[personal profile] mjg59
Update: Despite another email yesterday reasserting the 90-120 days lie, the source code has now landed on HTC's site.

As has been discussed before, HTC have a somewhat "interesting" interpretation of the GPL that allows them to claim they don't need to provide source code until between 90 and 120 days after the release of binaries. It's probably noteworthy that the FSF (who, you know, wrote the license and all) disagree with this interpretation, as do the kernel copyright holders (who, you know, wrote the code that the license covers) I've talked to about it. Anyway, after a pile of screaming and shouting from all sides HTC have tended to release their source code in a timely manner. So things seemed better.

HTC released the Thunderbolt last week and we're back to the 90-120 day song and dance. It's probably worth remembering that by behaving in this way HTC gain a competitive advantage over any vendors who obey the terms of their license - HTC can incorporate improvements made by others without releasing their own until through a significant portion of the lifecycle of their phone.

As far as I'm concerned, every single Thunderbolt sold so far embodies a copyright infringement. Wilfully engaging in copyright infringement for commercial benefit is typically frowned upon by courts, especially if by doing so a foreign company is gaining commercial advantage over a domestic one. If you think Microsoft's patent assault on Android is a problem, just imagine what they could do if they hired one significant Linux kernel developer and used their copyrights to attack the overwhelming majority of Android vendors who fail to comply with the GPL. It probably wouldn't be industry ending (companies would merely have improve their compliance procedures) but it'd do a huge deal of damage in the short term. It's insane for companies to behave this way. Don't reward them by giving them your money.

I'll be talking about this at the Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit next month, along with an update on my study of the compliance of Android tablets. I'm hoping that there'll be further developments after that.

Karma bites

Date: 2011-03-23 09:59 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Apparently, some HTC Dev asked for help on a Linux mailing list (Sorry, I don't have the actual link). They replied with "Oh sure, just wait 90-120 days for an answer".

http://forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.php?p=12308481&postcount=102

-Nushio

Re: Karma bites

Date: 2011-03-23 11:18 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
It's here http://lwn.net/Articles/409864/ (there was an LWN kernel page that linked it as a quote, but I don't remember where that was.)

Re: Karma bites

Date: 2011-03-24 04:39 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Found it.
Quotes of the week -- October 12, 2010 (http://lwn.net/Articles/409416/)

Which manufacturer then...

Date: 2011-03-23 10:48 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Hi,

So, I have read a couple of your posts on Android type devices that don't follow the GPL and release their source, since I am mildly interested as an Android user (with a HTC phone; eeek).

Which manufacturer is behaving well and therefore should we support? Samsung, Motorola, Sony-Ericsson?

Also, if you are looking for another small fight, I know of a Suli SL-7 tablet, which is the same as a Haipad M7 and Dropod A8, which have Samsung A8 chips within and run pretty much the same ROMs. From what I can tell, people are having trouble getting the code from the 'Solutions Company' to enable them to better enhance the ROMs that are available. Whirlpool Thread Here! (http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/archive/1646969#r28537034) Your support would probably be very welcomed.

Regards,
Whytey

Re: Which manufacturer then...

Date: 2011-03-23 11:13 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.linux.kernel/1048027

Date: 2011-03-23 11:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] http://users.livejournal.com/joshua_/
I now have a Thunderbolt (my Evo ate it). The word I got from HTC (I asked on day 1 for source) was "ask again Wednesday". Time to ask again.

Additionally, Thunderbolt is a big loss in other regards. Thunderbolt runs on the 700MHz spectrum (in particular, including the upper C-block), which Google successfully pushed for to be open access. It is becoming increasingly clear now that Google asked for that spectrum to be open-access only so that they could keep iPhone out of the LTE market, and they have no intention of holding their own OEMs to the "open access" standard; certainly Thunderbolt isn't unlockable, anyway.

This behavior is actively destructive to the open source community, and it seems that Google is as much at fault as the vendors; by continuing to license the Android marketing rights to people who would willingly harm the people from which they sourced their content, Google seems as guilty in promoting what amounts to a closed platform.

