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Old 04-22-2008, 09:41 PM   #136
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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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I'm pretty darned sure that except for the low-level drivers for the display and the buttons, it *WAS* used as distributed. And I'm also willing to believe that whatever code has gone into Boo Reader is probably completely developed in-house by Bookeen - with probable reference to Mobi's reference SDK.

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Old 04-23-2008, 05:21 AM   #137
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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.
Yes, you're free to modify and run whatever GPL code you want as long as you don't distribute it. Once you do, you're required to provide end users with the exact source code you used or with instructions on how to reproduce your binaries. If it wasn't modified, then you can provide links to the original packages you used. If it was, you can provide just patches. The end goal is the same: the end user should be able to recreate the binary equivalent to what you distributed.
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Old 04-23-2008, 06:25 AM   #138
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But what's the point with something like the Gen3, where you need to create a firmware "package" to change anything? Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe that those package creation tools are a standard part of Linux, are they? They are almost certainly proprietory software.
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Old 04-23-2008, 09:03 AM   #139
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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.
It's not exactly "releasing" the source code what the GPL asks for. What you should do is give the source to anyone you give the binaries to at no additional charge, and if they ask for it. That is, they wouldn't need to release the source code publicly, but it should be available to any legal owner of a Cybook. And of course, it would still be GPL, so the owners who get the source code can freely distribute it if they want, but that's a different story. From the seller's point of view it is: I sell you a device with GPL software, if you want the source code of the software, just ask for it and I'll send it to you or tell you how to get it.
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Old 04-23-2008, 09:39 AM   #140
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But what's the point with something like the Gen3, where you need to create a firmware "package" to change anything? Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe that those package creation tools are a standard part of Linux, are they? They are almost certainly proprietory software.
Do you mean that the right of the people writing the code and having the copyright to control how things are distributed does not have to be respected just because you do not see any point? I read your comments as excuses for Bookeens behaviour. Like they have not done anything morally wrong (like pirating books).

The reason for GPL3 was to fix the thing you refer to. With GPL3 you have to distribute the tools to build the firmware also. That was always the intention with GPL2 but when it was written firmware updateable hardware was very rare if they existsed at all. So if you do not only want to do the legal right thing but also the morally right thing you should distribute the tools to build the firmware.
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Old 04-23-2008, 09:43 AM   #141
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Do you mean that the right of the people writing the code and having the copyright to control how things are distributed does not have to be respected just because you do not see any point? I read your comments as excuses for Bookeens behaviour. Like they have not done anything morally wrong (like pirating books).
No, I'm not saying that peoples' rights shouldn't be respected. I'm asking if there is any practical impact which results from this rights violation? Is anybody losing anything as a result of it? If the answer is "no" then one could ask "then why does it matter?". It is rather a different situation to the analogy you've used before of someone selling pirated DVDs - in that case, the movie producer is clearly losing money as a result of those pirated copies. Who is losing anything here?
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Old 04-23-2008, 09:55 AM   #142
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I'm asking if there is any practical impact which results from this rights violation? Is anybody losing anything as a result of it? If the answer is "no" then one could ask "then why does it matter?".
Can I argue the same way when I am in court for software or book piracy ?
Telling the Judge I would not have bought the book anyway ?

It does matter because the contributors in GPLed Open Source projects had other motives spending their time on the software then helping Bookeen to make profit !
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Old 04-23-2008, 10:03 AM   #143
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Can I argue the same way when I am in court for software or book piracy ?
Telling the Judge I would not have bought the book anyway ?
In a court case for copyright infringement (as with that idiot woman in the US whose name escapes me), damages are generally awarded based on the commercial value of the goods being pirated. The commercial value here would seem to be zero.

