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AnthraX Linux Kernels Remain Closed Source

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  • #16
    [ 0.000000] All Rights Reserved. For Internal Use Only - Not for public distribution or use.
    [ 0.000000] Written, signed, and notorized permission required for use.
    [ 0.000000]
    [ 0.000000] TMO WiFi Calling - Closed Source and (C) 2013 Chad Goodman.
    [ 0.000000] Audio Enhancements (C) 2011, 2012, 2013 Chad Goodman
    [ 0.000000] Kernel Based MPDEC and THERMALD (C) 2012, 2013 Chad Goodman - All Rights Reserved.
    [ 0.000000] This software is for private use only, therefor you have no rights under GPL unless
    [ 0.000000] you have written, signed, and notorized authorization from Chad Goodman to use this kernel.
    [ 0.000000] Chad Goodman is not liable for any 'leaked' or unauthorized copies of this software.
    That disclaimer looks like nothing more than a safety valve in case people complained about it. If the "pirates" had the source code they would've released it by now for sure.

    I know most of distros distribute binary blobs, but "private comercial forks" of Linux kernels is just an absolutely preposterous concept. Imagine if Samsung asked that we personally sign such an agreement to use their devices kernels. He's trying to exploit a loophole in the GPL because of someone else's mistake, but not receiving the deserved credit for his code doesn't give him the right to sit on top of the Linux kernel developers code as if it were public domain.

    Yet from the looks of it, people complaining seem to be GPL violators themselves. What a mess.

    Comment


    • #17
      Originally posted by przemoli View Post
      1) GPL is agreement (not in legal terms, in common sense terms ) between distributor (somebody who gives binary), and somebody who got it from him.
      2) Distributor can impose ANY prerequisites for such distribution UNLESS they hamper that GPU relation between distributor and somebody who got binaries.

      IN PARTICULAR DISTRIBUTOR CAN DECIDE NOT TO DISTRIBUTE TO ANYONE!!!

      3) Source code requirement is valid only for people who got them from THIS particular distributor.

      So A gave binaries to B, and then B gave it to C. C have NOT FREAKING RIGHT to demand ANYTHING from A.


      4) If somebody got the binaries, and distribute it further he then enter in GPL relation with whom he shared it. (Then GOTO 1) )

      RTFL.
      (And FAQ on gnu.org They have EXACT situations well explained)
      Point me those situations exactly as I posted above why this is illegal.
      If A gave binaries to B, then A is obligated to provide source per request to B, according to license. No agreements may hinder this right.
      If B put the binary on public server, and C got it, then C has full right to demand source from B. B is OBLIGATED to provide source to C, by any means, including executing his rights to demand source from A.

      Sure B, may refuse to provide source. But then he will be violating GPL. So he legally must get source, ie the license rights stay same regardless where it sees action.
      This is how GPL works.

      But the post in question and the discussion at G+ are completely unrelated to the issue you seem to understand to discuss.
      The post in question is about source patches, that were privately distributed and applied by an individual, creating a binary form, which he does not distribute.
      Now, he is doing this because, prior he made public patches, they were taken, his copyright (not license) changed to other people, then these people claimed they wrote the patches and accused author of the stealing.

      To prove that author was not stealing anything, he posted half-broken patches and kept final versions of his own patches to himself.
      Naturally, those who was leaching, relabelling and claiming, now had broken system, where the developer's system was working perfectly, proving who was the author and who the copyright relabeling leach.

      Finally, original developer just abandoned the corrupted organization (CM, CyanogenMod) and started private development, using vanilla kernel plus patch exchange, to prevent any leaching. Which hardly makes sense, but it is GPL compatible.

      He should just create own project, manage the crew and sue everyone who issued claims to own or relabel his copyrighted work.
      And for gods sake, he should keep a timeline and allow donations. Eventually, all "good" people will find their way within his project and the corrupted will rot out.

      Its all about head of good project being overtaken by bad people.
      And now these people want to use GPL to request "working" patches from original author, which has no legal ground, not because of what you stated above, but because he never actually distributed any binaries - and as such, he is not obligated to release binary source.

      His mistake was - to not keep the timeline of his modifications, not reacting to copyright relabeling by legal action, not reacting to accusations by legal action. But maybe it will follow, I wish Chad very best.

