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Old 04-21-2008, 11:24 AM   #121
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What did Netronix tell Bookeen? All I've heard (and it might even have been from you!) is that Bookeen have said that they are unable to get the source from the hardware manufacturer - Netronix.

On a practical level, what do you expect Bookeen to do about it? Stopping selling the Gen3 and go bust?
I would suspect that Bookeen has an agreement with its supplier - which from all I've seen of the EB-100 makes me strongly suspect it's Netronix - an agreement whereby Bookeen gets the hardware and develops its own apps.

If it is Netronix which is supplying the hardware and OS, then there's a good chance that Bookeen had to buy a "developer's package" in order to get access to the SDK software. These "developer's packages" tend to run to several thousand dollars and may well include proprietary software covered by NDAs.

However, once a person/company buys the package, one gets all the detailed information on what GPL'd software has been used as well. As I don't have that kind of money, I've not bought a "developer's package". Anyone want to set up a collection so I can buy one? Hint. Hint. I can get the exact price required.

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Old 04-21-2008, 11:47 AM   #122
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What did Netronix tell Bookeen? All I've heard (and it might even have been from you!) is that Bookeen have said that they are unable to get the source from the hardware manufacturer - Netronix.

On a practical level, what do you expect Bookeen to do about it? Stopping selling the Gen3 and go bust?
They signed an NDA and still they started to sell the unit. They should not have signed the NDA since it is not allowed to have NDA for the Linux source. They should not have built a unit they cannot sell without copyright infringement. They knew about this well in advance so this was not something new for Bookeen.

What should a pirate do? Should he really stop distributing copyrighted material?
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Old 04-21-2008, 11:59 AM   #123
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They signed an NDA and still they started to sell the unit. They should not have signed the NDA since it is not allowed to have NDA for the Linux source. They should not have built a unit they cannot sell without copyright infringement. They knew about this well in advance so this was not something new for Bookeen.
OK, let's take this a step further.

Bookeen wanted to produce an eInk reader.
Netronix are the source for the "reference" eInk hardware platform and its SDK.
If you're a small company who wants to produce an eInk reader you pretty much have to go through Netronix.

What do you suggest that Bookeen should have done?

May I ask how you know that the NDA covers the Linux software, by the way?
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Old 04-21-2008, 01:14 PM   #124
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They signed an NDA and still they started to sell the unit. They should not have signed the NDA since it is not allowed to have NDA for the Linux source. They should not have built a unit they cannot sell without copyright infringement. They knew about this well in advance so this was not something new for Bookeen.

What should a pirate do? Should he really stop distributing copyrighted material?
First of all, we're presuming they'd signed an NDA with their supplier, be it Netronix or whoever.

Second, I'm of the opinion that if it is Netronix, the NDA probably covered just the proprietary stuff as Netronix has made it clear that the Linux OS source is freely available code. I'm thinking, although I have no proof as I can't afford one of the "developer's packages", that except for possibly the low-level drivers they developed for their EB-100 hardware, the version of Linux is whichever actual embedded version that is currently available for the processor used inside. It's a Samsung, I believe. Shouldn't be too hard to track down which version of Linux has been ported over to that processor.


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Old 04-21-2008, 04:11 PM   #125
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An analogy could be helpful here.

Suppose you wanted to startup a video store. You got some funding, opened a store and bought 10,000 DVDs from a small distributor. The videos arrived, you ran your business and all was well.

Then, at some point it came to your attention that the DVDs were actually pirate copies. They are _quality_ counterfeits, the factory that made them made professional looking DVDs and boxes to put them in, and you had no reason when you bought them to believe they were illegal, yet there it is.

The law doesn't make any distinction between "good faith" or the fact that you are $100,000 in debt because you bought these DVDs. It is illegal for you to sell them, period, because you have no license from the copyright owners.

The law is quite clear. The only legal recourse you have is to stop selling them immediately, and file a lawsuit against your distributor for damages caused by their illegal actions. Actually you're quite screwed. I of course can understand that the average business in this position might rather try to stay in business and justify their illegal actions as business necessities. But I repeat, the law is quite clear. Selling someone's intellectual property which you don't have a license to is illegal, full stop, regardless of the circumstances, period. Can I be any more clear?

And by the way, companies are supposed to have lawyers on staff who vet agreements to avoid problems like this. Bookeen should fire their legal staff for incompetence if they failed to notice this.

Last edited by drwowe; 04-21-2008 at 04:14 PM.
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Old 04-21-2008, 04:17 PM   #126
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May I ask how you know that the NDA covers the Linux software, by the way?
This is what I was told by Bookeen:
Quote:
PS2: Concerning GPL source code, we have to release the Linux source code. In fact, we have to force our third party low level operating system
supplier to do it. For the time being, it is covered by NDA and still needs
to be cleared up before we can move forward.
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Old 04-21-2008, 04:23 PM   #127
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Bookeen wanted to produce an eInk reader.
Netronix are the source for the "reference" eInk hardware platform and its SDK.
If you're a small company who wants to produce an eInk reader you pretty much have to go through Netronix.

What do you suggest that Bookeen should have done?
I do not get the argument here. Are you saying that if I want to start an eBook selling company but do not have any money I can download eBooks from darknet and sell them?

If you legally cannot sell a product you cannot sell it. It is simple.

Last edited by tompe; 04-22-2008 at 09:00 AM.
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Old 04-22-2008, 02:26 AM   #128
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An analogy could be helpful here.

