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Guest Message by DevFuse

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HR20 seems to be running Linux...possible GPL violations?


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266 replies to this topic

#221 OFFLINE   sunking

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Posted 21 January 2008 - 03:54 PM

Do you really think D* has not already looked at what needed to be done legally to use the linux 2.4.29-uclibc-brcm?

Not likely!

The kernel is most likely handed to them as is.


You mean like they apparently didnt realize DLB being wanted?;)

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#222 OFFLINE   mateom199

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Posted 25 March 2008 - 04:42 PM

How does anyone know what the OS is ?
I haven't read the whole thread - but the 1st post references a post that is showing the UPnP messages. Those are from the Intel UPnP stack - and that license states



Oh, its most certainly Linux. Read this:

Post 195

#223 OFFLINE   tuff bob

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Posted 26 April 2008 - 09:07 PM

DirecTV has responded to me the same way every time.

Their lawyers have reviewed the appropriate documentation...
They have made sure all their vendors of the components, that are required to have the material available... are making it available upon request...

So what you see today... is what is available and what is being done.


Earl : How would someone make a request for the GPL sources?

http://www.linux.com/feature/55741

#224 OFFLINE   vurbano

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Posted 02 May 2008 - 10:02 AM

I don't know about all TiVos, but the HR10-250 was not wide open. The OS in the HR10 is on the drive but a routine that was on an eprom chip would verify the OS had not been changed at boot up. If it had been changed, a saved copy of the OS would overlay the boot version, and it would boot up again.
The original hackers of the HR10 were changing the eprom code so it would not do the check. Eventually, someone discovered a way around changing the eprom.
My point is: If someone really wants to hack the HR2x boxes, they will.

Mine has been wide open for years.

#225 OFFLINE   mateom199

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 08:47 PM

Yup, resurrecting an old thread.

Interesting read:

http://arstechnica.c...fringement.html

A federal appeals court has ruled that violating a free software license (aka what Directv is doing with the GPL) is grounds for copyright infringement, as opposed to simply a breach of contract.


Still waiting for my copy of the GPL, as well as access to the GPL'd code....

#226 OFFLINE   boylan

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 04:58 AM

While DirecTV owes us all a copy of the GPL text, it would still take someone with standing, like the SquashFS people or Linus Torvalds, to legally force them to release the source.

Unless, of course, DirecTV themselves realized that they were guilty of violating the terms of license for software they were using - and wishing to no longer expose themselves to a copyright infringement suit that it appears they would plainly lose - stepped up and stopped violating the license by distributing the source.

Am I correct?

#227 OFFLINE   BkwSoft

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 06:30 AM

DirecTV would only be in violation of the GPL if they were actually modifying the kernel code and then they would only be liable to disclose their changes to the kernel. Any additional software that they write that runs under the Linux kernel they have no legal obligation to disclose.

Do you have any proof that they have made any kernel changes? Or are they simply using the Linux kernel to run their software on?

#228 OFFLINE   Redlinetire

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 07:09 AM

While DirecTV owes us all a copy of the GPL text, it would still take someone with standing, like the SquashFS people or Linus Torvalds, to legally force them to release the source.


Don't confuse the angry linux mob with 'logic' and 'reason'. It only makes them angrier.... :lol:
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#229 OFFLINE   hasan

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 07:44 AM

If there were anything to any of this, it would have surfaced in a meaningful way a long time ago, being the HR20-700 has been out nearly two years and it has been commonly known since day one that linux was at its base.

This thread is just fodder for people with too much time on their hands.

If anyone has anything substantial, and not just silly speculation and subsequent pronouncements, bring your proof if you are truthful.

...hasan, N0AN

SlimLine5-SWiMLNB/DECA/WHDVR
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#230 OFFLINE   bhelton71

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 08:44 AM

Just don't get the point of this thread still

I don't understand how DirecTV would be the contact when its Broadcoms chips using the LinuxMIPS distro - and I would hazard a guess Broadcoms lawyers would be all over it - considering they use the MIPS distro in a substantial number of their products.

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#231 OFFLINE   dbmaven

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 09:17 AM

Still waiting for my copy of the GPL, as well as access to the GPL'd code....


From whom did you request these ?
When was it done, and how (electronic or hard-copy written document)?
HundredNation! DirecTV since 2000 - AU9S - SWM-8 !
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#232 OFFLINE   Doug Brott

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 09:27 AM

While DirecTV owes us all a copy of the GPL text, it would still take someone with standing, like the SquashFS people or Linus Torvalds, to legally force them to release the source.

Unless, of course, DirecTV themselves realized that they were guilty of violating the terms of license for software they were using - and wishing to no longer expose themselves to a copyright infringement suit that it appears they would plainly lose - stepped up and stopped violating the license by distributing the source.

Am I correct?