Sigh. Hopefully things will improve, but I'm not putting money down on it.

Alex

Date: 2011-03-23 11:37 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
The probably wouldn't even need to hire someone:

$ egrep -ri '(Copyright|\(C\)).*Microsoft' linux-2.6.38.1
linux-2.6.38.1/Documentation/usb/linux.inf:; Copyright (c) Microsoft Corporation
linux-2.6.38.1/Documentation/usb/linux-cdc-acm.inf:; Copyright (c) 2000 Microsoft Corporation
linux-2.6.38.1/drivers/staging/hv/channel_mgmt.h: * Copyright (c) 2009, Microsoft Corporation.
linux-2.6.38.1/drivers/staging/hv/utils.h: * Copyright (c) 2009, Microsoft Corporation.
linux-2.6.38.1/drivers/staging/hv/ring_buffer.c: * Copyright (c) 2009, Microsoft Corporation.
linux-2.6.38.1/drivers/staging/hv/channel.c: * Copyright (c) 2009, Microsoft Corporation.
linux-2.6.38.1/drivers/staging/hv/hv.c: * Copyright (c) 2009, Microsoft Corporation.
linux-2.6.38.1/drivers/staging/hv/blkvsc_drv.c: * Copyright (c) 2009, Microsoft Corporation.
linux-2.6.38.1/drivers/staging/hv/storvsc.c: * Copyright (c) 2009, Microsoft Corporation.
linux-2.6.38.1/drivers/staging/hv/netvsc.c: * Copyright (c) 2009, Microsoft Corporation.
linux-2.6.38.1/drivers/staging/hv/rndis_filter.c: * Copyright (c) 2009, Microsoft Corporation.
linux-2.6.38.1/drivers/staging/hv/hv_utils.c: * Copyright (c) 2010, Microsoft Corporation.
linux-2.6.38.1/drivers/staging/hv/netvsc_drv.c: * Copyright (c) 2009, Microsoft Corporation.
linux-2.6.38.1/drivers/staging/hv/hv.h: * Copyright (c) 2009, Microsoft Corporation.
linux-2.6.38.1/drivers/staging/hv/channel_mgmt.c: * Copyright (c) 2009, Microsoft Corporation.
linux-2.6.38.1/drivers/staging/hv/logging.h: * Copyright (c) 2009, Microsoft Corporation.
linux-2.6.38.1/drivers/staging/hv/vmbus_drv.c: * Copyright (c) 2009, Microsoft Corporation.
linux-2.6.38.1/drivers/staging/hv/netvsc_api.h: * Copyright (c) 2009, Microsoft Corporation.
linux-2.6.38.1/drivers/staging/hv/vmbus.h: * Copyright (c) 2009, Microsoft Corporation.
linux-2.6.38.1/drivers/staging/hv/version_info.h: * Copyright (c) 2009, Microsoft Corporation.
linux-2.6.38.1/drivers/staging/hv/vmbus_packet_format.h: * Copyright (c) 2009, Microsoft Corporation.
linux-2.6.38.1/drivers/staging/hv/hv_api.h: * Copyright (c) 2009, Microsoft Corporation.
linux-2.6.38.1/drivers/staging/hv/rndis_filter.h: * Copyright (c) 2009, Microsoft Corporation.
linux-2.6.38.1/drivers/staging/hv/ring_buffer.h: * Copyright (c) 2009, Microsoft Corporation.
linux-2.6.38.1/drivers/staging/hv/vmbus_private.h: * Copyright (c) 2009, Microsoft Corporation.
linux-2.6.38.1/drivers/staging/hv/osd.h: * Copyright (c) 2009, Microsoft Corporation.
linux-2.6.38.1/drivers/staging/hv/vstorage.h: * Copyright (c) 2009, Microsoft Corporation.
linux-2.6.38.1/drivers/staging/hv/storvsc_api.h: * Copyright (c) 2009, Microsoft Corporation.
linux-2.6.38.1/drivers/staging/hv/connection.c: * Copyright (c) 2009, Microsoft Corporation.
linux-2.6.38.1/drivers/staging/hv/osd.c: * Copyright (c) 2009, Microsoft Corporation.
linux-2.6.38.1/drivers/staging/hv/vmbus_api.h: * Copyright (c) 2009, Microsoft Corporation.
linux-2.6.38.1/drivers/staging/hv/blkvsc.c: * Copyright (c) 2009, Microsoft Corporation.
linux-2.6.38.1/drivers/staging/hv/storvsc_drv.c: * Copyright (c) 2009, Microsoft Corporation.
linux-2.6.38.1/drivers/staging/hv/channel.h: * Copyright (c) 2009, Microsoft Corporation.
linux-2.6.38.1/drivers/staging/hv/vmbus_channel_interface.h: * Copyright (c) 2009, Microsoft Corporation.
linux-2.6.38.1/drivers/staging/hv/netvsc.h: * Copyright (c) 2009, Microsoft Corporation.
linux-2.6.38.1/drivers/staging/hv/rndis.h: * Copyright (c) 2009, Microsoft Corporation.
linux-2.6.38.1/include/acpi/actbl2.h: * Copyright 2006 Microsoft Corporation.
$

