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Subject: Re: Licensing and Copyright Issues

Re: Licensing and Copyright Issues

From: Daniel Ankers <>
Date: Wed, 12 Sep 2007 11:09:41 +0100 (BST)

> Jens Arnold wrote:
>> I would be happy to see any of my contributed code relicensed
>> under GPLv3, exactly *because* of the clauses in it which should
>> prevent both TiVoization and usage for DRM purposes.
> Tivo-isation has been used as a phrase here a few times, but I am unclear
> as to what exactly this is. Can someone put it in simple terms for me to
> understand please?

TiVo use a key built in to the device to prevent anything other than their
versions of GPL software from running. They comply with the GPL by making
all source code and their modifications available, but if you as a user
try to further modify the software it will not run on the TiVo.

What would this mean for Rockbox?

If we were to go GPLv3, then companies would be able to use Rockbox as the
operating system for their MP3 players, and customers would be guaranteed
the ability to hack on their own players. If we stay at v2, then
companies can lock their players to only use their official, signed,
version of Rockbox.
To me, this means that we have to ask what is best for the Rockbox project
- a greater chance of companies using Rockbox as their firmware, and
therefore paying people to program Rockbox full time - or a greater chance
of end users being able to hack their players, and therefore a greater
pool of potential contributers.

Received on 2007-09-12

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