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[OT] Ignorance is no defence. (was ... Re: Leverage in licensing discussions)

On Fri, Nov 07, 2008 at 08:28:16PM +0100, Johannes Wiedersich wrote:
> Josselin Mouette wrote:
> > Being in favor of open-sourcing firmwares (including those controlling
> > critical security devices in cars) does not mean being in favor of
> > letting anyone ship their own version. In such cases, there needs to be
> > some appropriate process to validate the new versions and to enforce it
> > legally. Just like you are not allowed to make any modification you like
> > in your engine, you should not be allowed to make modifications in the
> > car’s firmware. And just like modifying the engine without the original
> > plans makes it more likely to fail, the same holds for a firmware you’d
> > modify without source.
> Well, if there is some law preventing me from modifying the code, it's
> not free software any more. It's still not 'closed software' but that
> still renders it non-free and non-distributable for debian.
> > Indeed. But you can still use a modified firmware, even without the
> > source. If ill-intentioned people wanted to do it, this would already be
> > quite feasible.
> There is a difference between 'ill-intended people' (those with criminal
> intentions) and interested kiddies just downloading and tampering with
> freely available source code, having no idea of what harm they might
> cause to others.

Not in the "eyes of the law". Ignorance is not a defence. Although, with
a "decent" lawyer you "should" be OK. Unfortunately, this is also true
for the 'ill-intended people'. :(

I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god
than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other
possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.
                                           -- Stephen F Roberts

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