Boston Linux & UNIX was originally founded in 1994 as part of The Boston Computer Society. We meet on the third Wednesday of each month at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in Building E51.

BLU Discuss list archive

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

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

On Mon, Oct 5, 2015 at 1:00 PM, Edward Ned Harvey (blu)
<blu at> wrote:
>> From: Discuss [ at] On
>> Behalf Of Shirley M?rquez D?lcey
>> A router locked down in that way could not incorporate any GPLv3 code.
> I don't see any reason locked-down firmware would violate GPLv3. As long as you announce what code you're using, and distribute the code.

Actually one of the changes in GPLv3 was to add requirements for
installation instructions for certain classes of products.  From
section 6 of:
A ?User Product? is either (1) a ?consumer product?, which means any
tangible personal property which is normally used for personal,
family, or household purposes, or (2) anything designed or sold for
incorporation into a dwelling. In determining whether a product is a
consumer product, doubtful cases shall be resolved in favor of
coverage. For a particular product received by a particular user,
?normally used? refers to a typical or common use of that class of
product, regardless of the status of the particular user or of the way
in which the particular user actually uses, or expects or is expected
to use, the product. A product is a consumer product regardless of
whether the product has substantial commercial, industrial or
non-consumer uses, unless such uses represent the only significant
mode of use of the product.

?Installation Information? for a User Product means any methods,
procedures, authorization keys, or other information required to
install and execute modified versions of a covered work in that User
Product from a modified version of its Corresponding Source. The
information must suffice to ensure that the continued functioning of
the modified object code is in no case prevented or interfered with
solely because modification has been made.

If you convey an object code work under this section in, or with, or
specifically for use in, a User Product, and the conveying occurs as
part of a transaction in which the right of possession and use of the
User Product is transferred to the recipient in perpetuity or for a
fixed term (regardless of how the transaction is characterized), *****
the Corresponding Source conveyed under this section must be
accompanied by the Installation Information. ***
 But this requirement does not apply if neither you nor any third
party retains the ability to install modified object code on the User
Product (for example, the work has been installed in ROM).

So basically under GPLv3 if a product is sold to consumers and the
firmware is updatable then the end user has to be given all
information required to updated the firmware.  So WiFi router, cell
phones, TVs, streaming media devices, etc. if they contain GPLv3
covered source code must provide installation instructions/keys.   Of
course, the Linux kernel is under GPLv2 which doesn't have this

Bill Bogstad

BLU is a member of BostonUserGroups
BLU is a member of BostonUserGroups
We also thank MIT for the use of their facilities.

Valid HTML 4.01! Valid CSS!

Boston Linux & Unix /