The law doesn't make any distinction between "good faith" or the fact that you are $100,000 in debt because you bought these DVDs.

The law is quite clear. The only legal recourse you have is to stop selling them immediately, and file a lawsuit against your distributor for damages caused by their illegal actions.
Who's law? We have several different countries on this earth, and they all have different law's

In my country the law is that when I buy a bike that normaly costs around 300 Euro for 25 Euro from a guy on the street I could have known it was stolen. I'll be punishable by law and I have to return the bike to the owner.

But if I buy the same stolen bike from a guy in a shop for 'the very very special discounted price' of 200 Euro I acted in good faith and I can keep the bike. It does not matter if the shop owner is the thief or tha he bought the bike from the original thief. The owner may buy the bike from me for 200 Euro and he can sue the thief.

Our law is also quite clear, there is a distinction between knowing you are wrong and acting in good faith

Last edited by Ortep; 04-22-2008 at 02:31 AM.
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Old 04-22-2008, 09:03 AM   #129
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Who's law? We have several different countries on this earth, and they all have different law's

In my country the law is that when I buy a bike that normaly costs around 300 Euro for 25 Euro from a guy on the street I could have known it was stolen. I'll be punishable by law and I have to return the bike to the owner.

But if I buy the same stolen bike from a guy in a shop for 'the very very special discounted price' of 200 Euro I acted in good faith and I can keep the bike. It does not matter if the shop owner is the thief or tha he bought the bike from the original thief. The owner may buy the bike from me for 200 Euro and he can sue the thief.

Our law is also quite clear, there is a distinction between knowing you are wrong and acting in good faith
Yes, this distinction exists in some cases. But here we were not talking about theft. The example was copyright infringement and if you could continue to sell things when you became aware that the selling was copyright infringement.
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Old 04-22-2008, 11:20 AM   #130
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Yes, this distinction exists in some cases. But here we were not talking about theft. The example was copyright infringement and if you could continue to sell things when you became aware that the selling was copyright infringement.
And are those laws the same in all countries of the world?

For example: In The Netherlands it is perfectly legal to download music put it on my MP3 player and listen to it. In some countries it is not.

The fun part is that I am legally downloading when I get it from a newsgroup, but not when I'm downloading the same music with utorrent. Because in that case I'm also uploading parts of the song, and that is illegal.

But my original remark was only to make people aware that there is no such thing as "The Law"

Last edited by Ortep; 04-22-2008 at 11:26 AM.
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Old 04-22-2008, 11:28 AM   #131
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And are those laws the same in all countries of the world?

For example: In The Netherlands it is perfectly legal to download music put it on my MP3 player and listen to it. In some countries it is not.

The fun part is that I am legally downloading when I get it from a newsgroup, but not when I'm downloading the same music with utorrent. Because in that case I'm also uploading parts of the song.
Actually in the case of selling the thing I think they are very similar at least in countries that tries to have some copyright laws. Or do you have any counter examples?

The laws in Sweden was as yours regarding the difference between newsgroup and torrent but they changed it a couple of years ago so downloading only also is illegal.

In this case I assume it is the laws in France that are the relevant ones.
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Old 04-22-2008, 11:33 AM   #132
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And are those laws the same in all countries of the world?

For example: In The Netherlands it is perfectly legal to download music put it on my MP3 player and listen to it. In some countries it is not.
The point is that the GPL requires Bookeen to release the Linux source code (never mind the fact that it's bugger all use to anyone!) and they cannot do so because Netronix (the hardware manufacturer) won't give it to them.

It would be interesting to speculate what, if any, "punishment" a court would impose for this transgression, given that it's a civil (not a criminal) offence, and fines in civil cases generally reflect actual financial loss suffered by the copyright holder. In this case, of course, the copyright holder hasn't suffered any financial loss at all (because it's "free" software) and nor has anyone suffered any material loss through not being able to get hold of the source code.

One might ask "does it really matter"?
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Old 04-22-2008, 12:48 PM   #133
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In this case I assume it is the laws in France that are the relevant ones.
I'm not sure about that. That leaves a loophole big enough for a Dreamliner to fly though (when it finally is finished). If only the law from the 'originating country' applies, you can make everything and sell everything everywhere. Simply go to the country were it is legal and export it from there.

Anybody need some marijuana? I can buy it within 10 minutes drive from my home.

And because I want to be able to travel abroad without getting arrested:

Quote:
Disclaimer for the non Dutch law enforcement agencies.

I'm not going to export it. This was only an example
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Old 04-22-2008, 08:12 PM   #134
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The point is that the GPL requires Bookeen to release the Linux source code (never mind the fact that it's bugger all use to anyone!) and they cannot do so because Netronix (the hardware manufacturer) won't give it to them.
Actually, GPL does not "require" to release the source code. However, it's one of the options you have when using GPL software. Two other options are to stop distributing your product or to replace the GPL code by non-GPL equivalent.
And I'm pretty sure Bookeen have the sources - developing and debugging firmware otherwise would be a royal pain.
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Old 04-22-2008, 09:34 PM   #135
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How do you folks know that the Linux was modified? Linux embedded may be being used as it was distributed. The propritary software may be the reader they wrote. I see alot of assumtions being made in this thread, and not alot of facts. You are perfectly welcome to run software on Linux and not release the code to that software. It is not a component or modification of the Linux OS.

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