot tolerate the views of companies like the above, so quite inevitably a shaming strategy kicks in



  12. PTAB Crushes Another Patent Troll and Patently-O Scrambles to Defend the Trolls, Not the EFF

    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit's recent affirmation of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board's (PTAB) decision about a notorious "Podcast Patent" continues to enrage and engage various circles of the patent microcosm, where it's commonplace to pursue exactly what serves to harm inventors



  13. Microsoft's Patent Troll Intellectual Ventures is Going After Carriers Now

    Another new lawsuit, this time in Texas (as usual), was filed a few days ago by Microsoft's largest patent troll, which uses a 'protection racket' business model to devastate everyone but Microsoft



  14. The Corrupt European Patent Office (EPO) Appears to be SLAPPing Judges Now

    The dark side of the EPO, which has culminated in suppression of truth-telling, as explained by the official report of the Dutch delegation to the Administrative Council (AC) of the European Patent Organisation (EPO)



  15. The Corruption of the European Patent Office and CIPO's (Canada) Participation in This

    Coming back from summertime with vengeance, the EPO's UPC careerists will use the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) to spread their lies



  16. Under Battistelli, EPO Ceased to Reward Inventors, Rewards Only Battistelli and Fellow Thugs Instead

    Benoît Battistelli, who has turned EIA into an event all about himself (same as the EPO's Web site, now a shrine to Battistelli), has also damaged the mission statement of the EPO and lowered the quality of everything



  17. Links 11/8/2017: Atom 1.19, LLVM 5.0 RC2

    Links for the day



  18. EPO, Lufthansa, and the German Government - Part X: In Closing

    The latest and last part of this ongoing series regarding the trademark dispute in Croatia



  19. German Media Paints a Picture of Benoît Battistelli as a Drunken 'Putin' Looking to Push UPC at All Costs

    German media studies the situation at the EPO and issues a detailed report which is titled "They call the Boss (Benoît Battistelli) Putin"



  20. Links 10/8/2017: Tails 3.1, GhostBSD 11.1 Alpha

    Links for the day



  21. Switch is Becoming More Aggressive With Patents, Even Questionable Design Patents

    Switch signals the potential commencement of a litigation campaign (or at least shakedown), using all sorts of patents on designs (which are on shaky ground anyway)



  22. EPO, Lufthansa, and the German Government - Part IX: Potentially Fatal Injury to Air Plus Trademark Holder

    The Air Plus trademark holder, who spends many of his days in the hospital nowadays, and suspicions that there was an attempt to harm him and spy on him



  23. When It Comes to Software Patents, the EPO Has Become Among the Worst in the World

    Software patents, which were never meant to be granted by the EPO, are nowadays being granted quite leniently and easily (whereas other patent offices growingly reject these, deeming them too abstract and not beneficial)



  24. Sinking Patent Quality at the Brazilian Patent and Trademark Office (BPTO)

    The neglect of patent quality (and high-quality assessment of applications) is becoming a worldwide phenomenon, having already become the norm in Europe



  25. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Continues to Invalidate Software Patents, Should Tackle Public Universities Too

    A look at the latest progress from PTAB, which is dealing with almost 2000 petitions to invalidate patents every year



  26. Links 9/8/2017: Wine Staging 2.14, Brooklyn 0.2

    Links for the day



  27. EPO, Lufthansa, and the German Government - Part VIII: Outcome at DZIV (Zagreb) Miraculously Known Six Months in Advance

    The allegedly rigged process at DZIV (then run by today's EPO Vice-President Željko Topić) as illustrated by letters from 2009



  28. Adobe Speaks Out Against Patent Maximalism and Software Patents Are on the Retreat

    The momentum against software patents is growing as large firms which specialise in software -- even proprietary software -- speak out against what the US patent system has become



  29. Microsoft-Connected Patent Troll (Finjan Holdings) Goes After SonicWall

    SonicWall, which was a Dell subsidiary from 2012 to 2016, comes under fire from a company whose main 'product' is so-called 'intellectual property' (litigation)



  30. Extortion and Racketeering: What the Latest Article at The Hill Calls Patent Trolling

    The consensus on the effect and the innate nature of patent trolls is moving closer and closer to what we argued over a decade ago


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