      Originally posted by chithanh View Post
      GPL only says that all recipients of binaries have the right to demand source code from the person who gave them the binaries. You do not have the right to demand source code from third parties.

      Sourceless binaries would not be legal to redistribute (unless you pass along a written offer from the author to get the source), so the "leaked" copies can be regarded as warez.
      You have full right to demand source from third parties.
      GPL does not allow sublicensing and GPL terms apply everywhere. See above.

      Comment


      • #18
        Note that the GPL isn't "just an agreement" or a nice "line of conduct". The GPL is a full-blown license, enforced by copyright laws.
        Note also that whatever work is done on top of the kernel is less than a fart in the wind compared to the work you're building upon, which has been provided to you for free, with source code, tools, documentation, and what not.

        Finally, it seems to me that one of the requirement from the "private community" of "Anthrax" is that you do not redistribute neither code neither source, which in this case is breaking the GPL and thus breaking the law.
        Obligatory links:

        http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq....eSecretRelease
        http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq....TheGPLAllowNDA

        No. The GPL says that anyone who receives a copy from you has the right to redistribute copies, modified or not. You are not allowed to distribute the work on any more restrictive basis.
        Oh yeah, also, reading their forums, apparently, if you get approved, you don't get the source either, anyway. You've to ask real hard, and then you generally get banned unless you're helping the devs to code stuff. If that's the case, that's also breaking the law, obviously.

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by Eric D
          30/12/2013

          You think we would actually post a public rom with a private kernel?
          get a clue dude..

          the kernel is flashed on MY DEVICE after the rom is installed.
          But then again, if this is the case, it's not such a big deal.

          Edit: Oops, it seems it's not.
          Last edited by nll_a; 01-02-2014, 06:43 AM.

          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by nll_a View Post
            That disclaimer looks like nothing more than a safety valve in case people complained about it. If the "pirates" had the source code they would've released it by now for sure.

            I know most of distros distribute binary blobs, but "private comercial forks" of Linux kernels is just an absolutely preposterous concept. Imagine if Samsung asked that we personally sign such an agreement to use their devices kernels. He's trying to exploit a loophole in the GPL because of someone else's mistake, but not receiving the deserved credit for his code doesn't give him the right to sit on top of the Linux kernel developers code as if it were public domain.
            Well, Linus should have chosen "any later", thus its not patchable. Chad has no right to distribute his work as closed source within binary, because GPL forbids it and GPL applies to kernel space.

            Originally posted by nll_a View Post
            Yet from the looks of it, people complaining seem to be GPL violators themselves. What a mess.
            But the original problem was with Chad, because he
            did not maintain the public timeline of his improvements. Thus other people could assign his work and accuse him of doing what they did. Given that CM also require CLA/copyright assign, its a terminal mistake.
            did not accept donations. Thus other people had motivation to assign his work and gather donations.
            did not ask for money for his development. By means of which he could get money or enrollment into organsation that is interested in him, as in developer.
            and finally, he resorted to closed source to instead of combating the offenders with their own methods. So he can be pushed into copyright dispute (which wasn't his goal anyway) and FSF will have the choices of "be Samaritan, but allow license exploitation", or "disallow license exploitation, but look inhuman". Either way, both FSF and Chad will loose, while trolls with gain.

            Doing it the right way, he would have had authorship, money and GPL code.

            Maybe Chad should contact FSF and sort out everything with them?..

            Comment


            • #21
              Originally posted by brosis View Post
              Doing it the right way, he would have had authorship, money and GPL code.

              Maybe Chad should contact FSF and sort out everything with them?..
              And maybe he could just publish the code and he and CM just part their ways nicely?
              Nah, that would be too simple and not fun.

              (And hey, if CM requires copyright asignment then I don't see what the initial problem was in the first place.)

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by brosis View Post
                but because he never actually distributed any binaries - and as such, he is not obligated to release binary source.
                he IS actually distributing binaries. the fact that you have to register on a website to acquire them does not change that.

