01-06-2012 09:11 PM
Barnes and Noble, myself and others have attempted to compile the GPL-Protected Kernel source code but it is incomplete. Please release proper GPL compliant Source Code.
As a distributor of Open-Source software, and not just a book-store, you must realize that your end-users have a right to compile the code. It is a mandated, built-in function of the device under the terms of the GPL-Protected Linux kernel. It is also a gauranteed right which we, the end users and developers have.
This issue is of a technical nature and the same people who design the software are the people who need to post the proper kernel sources. I realize that Barnes and Noble has implemented some sort of a chain-of-trust based security and stripped it from the kernel, however, this is the wrong way to do it. If you wish to implement chain-of-trust based security, it must be done in a way that allows the end user to compile a kernel in compliance with the GPL.
We, the end users, have a right to the entire, complete kernel source. We have a right to compile the code. We have a right to modify the code. We have a right to redistribute the code. We have a right to use our devices as we see fit because it is GPL-protected and we purchased the device from you with that inherited.
My previous post was deleted from this forum for non-compliance with your message board rules. It now resides safely at XDA-Developers here: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1
Solved! Go to Solution.
01-07-2012 12:03 PM - edited 01-07-2012 12:45 PM
I've read the threads on XDA and agree that BN is obliged to deliver valid source code.
It may be helpful if more detail is available on where the compilation process broke down, however. don't compilers normally say where they're throwing exceptions? If the code compiles what seems to be a kernel, can that kernel boot either an emulator (if placed on internal memory in the emulator) or a different, hardware compatible device?
I know one concrete issue is that the code for the wireless stack is missing. I also know that the power save mode on the wireless stack on some nook devices is making trouble - if BN is using code directly from stock Android, please give the devs a link (at least) or the source (far better) for the wireless stack. Not including that source is a mistake and amounts to declining assistance from folks who can see it with fresh eyes.
I honestly don't know if the wireless stuff is governed by the GPL or by the Apache license, but given the hairballs that the wireless on Nooks has been throwing for years, I think it's in BNs interest to let fresh eyes look at how the wireless is being done, regardless of what license the code is governed by.
01-07-2012 01:28 PM
01-07-2012 02:20 PM
BN, you're obligated by GPL to release the source code in question.
It's only a matter of time before a more formal petition is put in place and the press/media pick up on this.
Please honor the GPL and your customers by doing the right thing.
01-08-2012 12:39 AM
I also support Adam's request. Not only is it the right thing to do, it is required under the GPL.
As you have made changes due to obligations from agreements with Netflix and other media suppliers, you should honor the reqirements of the system chosen for the Nooks.
01-09-2012 11:49 AM
01-09-2012 12:14 PM
It does not operate as intended acording to your terms of service. Your terms of service say I can modify and redistribute the source code. You have not provided complete source code.
01-09-2012 02:47 PM
Who is this BN_AlexG person and why is he lying? I guess nothing short of a all out media blitz and class action law suit will get this high brow folk do what they legally must do. Oh well. Once the ball starts rolling, its gonna be darn hard to stop it.
01-09-2012 02:59 PM
I have moved this thread to its correct location, because what you describe is not pursuant to day to day device operation. Our Issue reporting exchange is not intended for issues related to kernal distribution.
I have forwarded your concern to the proper entities and will respond as soon as possible.
01-09-2012 04:38 PM - edited 01-09-2012 04:39 PM
I support Adam point of view.
Why did you reset the laurel counter when you move the Message to the correct forum?
I vote and laured the post because I agree with Adam and you delete my vote... That´s normal when you move a post to other forum?
Thanks in advance.
01-09-2012 06:17 PM
> Who is this BN_AlexG person and why is he lying? <
Alex is the B&N rep that is responsible for these forums, and attempting to make them as useful as possible to the participants here, as well as forwarding customer feedback to other groups within B&N. I have seen no evidence of him 'lying', and such accusations are really uncalled for.
> I guess nothing short of a all out media blitz and class action law suit will get this high brow folk do what they legally must do. Oh well. <
Perhaps. But perhaps not. The immediate and automatic assumption has been that B&N is hiding something, and has removed some critical OS files on purpose. Maybe they did. Or maybe it was simply an oversight. You, along with the XDA crew that has come over recently (welcome to you guys, BTW) haven't given them much of a chance to investigate and respond.
> Once the ball starts rolling, its gonna be darn hard to stop it. <
Why? If they made an honest mistake, and rectify it, how much farther do you think the ball is going to roll? I'm confused.
Alex has already stated, "I have forwarded your concern to the proper entities and will respond as soon as possible."
That seems like exactly what you should hope for. B&N has been made aware of the issue, and you'll get some info back after they've looked into it.
The problem I see is that even though you guys may have a perfectly valid concern about GPL compliance, you damage your own position by being arrogant and antagonistic. The first posting on this that ever appeared in these forums started by threatening legal action. Is that really the way you want to be perceived?
It makes me wonder if you want the missing file(s) that got left out, or if you just want to raise a stink, and beat up on B&N? If your goal is the former, then there are more polite and expeditious ways to achieve that. Or at the very least, try them first, before you come out swinging.
01-09-2012 06:24 PM
Actually, Mark, we just want to be able to fully utilize the hardware we have purchased. When B&N chose to lock down the boot process but provide a GPL-licensed kernel with their hardware, they have put themselves in a difficult position: either release the key for the hardware lock (which I'm sure they are contractually prevented from doing) or wind up violating the license they released the NT under.
The above paradox is almost a textbook example of how DRM gets people in trouble.
For my part, I'd probably be happy if I could simply load my own apps on this device (Swype, terminal emulator, SSH client, VPN client, etc), but that doesn't change the core of what's wrong here.
01-09-2012 06:56 PM - edited 01-09-2012 07:01 PM
taupehat, your assertion about a requirement to release the keys is true to the spirit of the GPL.
However, it appears to only be true of the letter of GPL 3, not GPL 2. Part of the motivation behind GPL 3, according to some, was that FOSS advocates realized that GPL 2 permitted vendors to release source code but keep their hardware locked.
Android is GPL 2 and Apache licensed, not GPL 3 licensed.
My impression is that the source release so far compiles and may execute on a reference board or in an emulator - certainly no one has presented evidence that it will not boot a reference board or emulator.
The booting problem is at the core of concern around secure boot and Linux booted from Grub -- not because all linux is GPL'ed, but because of very specific conerns about modern Grubs being governed by GPL 3 and consequently not being distributable unless board vendors are prepared to publish the keys.
The issue would not occur with GPL 2 code, according to what I've seen.
One discusson of some of this is at http://mjg59.dreamwidth.org/5552.html?thread=10692