Date: 2011-03-23 11:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ajaxxx.livejournal.com
The hv driver is for Hyper-V guest support, which HTC are assuredly not shipping. The story goes that Microsoft were only compelled to open the driver because someone noticed they happened to be shipping a kernel module...

The rest of those copyright statements are on little more than lists of facts, which generally don't hold a lot of weight for copyright claim anyway.

Re: Alex

Date: 2011-03-24 12:00 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Probably that staging driver could be dropped and zero phones/tablets would use it anyway.

I wonder if the stuff in actbl2.h is even copyrightable. It is essentially just structs, defines and enums.

Those .inf files are for use under Windows only so they could be dropped easily.

cuss words

Date: 2011-03-24 04:17 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Could you consider keeping the title of your blog clean, considering that it is mirrored on Planet Debian? I viewed this one at work with students nearby.

Re: cuss words

Date: 2011-03-24 11:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] http://apebox.org/wordpress/
Students know better cuss words than you do.

Re: cuss words

Date: 2011-03-28 11:34 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Agreed. We need to have better professionalism and be on higher ground than the companies that are short-changing the GPL.

Date: 2011-03-24 04:40 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Have you considered taking legal action here?

For instance, you suggested in the past the idea of poking customs enforcement; perhaps their phones could wait 90-120 days in customs. ;)

You might also try poking one of the various GPL-enforcement organizations if you don't want to go after them yourself.

This really needs fixing; HTC needs to understand that this is *not OK*.

Date: 2011-03-24 06:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] http://users.livejournal.com/joshua_/
As I understand it, he personally doesn't have any copyright stake in the source that HTC is violating with. I would like to find someone who does have a stake, and is interested, but most folks that I know in person who hack on the kernel have their code owned by their employer, who is generally unwilling to send HTC a cease and desist. (In fact, often that employer is Google.) If you know someone who has a stake in that code, and who is willing to send a C&D, please let me know!

Date: 2011-03-24 08:43 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I have 60+ commits in the kernel: a pile of cleanups, and a handful of substantive changes. I'd certainly support any action someone wanted to take, but I doubt my stake alone would make a sufficient case.

Date: 2011-03-24 11:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] http://users.livejournal.com/joshua_/
Please send me mail -- joshua at unrevoked dot com.

Google should deal with this

Date: 2011-03-24 08:28 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
"It probably wouldn't be industry ending (companies would merely have improve their compliance procedures) but it'd do a huge deal of damage in the short term."

This is why it is a problem for Google (even though they might not be directly responsible in this case) and the reason why Google should make sure HTC behaves.
From: (Anonymous)
Are there any vendors which have behaved particularly well in regards to the GPL?
How about hardware specs? Are there _any_ which could be considered reasonably open these days? I'm particularly thinking of 3D hardware here (I kind of assume that all the phone-side stuff is going to be a black box *sigh*). I was under the impression that none of the small-device chipsets had open specs but I'd _love_ to be proved wrong...
From: [identity profile] xaueious.wordpress.com
With regards to who can enforce GPL compliance, doesn't it makes sense for the SoC manufacturers sourcing the codebase and the hardware to help with enforcement?

