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

On Thu, 1 Oct 2015 15:58:08 -0400, Rich Pieri wrote:
> 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.

That's essentially claiming that the FCC could rule copyright _in
general_ unenforceable in this situation -- the GPLvAnything is simply
a copyright license.  IANAL, but I don't believe the FCC has that

The answer would simply be what Matthew said -- if the FCC goes ahead
with this, router vendors will either have to establish alternative
security means that would not be touchable through the firmware load
or eliminate all use of GPL software from their routers.
Robert Krawitz                                     <rlk at>

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