[IAEP] [Sugar-devel] [SLOBS] GPL non compliance? was Re: GPL non-compliance, was Re: GPLv3

John Watlington wad at laptop.org
Wed Apr 27 01:06:56 EDT 2011

On Apr 26, 2011, at 6:26 PM, Jonas Smedegaard wrote:

> On 11-04-26 at 04:28pm, John Watlington wrote:
>> As Martin says, GPL v3 moves from requiring that modifications be 
>> shared, to telling you what you can and cannot do with the code.
> Did Martin really acknowledge that XOs - if considered _transportation_ 
> devices for Sugar - would cause GPLv3 to be violated?!?

I don't believe a GPL v3 Sugar distributed on Uruguay's laptops
would be in violation, for the reasons Walter has listed, but IANAL.
The problem would be any Linux OS components which are GPL v3
(increasing in new releases) which cannot be replaced by the user.
If a deployment provides root access on the XO, I don't believe
this is a problem either. 

GPL v3 forces licensees to treat users of a device as if they were
the actual owners of the device.   This prevents the use of GPL v3
code in devices whose hardware costs are subsidized by service fees.
It also seems to make it hard to use GPL v3 code in devices
subsidized/provided-for-free for a specific goal.   The kiosk idea
mentioned by Martin is the classic example of GPL v3 interfering
with a perfectly fine possibly non-profit use of FOSS.

Another is shared laptops (despite our goal of one/child, I hear of
deployments attempting to timeshare).  If deployments are forced
by GPL v3 to allow any user to replace any system component,
all sorts of functionality and security issues arise.
At MIT Project Athena years ago this was solved by
keeping all user data in the cloud and rewriting the operating system
and common applications when a user logged out.   But this required
lots of network bandwidth, server farms, and physically securing the
actual computers.

Can you tell I should be working on something else ?

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