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[Discuss] Fwd: Hey FCC, Don't Lock Down Our Wi-Fi Routers | WIRED

On 10/1/2015 2:08 PM, Matthew Gillen wrote:
> They would open themselves up to legal action from the FSF if they
> violate the GPL, and FCC regulations are not an excuse for violating
> other licenses.  (although it would be amusing to see them try)

You have it backwards. These vendors are already potentially facing $500 
per day per device fines for violating FCC regulations. The GPL won't 
protect them and I don't foresee the FSF doing anything more than 
publishing a screed from RMS demanding that the vendors and FCC 
commissioners respect "freedom".

What the FCC commissioners care about is that 5GHz access points 
operating in the US operate within their authorized power and frequency 
ranges. What they're requiring is mechanisms that prevent these access 
points from operating illegally so that your neighbor's access point 
doesn't unduly interfere with yours and vice-versa. Or your uncle's 
pacemaker or insulin pump. They aren't out to lock down your router. 
Quite the contrary. They don't care what you do with it as long as it 
operates as authorized.

What the various vendors do is something else. Some will take the easy 
path and lock out third-party software like they've been doing for 
years. Others will implement physical limits that prevent the RF systems 
from operating outside of specs regardless of what software is running.

When I wrote that the FCC could rule that the GPL is unenforceable in 
this context I did not mean to suggest that they would do so or even 
that it is at all likely. It's not. I wrote an absurd response to the 
absurd idea that some vendors might try to use the fuck TiVo clause in 
the GPLv3 to circumvent FCC regulations.

Rich P.

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