[maemo-developers] [maemo-developers] Re: RE: Nokia 770 sources...

From: Danny Milosavljevic danny_milo at yahoo.com
Date: Thu Aug 31 00:37:25 EEST 2006

On Wed, 30 Aug 2006 16:12:06 -0400, Andrew Barr wrote:

> On Wed, 2006-08-30 at 15:56 -0400, Michael Wiktowy wrote:
>> Unfortunately, I don't think the waters are all that clear in this
>> situation.
> No, unfortunately they're not.
>> IANAL but it is my understanding that most countries have RFI laws
>> that do not allow RF chip manufacturers to allow their users to modify
>> their chips to switch to licensed bands or use an amount of power that
>> brings it into a licenseable realm. It is not just the case of the law
>> saying that a user can't operate in certain realms ... the user can't
>> even be allowed to *possibly* operate in certain realms. 

Give me wire, a jar and a diode and I'll build you a device that does
exactly that in 2 minutes. Oooh radio is sooo complicated. NOT. 
Let's outlaw wire (the most important part here - or is it the diode? :)).

>> So if an
>> embedded chip is flexible enough, the manufacturers nerf it with a
>> binary blob. 

Unneccessary, see below.

> The legal reasoning has been debated extensively on LKML and elsewhere
> multiple times, but I think it's worth pointing out that not everyone
> buys the regulation argument. That the regulations require withholding
> source code is, as I understand it, the prevailing interpretation among
> corporate attorneys rather than language in any particular regulation.
> Do a search at lkml.org for the recent ipw3945 discussions for details.

The law defines what people are forbidden to do. Regulations define
how people are supposed to use shared media. Devices are not people. 
The tool is not the wielder.

Did I miss anything?

> In all reality the world's communications regulation agencies need to
> address the issue of open source code and software radios with updated
> regulations, and in the very least WLAN vendors will no longer have an
> excuse to hide behind, should that be what they are doing--I suspect at
> least some of them are.

Yes, they are hiding, obviously.

I thought we had the we-are-only-protecting-you-from-yourself laws
scrubbed by now, but maybe I'm wrong...


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