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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

#241 OFFLINE   Tom Robertson

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 03:09 PM

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. :)

Could I have that as the front page splash? :)

Well said :)

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#242 OFFLINE   wingrider01

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 05:17 PM

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.



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.


Funny don't see that option with my IBM servers

#243 OFFLINE   bhelton71

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 06:11 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 since this thread has been reawakened - lets summarize for the next go round:

1) There is no indication that programmers at DirecTV have modified any GPL'd code
2) Broadcom has disclosed their modifications, including modifications to gcc and networking and the list goes on
3) The FSF does pursue litigation vigorously and they are quite successful - so that in itself should cast doubt on any violation

Godspeed little thread - and until you are called upon again - a warm adieu.

#244 OFFLINE   mateom199

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 08:19 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?


I'm not going to repeat what myself and others have outlined earlier in this thread, but the GPL requires a copy of the license, as well as a method to obtain the GPL'd source code, whenever GPL'd code is distributed. It does not matter whether any modifications were made - DirecTV is distributing GPL'd code, and as such is bound by the terms of the GPL.

#245 OFFLINE   mateom199

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 08:25 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.


Why do you think that? Isn't it possible that DirecTV is just acting...arrogant? Just like the countless posts in this thread saying "who cares, you couldn't do anything with the source", DTV may simply think they are above the law. Its not about the practicality of the compliance, its about the principle. I could care less about the source code. I'm simply concerned with corporate arrogance, and DirecTV's complete disrespect for the open source community's work (that they are clearly profiting off of).

Don't you think its interesting that Tivo AND Dish both included a copy of the GPL, as well as provided ALL source that was necessary to be in fulfillment of the GPL?

#246 OFFLINE   mateom199

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 08:27 PM

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.


boylan, I couldn't have said it any better. Thank you.

#247 OFFLINE   Drew2k

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 08:34 PM

I wish I understood the passion that exists on the part of those who are upset at not receiving the GPL from DIRECTV. I wish I had this passion for anything else that others seem to have for a document ... :confused:

#248 OFFLINE   Bushwacr

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 09:36 PM

I wish I understood the passion that exists on the part of those who are upset at not receiving the GPL from DIRECTV. I wish I had this passion for anything else that others seem to have for a document ... :confused:


Well then why don't you design a product that uses Windows CE and not pay the fees, royalties and licenses that MS will nail you up down and around for? Or acknowledge the ownership?

It's quite simple; many electronic and computer devices use a system that involves many thousands of manhours of work. They use it for FREE. Now that's something D* HD users know; the word FREE. All the coders ask is an acknowledgement of its use and the fact the code is available. That seems a small price. Oh there is no price!

Imagine if D* had to pay for Windows embedded; how much would your bill go up? Or imagine if D* had to design the basic OS?

TIVO, Dlink, etc. all reference the base code and routines.

I'm amazed at the willingness to use stuff for free and not tell anyone. Really sad and pathetic.

#249 OFFLINE   boylan

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 09:39 PM

I wish I understood the passion that exists on the part of those who are upset at not receiving the GPL from DIRECTV. I wish I had this passion for anything else that others seem to have for a document ... :confused:


Personally, as a sometime developer I have been helped immensely by the GPL - because it made further developments possible. We're discussing this on a board that is a Linux server running Apache, PHP and presumably MySQL.

This is not because they are free as in beer, which, for instance, vBulletin is not. This is because over the past 15 some-odd years developers have contributed massive amounts of time refining these things because they knew that others would not be exclusively profiting off of their efforts, but rather they would be providing a service that they themselves have benefited from in the past. Paying it forward, of sorts.

Because not only are they giving away their own work, they are doing so in the knowledge that anyone who uses their work to create a further work will be required to give it away as well. And when it is all done, the result will be something greater than anything any one of them could have done themselves - all because of the guarantees that open source licensing makes.

While I have done nothing to contribute to Linux (other than helping some on Linux boards and the like), my business uses LAMP to create websites and I am able to make a living offering my services using open source tools. This is only possible because of the work of others, and I am deeply in debt to them - and as such, I am willing to fight for them if their wishes and the terms under which they donated their work are being ignored.

That mouthful being said - I still have no idea if that is happening here - and likely will not know at any time in the near future. So, it's merely idle speculation - but isn't that what almost all of the threads in the Cutting Edge forum and predictions about what channels are going to be added all about?

#250 OFFLINE   Drew2k

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 09:49 PM

I'm amazed at the willingness to use stuff for free and not tell anyone. Really sad and pathetic.