I am in no way condoning copyright infringement, but this seems to be a purely "technical" infringement in that nobody is actually losing anything. The product concerned is a free one. It would be like, say, if I were to give out leaflets free on a street corner, and you were to photocopy one of my leaflets and start giving them out for free yourself. Technically you've infringed my copyright, but does it actually matter to anyone?
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Old 04-23-2008, 10:20 AM   #144
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No, I'm not saying that peoples' rights shouldn't be respected. I'm asking if there is any practical impact which results from this rights violation? Is anybody losing anything as a result of it? If the answer is "no" then one could ask "then why does it matter?". It is rather a different situation to the analogy you've used before of someone selling pirated DVDs - in that case, the movie producer is clearly losing money as a result of those pirated copies. Who is losing anything here?
Are you really saying that the copyright holders right to control distribution only should hold if he earn money on the distribution? The copyright holder is loosing since somebody does something against his will.
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Old 04-23-2008, 10:23 AM   #145
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Are you really saying that the copyright holders right to control distribution only should hold if he earn money on the distribution? The copyright holder is loosing since somebody does something against his will.
No, I am a firm believe in the rights of copyright holders. All I'm saying is that since the penalties for civil copyright infringement seem to be based solely on financial loss, it's difficult to see what anyone can actually do to prevent violations which don't result in financial loss.
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Old 04-23-2008, 10:28 AM   #146
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No, I am a firm believe in the rights of copyright holders. All I'm saying is that since the penalties for civil copyright infringement seem to be based solely on financial loss, it's difficult to see what anyone can actually do to prevent violations which don't result in financial loss.
OK. Since you morally objects strongly to pirating book but do not seem to object morally in this case I misread you statements. So I assume you think this is as morally wrong as pirating books. I think this thread restarted with an observation that people was not consistent in their moral objection to copyright infringement.
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Old 04-23-2008, 10:53 AM   #147
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So I assume you think this is as morally wrong as pirating books.
It's not a black and white issue - very few things are.

Yes, I think it's morally wrong to ignore the rights of copyright holders. On a "scale of wrongness" I think I'd put it on a par with, say, illegally downloading a book that's out of print. ie it's wrong, but nobody's losing anything as a result of the action.
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Old 04-23-2008, 11:17 AM   #148
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It's not a black and white issue - very few things are.

Yes, I think it's morally wrong to ignore the rights of copyright holders. On a "scale of wrongness" I think I'd put it on a par with, say, illegally downloading a book that's out of print. ie it's wrong, but nobody's losing anything as a result of the action.
I think it is more morally wrong to not respect peoples wishes then if somebody loose anything. Downloading an out of print book against the authors wish is more morally wrong then downloading a book from a dead author that is still in print.

And you are wrong that people are not loosing. As I have said it makes it impossible for me to sell the device since I think it is morally wrong to sell it. Also it probably delays hacking of the device. Also it does not give the right signals to people to respect copyright.
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Old 04-23-2008, 11:26 AM   #149
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It's silly to argue about exactly HOW wrong it is. It's just plain wrong - we're all (I think) agreed on that.
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Old 04-23-2008, 12:01 PM   #150
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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.

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"?
This is a misunderstanding of the "free" in Free Software. But I can answer this in several points.

The first punishment a court would impose is a preliminary injunction banning distribution of the copyrighted materials, since nothing but the GPL gives Bookeen the right to distribute the software, and they are not abiding by the terms of the GPL. (This has happened in other cases of GPL violations.)

The idea that there is no financial loss is beside the point, since the purpose of "copyleft" Free Software licenses such as the GPL is that you "pay for" your right to distribute the software by granting all the freedoms you received with the software to all the users you distribute it to. (i.e. The freedoms to use, study, modify and redistribute the code.)

If they didn't receive all the freedoms from Netronix (as seems to be the case here) they still don't have the right to restrict downstream users. If they cannot both distribute the software and abide by the terms of the GPL, they must simply stop distributing the software.

The "bugger all use" argument is also flawed. As someone else mentioned, GPL v3 does fix this kind of problem by ensuring that any modified code is usable on the device it is intended for (removing the TiVo loophole). But even with GPL v2, the legal onus is on all distributors to provide source code, if requested, to anyone who receives the binaries. Even if it's not directly usable, it would be useful to study for anyone producing a free firmware for the CyBook, or working on other devices. The freedom to study GPL'd source code that you receive (to see what it's doing and how it's done) is one of the 4 freedoms I mentioned before.
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