Uruguay violates GPL by deleting root on OLPCs

John Gilmore gnu at toad.com
Wed Jul 7 05:32:00 EDT 2010

> > Ignoring the fact that some deployments ship without root access.
> Is the practice of completely locking-down the laptops something we'd
> even want to encourage? 

Shipping the laptops TiVoized like Uruguay does has put them into serious
legal trouble.  OLPC should definitely not encourage anybody else to do this.
Why bankrupt your project by losing a copyright enforcement lawsuit?

Shipping the laptops without root access is a direct violation of the
GPLv3 license on a dozen packages (probably 50+ packages in later
Fedoras).  They have shipped binaries, while using technological means
to deny the recipient the practical ability to upgrade or replace them
with versions modified or chosen by the recipient.

Only an idiot would distribute hundreds of thousands of units while
setting themselves up to pay the Free Software Foundation any amount
of money they demand.  (Given the way OLPC and Uruguay have
ignored the notice that they're in violation, for years, I do hope FSF
extracts both future compliance, and its next ten years of operating
expenses, from these scofflaws.)

Or does Uruguay think, "Sue us for copyright violation in our own
courts -- we'll make sure you lose"??  In other words, do they
just brazenly steal the GNU Project's software, knowing it's wrong?

	John Gilmore

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