But they tell anyone who cares to read the user guide that they use open source software:

G. Additional Information
Certain additional terms and information for the Software and certain third party software (including the text of licenses applicable to any free, open source and other similar software that may be included in the Software) may be found in the DIRECTV Customer Agreement, the DIRECTV website located at www.directv.com, and the GNU website located at www.gnu.org.


I'm just still not understanding the passion this raises in follks because they aren't sending the actual GPL to you ... why lose sleep over it or gnash teeth at it?

#251 OFFLINE   Drew2k

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 09:51 PM

Personally, as a sometime developer I have been helped immensely by the GPL - because it made further developments possible. We're discussing this on a board that is a Linux server running Apache, PHP and presumably MySQL.

This is not because they are free as in beer, which, for instance, vBulletin is not. This is because over the past 15 some-odd years developers have contributed massive amounts of time refining these things because they knew that others would not be exclusively profiting off of their efforts, but rather they would be providing a service that they themselves have benefited from in the past. Paying it forward, of sorts.

And I understand this perspective as well, but still fail to see how or why people would rail about it with such fervor ... that's just me I guess. :shrug:

#252 OFFLINE   GregLee

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 11:09 PM

And I understand this perspective as well, but still fail to see how or why people would rail about it with such fervor ... that's just me I guess. :shrug:

I find it irritating that D* provides only a casual and oblique reference to the work of so many expert programmers who contributed their efforts to the public good, while D* is just in it for the money. The least they could do is provide a courteous acknowledgment of the great debt they owe. I'm sure that D*'s army of lawyers has made sure they can get away with saying no more than they do. Is that all that counts with you?
Greg

#253 OFFLINE   P Smith

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 11:23 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?


It was posted at other sites:
from system log of HR20-600, check who modified the kernel (bold)
kernel: Linux version 2.4.29-uclibc-brcm build version  ([B][U]dtvcm@nms-cm-build[/U][/B]) (gcc version 3.3.6) #1 Tue May 8 20:45:09 PDT 2007
kernel: Using Pace TLB configuration
kernel: Using Pace GPIO reboot code
kernel: Determined physical RAM map:
kernel:  memory: 10000000 @ 00000000 (usable)
kernel: User-defined physical RAM map:
kernel:  memory: 03000000 @ 00000000 (usable)
kernel:  memory: 05000000 @ 03000000 (usable)
kernel:  memory: 08000000 @ 08000000 (usable)
kernel: On node 0 totalpages: 65536
kernel: zone(0): 65536 pages.
kernel: zone(1): 0 pages.
kernel: zone(2): 0 pages.
kernel: Kernel command line: mtdparts=pace_dtv:384k@0k(loader),1408k@896k(kernel),14080k@2304k(rootfs),512k@384k(reserved) root=/dev/mtdblock2 rootfstype=squashfs console=/dev/null
kernel: Enable the cache parity protection for MIPS 5KC CPUs.
kernel: timer irq 65 end 62
kernel: Using 148.501 MHz high precision timer.
kernel: Calibrating delay loop... brcm timer int
kernel: 296.55 BogoMIPS
kernel: Memory: 174452k/262144k available (2229k kernel code, 87692k reserved, 152k data, 100k init, 0k highmem)
kernel: Dentry cache hash table entries: 32768 (order: 6, 262144 bytes)
kernel: Inode cache hash table entries: 16384 (order: 5, 131072 bytes)
kernel: Mount cache hash table entries: 512 (order: 0, 4096 bytes)
kernel: Buffer cache hash table entries: 16384 (order: 4, 65536 bytes)
kernel: Page-cache hash table entries: 65536 (order: 6, 262144 bytes)
kernel: bcmrac: RAC mode=0xd0, floor=0x00000000, ceiling=0x0fffffff
kernel: Checking for 'wait' instruction...  available.
kernel: POSIX conformance testing by UNIFIX
kernel: $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ dev=242, vendor=1166, did=2421166
kernel: Setting up SATA controller, VD Rev=00000520, pll_war=0, sata2_war=0, sata2_on=1
kernel: SATA: Primary Bus Master Status Register offset = b0520000 + 00000300 = b0520300
kernel: SATA: before init Primary Bus Master Status reg = 0x00000000.
kernel: SATA: after init Primary Bus Master Status reg = 0x00000020.
kernel: SATA: Secondary Bus Master Status Register offset = b0520000 + 00000300 = b0520300
kernel: SATA: before init Secondary Bus Master Status reg = 0x00000000.
kernel: SATA: after init Secondary Bus Master Status reg = 0x00000060.
kernel: Linux NET4.0 for Linux 2.4
kernel: Based upon Swansea University Computer Society NET3.039
kernel: Initializing RT netlink socket
kernel: Starting kswapd
kernel: JFFS2 version 2.1. (C) 2001 Red Hat, Inc., designed by Axis Communications AB.
kernel: Squashfs 2.1-r2 (released 2004/12/15) (C) 2002-2004 Phillip Lougher
kernel: SGI XFS with realtime, no debug enabled
kernel: pty: 256 Unix98 ptys configured
kernel: HDLC line discipline: version $Revision: 3.7 $, maxframe=4096
kernel: N_HDLC line discipline registered.
kernel: loop: loaded (max 8 devices)
kernel: PPP generic driver version 2.4.2
kernel: PPP Deflate Compression module registered
kernel: PPP BSD Compression module registered
kernel: bcmemac_net_probe: ver 1
kernel: Broadcom BCM703822 Ethernet Network Device v1.0 May  8 2007 20:45:36
kernel: init_buffers: 96 descriptors initialized
kernel: init_buffers: 00000060 descriptors initialized, from flowctl
kernel: BCMINTMAC: Auto-negotiation timed-out
kernel: BCMINTMAC: 10 MB Half-Duplex (assumed)


