[Sugar-devel] Is Project Ceibal violating the GNU General Public License?

Andrés Ambrois andresambrois at gmail.com
Mon Aug 24 12:57:55 EDT 2009

On Monday 24 August 2009 10:11:54 am Walter Bender wrote:
> On Mon, Aug 24, 2009 at 3:48 AM, John Gilmore<gnu at toad.com> wrote:
> > Re: [Sugar-devel] RFH - Journal corruption reports fom 8.2.1 users in Uy
> >
> >> Remember that Ceibal XOs have root access locked-down. And I recently
> >> found out that since the key-delegation stuff was implemented, we can't
> >> request developer keys. Not from OLPC at least, and LATU is not
> >> providing that service that I know...
> >
> > Could someone please clarify this?
> According to Ceilbal (24-08-09):
> "We have delivered developer keys in the past, and we will deliver them to
> the owner of the machine upon request."
> Therefore, I do not think that there is a violation of the GPL.

I wrote to Ceibal asking for information and this is what they replied:

"Hola Andrés, 
Debido al sistema de seguridad incorporado en la XO, el Plan Ceibal no brinda 
la clave de desarrollador. Esto se debe, a que una persona con acceso a la 
clave podría desactivar la seguridad de la máquina.
 Cualquier otra consulta, no dudes en volver a comunicarte."


Hello Andrés,

Because of the security system built into the XO, Plan Ceibal doesn't provide 
developer keys. This is because a person with access to the key could 
deactivate the security of the machine.
Don't hesitate in contacting us for any other questions. 

> -walter
> > It sounds like Project Ceibal is explicitly violating the GNU General
> > Public License on much or all of the software that it ships:
> >
> >  *  It provides binaries without source code, and without a written
> >     offer of source code.
> >
> >  *  It provides binaries in a physical form (laptop) which is
> >     protected against modification by the end-user, so that those
> >     users cannot replace the GPLv3-licensed software on the laptop
> >     with later versions.  More than 20 packages shipped are GPLv3
> >     licensed, as of 12 months ago, including the Coreutils (most
> >     shell commands), tar and cpio (used for software updates), and
> >     gettext (internationalization).  GPLv3 requires that the relevant
> >     passwords or keys must be supplied to the end user -- including
> >     both the "developer key" and the root password.
> >
> >  *  Some programs are modified, but the modified versions are not
> >     marked to distinguish them from the original GPL-licensed
> >     programs.
> >
> > There are other less important violations as well (most are documented
> > at bugs.laptop.org; search for "GPL").
> >
> > I would be happy to learn that the children receiving these laptops
> > have full access to source code, ability to upgrade their laptops
> > at will, and can tell modified from unmodified software.  Please let
> > me know what is really happening in the schools of Uruguay.
> >
> >        John Gilmore
> > _______________________________________________
> > Devel mailing list
> > Devel at lists.laptop.org
> > http://lists.laptop.org/listinfo/devel


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