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A "Large Hardware Vendor" Wants A EULA Displayed For Firmware Updates On Linux

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  • Originally posted by bridgman View Post
    Not sure I agree with that... a EULA is just another license agreement.
    All EULAs are license agreements but not all license agreements are EULAs.

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    • Originally posted by lu_tze View Post
      When we discuss what GPL gives or takes, it is not relative to empty state, but to previous legal state. Here, the Copyright Act is the default. You can do everything that it allows and cannot do everything it disallows. It is Copyright Act that disallows you to modify, build and distribute someone's other code.
      Would the same not apply to a EULA, which typically grants you the right to use and distribute the code and extends those same rights to anyone who receives the code from you ?

      By your logic a EULA does not take any rights away either, although I guess you could argue that copyright law may not explicitly prohibit reverse engineering in some jurisdictions.

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      • Originally posted by bridgman View Post
        By your logic a EULA does not take any rights away either
        If the license only grants you rights then there is no need to agree to it. Only if it takes away rights then any sort of agreement is necessary.

        More specifically,
        • "This license does not grant you the right to disassemble/reverse engineer/etc." -> no agreement necessary
        • "You agree to not disassemble/reverse engineer/etc." -> agreement necessary in order to take effect
        • "This comes without any warranty to the extent permitted by applicable law" -> no agreement necessary
        • "You agree to binding arbitration" / "you will not engage in class lawsuits" -> agreement necessary

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        • Originally posted by JMB9 View Post
          So if the current automate nonsense will break it would be better far all ... but not to present those idiotic texts!
          As far as I remember GNOME Software / KDE Discover never updated a device without asking first!

          Admins need to automate - a cli works fine for that. But we test first and then deploy on a test group and finally the rest of the company.
          Last edited by slalomsk8er; 08-12-2020, 02:52 AM. Reason: clarity that the the first paragraph conserns private / single workstation

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          • Not a problem. They want an EULA display & negotiation – and they won't get it. So their fw won't be distributed through the usual mechanism that works for everybody else. They will need a separate firmware downloader that display their EULA. This downloader have to be written, maintained and distributed by whoever wants to distribute such firmware then. (The "large vendor" or their linux-using fanbase.) Users will be urged to complain to the vendor until they give in and distribute firmware the normal way.

            An EULA display is impossible for many reasons. Particularly: Some linux boxes have no display that can show text, some have no keyboard/mouse for the "accept click". Now, this firmware may be for a graphics card – the machine may still be a headless compute node. People uses graphics cards to run neural nets and other highly parallel loads.

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            • Originally posted by fagnerln View Post
              I don't see much problem on EULAs, people are free to reject it anyway. It can be used to protect them legally, they should be transparent.
              No they can't. They are ONLY legal intimidation. They don't carry any in-court legal significance or weight. Just something for idiots to think are legally valid or binding.

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              • Originally posted by torsionbar28 View Post
                Um, no. You are aware that the GPL v2 and GPL v3 are also EULA's, correct? So are MIT, Apache, and all of the open-source license agreements. Literally every piece of every Linux distro is covered by one EULA or another. There is nothing inherently bad about EULA's.

                All this vendor is asking for, is that the user be prompted to explicitly accept it. I don't have a problem with that, especially since you already have to explicitly accept their EULA to download the firmware from their web site today.
                Nope.. Those are LICENCE agreements, and have absolutely no impact on end-users.. The fact some companies tries to display them as EULAs is just a way to make them seem scarier. It was never required, nor does it make any sense. Remember all EULAs are legally invalid.

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                • Originally posted by carewolf View Post

                  Nope.. Those are LICENCE agreements, and have absolutely no impact on end-users..
                  The words "you" and "your" appear in the GPLv3 precisely 163 times. The end user is the whole point of GPLv3.

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                  • Originally posted by wswartzendruber View Post
                    The words "you" and "your" appear in the GPLv3 precisely 163 times. The end user is the whole point of GPLv3.
                    And applies to the programmer, not the end user

                    And on top of that, the whole thing GRANTS permissions, it doesnt make any restrictions.

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                    • Originally posted by carewolf View Post
                      And applies to the programmer, not the end user
                      Not so, the entire concept of FOSS blurs this distinction, as the end user often times *is* the programmer. This is the case with many hobbyist communities, not just software.

                      Originally posted by carewolf View Post
                      And on top of that, the whole thing GRANTS permissions, it doesnt make any restrictions.
                      If your claim were true, there would be no such thing as a "GPL violation", yet we all know GPL violations are a real thing.

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