With the legions of lawyers DIRECTV undoubtedly has, I'd say that they've pretty much already put this argument to bed. As hasan noted, we'd have heard something long ago if there was any substance.
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#233 OFFLINE   wingrider01

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 11:19 AM

Not to mentiion that not all flavors of Linux are free, there are some that a licensed copy has to be purchased

#234 OFFLINE   boylan

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 01:45 PM

DirecTV would only be in violation of the GPL if they were actually modifying the kernel code and then they would only be liable to disclose their changes to the kernel. Any additional software that they write that runs under the Linux kernel they have no legal obligation to disclose.

Do you have any proof that they have made any kernel changes? Or are they simply using the Linux kernel to run their software on?


Not sure if you were referencing me, but my use of the word source was only referring to changes they have made to GPL'd code. I am not under the impression that use of Linux requires companies to release everything they've ever written.

For instance, with TiVo, they had to release the kernel source and some other stuff, but not any source for tivoapp, which was not affected by the GPL.

I have absolutely no idea what would be affected by the GPL in the HR2x series, but am curious to find out. I like knowing how things work.

Not to mention that not all flavors of Linux are free, there are some that a licensed copy has to be purchased


Well, any flavor of Linux that uses Linus's kernel or its derivatives can be sold, or have accompanying paid support, but they are also required to post the source for no charge on a network or deliver it physically at a price no more than reasonable cost (like the cost of CD and postage).

This means that companies like Red Hat can charge for Linux, but they have to provide the source of their work, which can be compiled by groups like those that run CentOS, which provides what is essentially Red Hat Linux for free.

#235 OFFLINE   boylan

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 01:51 PM

With the legions of lawyers DIRECTV undoubtedly has, I'd say that they've pretty much already put this argument to bed. As hasan noted, we'd have heard something long ago if there was any substance.


Well, unless the DirecTV lawyers concluded that they have no liability and the liability is on NDS or some other party. Then, they don't have to care - although I'm unsure of the ownership status of NDS or even if they still make the HR2x or whatever.

But if DirecTV thinks the problem is not theirs, and the company whose problem it is doesn't care about violating it - then its very possible that there has been a violation that has persisted for years without anything coming of it.

I think the fact that this thread keeps dying is an indication that no one cares enough to pursue it - and that could be a greater reason as to why nothing has happened, rather than there is no substance to the argument. That, I guess, was my original point - which I apparently made poorly.

#236 OFFLINE   Doug Brott

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 02:06 PM

All I know is that if I were DIRECTV (clearly I'm not), I would have checked, double checked, then triple checked this status .. common sense tells me that DIRECTV would do the same .. Your claims that there are a violation require assumptions on your part.

So, while the answer may in fact be obvious to you, I would still say that the answer is not so obvious.
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#237 OFFLINE   boylan

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 02:23 PM

I don't mean to be getting into a small argument about parsing words - but I don't believe it is obvious that DirecTV is in violation of anything. I just believe it is possible that whomever has the responsibility for the code in the box (be it DirecTV, NDS, Broadcom, etc.) could be in violation.

I also believe that because nothing has happened so far does not make it obvious that there is no substance to the possibility of a GPL violation, rather it just makes it likely that there is no substance.

I just pointed out that if there was a violation, and DirecTV felt the liability was not theirs - that could also lead to our current situation, which is one of absolutely nothing happening.

And even if some of us became somehow assured that some violation was occurring (which would probably require access to the code - a true Catch-22), there was nothing we could do about it, because we do not own the copyright (or copyleft) on the software in question.

So, basically none of this matters unless someone finds a true violation (which is possible, but by no means definite or even likely - and is unlikely to be found even if it existed), and then gets someone with standing to sue or at least send a legal letter of some sort to whomever is responsible - which we can't even figure out.

As a result this issue will likely never be resolved in either fashion unless some crazy kid starts breaking into the prom chip or whatever holds the code - and I know for a fact it won't be me - or DirecTV comes out with a long explanation detailing what's going on (which is even less likely than the hacker kid, because there's no reason for them to open this can of worms, especially since it could open them to more liability).

So, I guess we'll do this dance again in 8-12 months. I look forward to it.

#238 OFFLINE   houskamp

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 02:30 PM

From what little I have read in this thread, if they haven't modified the base code (just running their software on top) then they don't have to do anything..

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#239 OFFLINE   boylan

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 02:37 PM

From what little I have read in this thread, if they haven't modified the base code (just running their software on top) then they don't have to do anything..


Correct, but we couldn't know they haven't modified anything without looking at the code or getting an opinion from DirecTV. That is the likely situation, but we can't know for sure.

#240 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 02:51 PM

Correct, but we couldn't know they haven't modified anything without looking at the code or getting an opinion from DirecTV. That is the likely situation, but we can't know for sure.

So they have to disclose what they don't have to disclose?

DISH has a GPL page which is very useless ... a few scraps of modified code and a comment about propriatary code. Plus a warning that you can't build a receiver code from what they have given you because of the missing pieces that they don't have to share.

Perhaps DirecTV should spend a webpage somewhere saying "we use unmodified GPL code and propriatary non-GPL code as part of our software" sharing no code. Do they have to?

Complaining certainly has not changed the situation. :)




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