Will Ubuntu Edge commit to using only free software?

Bob Jonkman bjonkman at sobac.com
Thu Jul 25 21:49:05 UTC 2013


On 13-07-25 04:47 PM, Stephen M. Webb wrote:
> It's also likely that the radio firmware (the stuff that connect to
> the telco) will be closed, since (a) it's probably in the silicon and
> (2) most telcos won't allow user-serviceable parts to touch their 
> networks.

It's worse than that. The firmware for GSM is patent encumbered, and
more up-to-date technologies (UMTS, HSPA) are probably even more tightly
controlled.  The actual phone radio firmware was one of the few things
that was not open on the OpenMoko phone, which was otherwise completely
open-hardware and open-software.

Fortunately, the Hush-A-Phone court case in the US prohibits telcos from
refusing to connect user-serviceable devices to their network. That
decision let to the burgeoning fax industry, answering machines, and
probably the entire mobile phone industry.

--Bob.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gsm#Issues_with_patents_and_open_source

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hush-A-Phone_v._United_States


Bob Jonkman <bjonkman at sobac.com>         http://sobac.com/sobac/
SOBAC Microcomputer Services              Phone: +1-519-669-0388
6 James Street, Elmira ON Canada  N3B 1L5  Cell: +1-519-635-9413
Software   ---   Office & Business Automation   ---   Consulting



On 13-07-25 04:47 PM, Stephen M. Webb wrote:
> On 07/25/2013 04:24 PM, Kip Warner wrote:
>> With $32 million to spend, will Canonical and Ubuntu commit to 
>> software freedom as the foundational design principle?
>> 
>> <https://www.fsf.org/blogs/community/will-ubuntu-edge-commit-to-using-only-free-software>
>
>>
>> 
> I can't speak for the phone developers, but considering the android 
> kernel uses proprietary blob drivers for the video already, it's a 
> moot point.  It's also likely that the radio firmware (the stuff
> that connect to the telco) will be closed, since (a) it's probably in
> the silicon and (2) most telcos won't allow user-serviceable parts
> to touch their networks.
> 
> Any software developed by Canonical is committed to being GPLv3. That
> includes the Unity 8 shell and core applications.
> 

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