#254 OFFLINE   Redlinetire

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Posted 15 August 2008 - 03:50 PM

I find it irritating that D* provides only a casual and oblique reference to the work of so many expert programmers who contributed their efforts to the public good, while D* is just in it for the money. The least they could do is provide a courteous acknowledgment of the great debt they owe. I'm sure that D*'s army of lawyers has made sure they can get away with saying no more than they do. Is that all that counts with you?


The best fortune cookie fortune I've ever received:

"He who expects no gratitude shall never be disappointed"
TiVo Series3 --> Toshiba 34HFX83 (CRT)

#255 OFFLINE   P Smith

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Posted 15 August 2008 - 04:10 PM

The best fortune cookie fortune I've ever received:

"He who expects no gratitude shall never be disappointed"

Then tell me what would be stimulus for all open source supporting ppl ?
Seems to me you never wrote a program. :(

#256 OFFLINE   Tom Robertson

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Posted 15 August 2008 - 04:18 PM

It was posted at other sites:
from system log of HR20-600, check who modified the kernel (bold)

kernel: Linux version 2.4.29-uclibc-brcm build version  ([B][U]dtvcm@nms-cm-build[/U][/B]) (gcc version 3.3.6) #1 Tue May 8 20:45:09 PDT 2007
....


Custom Build <> Custom Code

(Nor does it indicate who even did the custom build for that matter, merely who the likely customer was.)

Cheers,
Tom

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#257 OFFLINE   Ken S

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Posted 15 August 2008 - 04:24 PM

And I understand this perspective as well, but still fail to see how or why people would rail about it with such fervor ... that's just me I guess. :shrug:


Drew,

Certainly the passion is nothing like that for HD channel launches :).

Seriously, the Open Source movement encompasses people that have dedicated great portions of their working lives to the products and the whole idea of Open Source software. They are truly "invested" in that movement and are going to be very apt to fight for strict adherence to the license.

On the other hand, if the group with legal standing is unwilling to take any action (legal or even PR related) on this issue (have they been asked?) then that should stand as either their agreement that DirecTV has done enough or they're not all that interested in protecting their rights under the license.

#258 OFFLINE   P Smith

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Posted 15 August 2008 - 04:27 PM

Tom, if you want go into details, you could use your own DVR ;), but there are strong indications of _customized_ kernel.
Please participate, don't hesitate to look inside your DVR's disk.

#259 OFFLINE   RCY

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Posted 15 August 2008 - 04:32 PM

...
On the other hand, if the group with legal standing is unwilling to take any action (legal or even PR related) on this issue (have they been asked?) then that should stand as either their agreement that DirecTV has done enough or they're not all that interested in protecting their rights under the license.


Spot on, Ken. :)

#260 OFFLINE   Tom Robertson

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Posted 15 August 2008 - 04:37 PM

Tom, if you want go into details, you could use your own DVR ;), but there are strong indications of _customized_ kernel.
Please participate, don't hesitate to look inside your DVR's disk.


That's Ok. I'm happy reacting to the hard work of others in this thread. :)

Playing devils advocate for just a moment: Does a mention of the GPL and Linux really honor the many hard working programmers? To me it might and it might not, I'm not really sure.

My personal feelings on this topic haven't changed from my much earlier postings, btw.

Cheers,
Tom

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