[E3-hacking] PBL V5.1

Ralph Corderoy ralph at inputplus.co.uk
Wed Oct 10 11:27:59 BST 2007

Hi Antony,

> How would both Amstrad and the open source community here feel about
> the following proposal?
> 	Amstrad provides a signed/encrypted (whatever is needed to get
> 	it to load onto a 5.1 device) copy of the 4.9 bootloader, so
> 	that it becomes possible to 'downgrade' a device to a state
> 	where we _can_ load our own open source code.
> That way Amstrad keeps its keys, but the devices which were released
> running Linux remain open for us to use as the GPL requires.
> Comments, people?

Amstrad's aim is to lock down the device.  The use of GPL software in a
device sold at a subsidised price was an error on their part since the
GPL allows me to alter the E3 and remove the part that earns Amstrad
post-sales revenue whilst maintaining functionality.  Given Amstrad's
lack of compliance knowledge when I initially contacted them, and that
they never included the license in the package, I think they were poorly
advised by MontaVista and didn't do sufficient research themselves.

To summarise the concern expressed privately to me: it's that 1,000
units can be picked up by some commercial outfit, e.g. from Russia,
taken back there, and used to some completely end that earns Amstrad no

Having put the key system in place, adding to their list of GPL
violations, I doubt they'll release a downgrade that lets us circumvent



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