[Dev] [libreplanet-discuss] [Arm-netbook] EOMA68 and freedom in digital technology
Thadeu Lima de Souza Cascardo
cascardo at cascardo.eti.br
Mon Sep 12 23:19:44 GMT 2016
On Mon, Sep 12, 2016 at 06:19:38AM +0100, Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton wrote:
> that doesn't change the fact that the very early boards with the A10
> processor were shipped by default with allwinner's original
> GPL-violating bootloader, u-boot and linux kernel. now, the GPL is
> very very clear: on request you must supply the *EXACT* source and
> *EXACT* tools used to compile the *EXACT* binaries that were shipped.
> if you can't do that, you MUST cease and desist distribution. if
> you do not cease and desist distribution, you are no longer in
> compliance with the license. if you are no longer in compliance with
> the license but CONTINUE to distribute GPL code (without a license),
> *that* is criminal infringement.
> and if a company is in criminal infringement of copyright law, the
> company is no longer operating as a company but is in fact an
> organised crime syndicate: a criminal cartel.
I appreciate a lot the work you have been doing. I can share some of
your feelings as well, as I have done some work to liberate a version of
Arduino, using Kicad, with my partner, who was an engineer.
And I also feel very angry about GPL violations as well, starting some
contributions to Linux in the hope I could do enforcement as a copyright
Now, I need to step in and say that accusing copyright infringement of
criminal offense is very dangerous. Unfortunately, some copyright
infringement in some jurisdictions is considered a crime. And that's bad
for the people in general, who cannot share because of copyright law and
can't benefit from research done by others, who may be specially
endangered because of laws like DMCA.
In my opinion, we should not vouch for such laws, even if they were to
protect software freedom. That's not to say that it is immoral to take
software freedom from people, more so if that freedom was available as a
copyleft work. And maybe even that it should be illegal to do so. But it
should not be a criminal offense, but a civil one.
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