root almighty

Jim Ancona jim at
Tue May 19 19:44:49 CEST 2009

On Tue, May 19, 2009 at 11:59 AM, Rui Miguel Silva Seabra <rms at> wrote:
> On Tue, May 19, 2009 at 07:23:38AM -0700, Gothnet wrote:
>> What's proprietary about android?
> The DRM locking you out of applying changes to phones. The excuse of "oh, its the
> phone maker/operator that does it" is a mere smoke screen.
> And no, an unbricked android phone does not count as Free Software since you're
> possibly breaking the law (in the US thanks to the DMCA, and in EU thanks to the
> EUCD).

Are you talking about Android, or are you talking about phones that
run it? Obviously, most phones that run Android are proprietary. The
Freerunner is not. That's got nothing to do with whether the Android
OS is free software.

>> Android is under the APL2, which has even less restriction than the GPL,
> Only on a superficial level can that be true. It has less restrictions than the
> GPL because the later tries to make sure everyone has all the essencial freedoms.

According to the FSF, Apache 2 is a free software license:

> APL2 (and similar licenses) mean that somewhere along the line YOU may not have
> a Free Software phone on your hands, just another proprietary piece of crap.

It's true that someone can make a proprietary fork of the Android
code. The code that's installed on my phone will continue to be free.

>> it. Check out koolu for their android source git, though the mainline source
>> is available directly from google.
> Yes, the OpenMoko is the first Free Software example of Android (and it's the
> worst out there for making calls on the FreeRunner, according to the comments
> I've seen).

To the extent that the Freerunner is a "free phone" (proprietary bits
like the GSM modem and wifi notwithstanding), if you run Android on it
you will be using a free phone with a free as in freedom operating


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