                Comment


                • #23
                  While trying to edit my previous post my edit time frame run out... so i post this as a new post.

                  his intention is to be treated as a private organization (Mr Goodmans own words btw.). for those who may use binaries internally without applying the gpl at all. but i haevly doubt that allowing people to sign up on a web site is enough to make them part of a private organization. this looks like a way to distribute the binaries to public and still avoid the gpl.

                  this is a grey zone at best.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    How does this apply to development? If I am developing a fork of the kernel at what point do I need to release the source? I know some android manufacturers have released phone first then weeks or months later the source for the kernel modifications. If he's giving the kernel to people part of a private group, isn't he still just testing? Is he making lots of money from this? If he's mucking with the kernel and giving it to a few thousand people, why do we or the FSF care? Is he holding on to the kernel code equivalent to the cure for cancer?

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by a user View Post
                      this is a grey zone at best.
                      I don't think so - it is pretty clear. If you are supplying binaries to someone you also need to supply source code to them even within a private organisation, and you can't prevent redistribution of that source code *for copyright reasons*. Normally within a company you'll not redistribute the source code because you'll get fired, and that outcome isn't in violation of the GPL.

                      If the developers say that they have not supplied the binaries to you, then by definition they cannot be breaking copyright (and hence the GPL). The question is where people are getting these copyright binaries from and whether these places are complying with the GPL. If they aren't then this is no different to pirating Windows or the latest Hobbit movie...


                      In any case, this project is going to die because surely no-one is stupid enough to install random binaries that aren't even acknowledged by the people who may or may not have written them?

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by brosis View Post
                        Well, Linus should have chosen "any later", thus its not patchable. Chad has no right to distribute his work as closed source within binary, because GPL forbids it and GPL applies to kernel space.


                        But the original problem was with Chad, because he
                        did not maintain the public timeline of his improvements. Thus other people could assign his work and accuse him of doing what they did. Given that CM also require CLA/copyright assign, its a terminal mistake.
                        did not accept donations. Thus other people had motivation to assign his work and gather donations.
                        did not ask for money for his development. By means of which he could get money or enrollment into organsation that is interested in him, as in developer.
                        and finally, he resorted to closed source to instead of combating the offenders with their own methods. So he can be pushed into copyright dispute (which wasn't his goal anyway) and FSF will have the choices of "be Samaritan, but allow license exploitation", or "disallow license exploitation, but look inhuman". Either way, both FSF and Chad will loose, while trolls with gain.

                        Doing it the right way, he would have had authorship, money and GPL code.

                        Maybe Chad should contact FSF and sort out everything with them?..
                        Why? FSF doesn't own rights to the Linux kernel. They can't do anything about Linux kernel GPL violations.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          This is indeed all about what constitutes a "private organization". The FSF's view is that it means a legal entity.

                          My opinion is that informal organizations are still organizations. If I hold a private gaming club, that's not a legal entity, but it is still an organization in my eyes.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by curaga View Post
                            This is indeed all about what constitutes a "private organization". The FSF's view is that it means a legal entity.

                            My opinion is that informal organizations are still organizations. If I hold a private gaming club, that's not a legal entity, but it is still an organization in my eyes.
                            If you fork my GPL'd game and distribute it among your club buddies, in my eyes you're violating my copyright and you need to make your source code public. If it's all just a matter of personal view, we won't go very far.

                            There's no reason not to distribute GPL code. If you wanna keep your code closed and sell it to others then don't use GPL code as your basis.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by nll_a View Post
                              If you fork my GPL'd game and distribute it among your club buddies, in my eyes you're violating my copyright and you need to make your source code public. If it's all just a matter of personal view, we won't go very far.

                              There's no reason not to distribute GPL code. If you wanna keep your code closed and sell it to others then don't use GPL code as your basis.
                              Sorry - you've picked the wrong license then. The GPL only covers the people who *receive* the binaries, if you're not one of them, you are a bystander.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                LOL, I remember reading about a comparable case, where some HP devices have been delivered with a modified Android kernel (which has been used at HP internally). HP claimed the distribution being unauthorized. And guess what? The devs asking for the source received it from HP. They had to resort to involving lawyers though.

                                Details: http://code.google.com/p/cmtouchpad/issues/detail?id=16
                                Released source code: https://github.com/dalingrin/hp-kern...-topaz-android

                                So yeah, LEAKED or UNAUTHORIZED is something they AnthraX guys should really talk about with their lawyers.

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