None of the SoC suppliers are emphasize GPL enforcement. This problem is worldwide, and the American companies have been no better than the international ones. There has been no example. All of them are happily making money at the expense of kernel developers.

That's why these ODMs are able to make any smartphones or tablets in the first place. If you to move up the chain, ARM should be responsible as well for helping with GPL enforcement, but if they do that, they might as well run out of business. That's the source for all this nonsense. Even American SoC suppliers have non-existent enforcement. I can think of ODMs violating the GPL associated to every company out there. The overseas SoC suppliers are even worse offenders. The thing is, that's how they do business.

HTC just happens to be Qualcomm's biggest customers. If you have been paying attention, Qualcomm's smaller partners are even worse, from Acer (formerly E-Ten information systems). Then there is the less popular Foxconn sourced Qualcomm MSM7227 Viewpad 7. Qualcomm has been working with non-compliant illegal Shehzneh shanzhai manufacturers over the last few months, if you have been following the Qualcomm MSM72xx based Android phone clones out of Shenzhen this year. Qualcomm is supplying their SoC to the same manufacturers manufacturing illegal clones. HTC is protecting themselves because Qualcomm doesn't give a damn.

Motorola has not been pushing their SoC as hard as Qualcomm. The news out of Shenzhen is that they are too expensive. But as you see with their Archos, Barnes and Noble Nook Color, and to a lesser extent the so called Witstech A81, Motorola doesn't care much either.

Nvidia doesn't seem to be much better either. Malata and Compal come to mind.

Freescale is an interesting exception, because they do not have any legitimate Android products on the market. They did managed to get some smaller manufacturers. As a result most of their iMX515 tablets are straight-up clones that happen to run Froyo.

Marvell has a few tablets as well in the market since mid-2010. Amlogic tablets just started to ramp up production, and production units are coming out next month.

Now as for the Koreans, they have been relatively quiet on this front. But they have been quietly supplying SoC in limited quantities, most notably to a company called Urbetter, which has resulted in the Aishuo lineup of tablets based on S3C6410 and S5PV210. Coby electronics is set to release 3-5 Android tablets based on SoC from Samsung within a quarter or so.

Korean Telechips has been talked about on the GPL violations mailing list, being noted for having manufacturers sign non-disclosure agreements for SDK access against the GPL license. With regards to Android, Telechips has licensed ARM1176 and Mali-200 for the TCC8902. More recently, they are already have TCC8803 tablets in the market, the manufacturer being Emdoor electronics. Other companies they supply to: CBS (创必胜), Intson (英特圣), and StyleFlying (时代飞腾).

In Taiwan, you have VIA owned WonderMedia, which supplies ARM9 SoC to create some of the worst Android products ever manufactured. They were discussed on GPL violations as well, and did end up releasing kernel sources for WM8505. But their ODMs just released WM8650 tablets, and no sources are in sight, to no one's surprise.

Taiwanese MediaTek has long been assisting factories create phone clones for years now. They have an ARM9 Android turnkey solution that they sell. You wont find the sources for those either.

Chinese SoC manufacturers include Rockchip, and more recently Infotmic. Huawei has a ARM9 license they use for the K3 SoC, which has resulted in some GPL violating Android phones as well.

From Singapore, you have Creative technologies and their subsidiary ZiiLabs. I have not found the GPL sources for the ZiiO tablets.

So here is the entire international picture.

They just released the srouce it seems

Date: 2011-03-29 09:15 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
http://developer.htc.com/

Profile

Matthew Garrett

About Matthew

Power management, mobile and firmware developer on Linux. Security developer at Nebula. Member of the Linux Foundation Technical Advisory Board. Ex-biologist. @mjg59 on Twitter. Content here should not be interpreted as the opinion of my employer.

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