(Some?) 3G support for Linux from Nokia - relevant for future models?

Mikko Rauhala mjrauhal at cc.helsinki.fi
Thu Sep 18 11:26:45 CEST 2008

to, 2008-09-18 kello 10:14 +1000, Lorn Potter kirjoitti:
> Mikko Rauhala wrote:
> > Sure Nokia has some products which happen to be free software. That
> > doesn't make them committed to free software, what with being eg.
> > hostile to free formats,
> IANAL, but... (nor am I a spokesperson for Nokia)
> Nokia's position is that here are no 'free' codecs.
> _Everything_ has patents surrounding it.

Thing is, you don't get to first intimidate governments to implement
strong software patents, and then innocently use them as an excuse to
hinder free format adoption.

> > a strong opponent of independent software
> Have you seen forum.nokia.com? or maemo.org? Know about 'Qt Everywhere'?

Somewhat, though not intimately. All of the people involved in these are
nevertheless also put into risk by - ta-dah - Nokia's actions in
legislation. (I personally have been in the same table with them in a
couple of ministry lobbying sessions on behalf of EFFI (EFF's Finnish
counterpart) and the local CS dept, and also otherwise followed their
actions closely in the previous EU swpat round.)

> > development in general through their patent lobby, very much clueless in
> > top level press comments about these subjects, 
> > and in general not being very consistent in what they're up to in this area.
> Nokia employs thousands of _individuals_, we are not borg, nor do we
> all think and act the same.

Indeed, I understand that. However, what I originally said that Nokia
doesn't have any commitment to free software. You can't take issue with
that by stating that there are different opinions in different tentacles
of Nokia, and they're all doing their own thing. That really just
verifies the original statement. Commitment kind of implies a certain
amount of borginess.

I am also aware that the leeches^Wlawyers and management at Nokia are
mostly to blame for the bad, and many of the grassroots people might be
more reasonable. Doesn't really matter either, as the former make the

As an example of such a stand-up grassroots ex-Nokia fellow, I nominate
a friend of mine, http://liw.iki.fi/liw/log/2004-12.html#20041208b
(Yeah, it's almost 4 years old, but as you note at the end of your mail,
change happens slowly ;] )
> I have done my share of complaining about Nokia's software patents
> (directly to the Finns too!), the closed-ness of maemo and (for a year
> or so) Qtopia.

That's good, and on one hand I'm glad that there are such people at
Nokia. On the other, I'd kind of prefer them to abandon ship and let
Nokia become the closed Apple-like behemoth it somewhat seems to want to
be. Because more of them don't (see above url), I get the impression
that most of them don't really mind Nokia's policies _that_ much, so it
really doesn't seem that they'd be a source of much impetus for change.

In the final analysis, though, I admit I don't know which is the more
realistic approach to increasing total freedom and choice in the market.
Perhaps the "kinda-sorta for freedom" guys inside will have some clout
and will to use it eventually.

> Change _will_ happen. But it will happen slowly.

Indeed. Until then, however, I will include a disclaimer about Nokia's
less favourable policies whenever I must mention them doing something
nice for a change.

I think here's a good point to agree to disagree, but of course, I'd get
the final word in that case, so not all may agree - I tried to make it
fairly balanced as best I could though ;)

Mikko Rauhala   - mjr at iki.fi     - <URL:http://www.iki.fi/mjr/>
Transhumanist   - WTA member     - <URL:http://www.transhumanism.org/>
Singularitarian - SIAI supporter - <URL:http://www.singinst.org/>

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