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XBian's Koenkk Replies To the XBian/RaspBMC Flap 63

Posted by timothy
from the jedi-craves-not-these-things dept.
New submitter juenger1701 writes "Xbian's developer Koenkk has posted a reply to the code stealing accusations mentioned here Friday." In response, Sam Nazarko of Raspbmc has replaced his earlier complaint, "on the agreement that XBian participate with compliance of the GPL." Koenkk makes the case that his project has always complied with the GPL.
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XBian's Koenkk Replies To the XBian/RaspBMC Flap

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    That summary was like reading the Warsaw telephone directory.

    • by aliquis (678370)

      My first reaction was whatever it was a Chinese project.

      (I still don't know and the website didn't explained what it was but I googled it instead.)

      • Re:Jesus Christ. (Score:5, Informative)

        by sumdumass (711423) on Sunday September 23, 2012 @04:07AM (#41426607) Journal

        Xbian and raspbmc are competing distributions of operating systems for the rasbery pi .(you can google rasbery pi).

        Well, I say operating systems but they seem to be more or less flash utilities and scripts to change some settings and load debian linux from a debian repository somewhere. The quip seems to be over the installer program in which something was claimed to have been copied without attribution to the copyright holders or provisions in the GPL for redistributing the source.

        Both projects seem to be run by kids which is really evident if you caught any of the back and forth banter over the last couple of days. I'm not really sure why this makes the front page of slashdot. Maybe I borked some settings or something.

        • Re:Jesus Christ. (Score:5, Interesting)

          by tibit (1762298) on Sunday September 23, 2012 @05:38AM (#41426841)

          While I don't think that projects run by kids are anything to scoff at just because they are run by kids, indeed there's some degree of immaturity shown in the response page on xbian.org. The response repeatedly shows that the author is wholly ignorant of how copyright laws work. Namely that the installer author is the only one responsible for compliance. Those xbian folk seem to have no clue that if they redistribute, it's on THEM to comply. I think evein I knew that back in the 90s, without otherwise having a clue about copyright law, from nothing more than reading the fine license (GPL) and associated narrative (FAQs, mailing list posts).

      • by hairyfeet (841228)

        Lets see if I get modded down again like I did last time I asked this...WTF is Xbian? What does it do, what is the difference between it and the other and WTF does the other do?

        All I can figure out is it has something to do with Raspberry pi from the title, which is a niche product so this is niche software that runs on a niche product...is it REALLY so much to ask for to have a fricking "about" link in TFS?

        • by Billlagr (931034)
          It's a modified Linux distro for the RP, but it sets up as a media center - "Raspbmc is a minimal Linux distribution based on Debian that brings XBMC to your Raspberry Pi. This device has an excellent form factor and enough power to handle media playback, making it an ideal component in a low HTPC setup, yet delivering the same XBMC experience that can be enjoyed on much more costly platforms" It/they are supposed to be simple, no-brainer installers that give you a ready to go media center without lots of f
          • by hairyfeet (841228)

            Thank you. I'm sure you got that from some about page and this IS the Internet, where they have these things called "hyperlinks". So would it REALLY have killed someone to put the parties names in hyperlinks that led to at least one fricking about page?

            That said...WHAT THE FUCK PEOPLE????? What? Why? Who in the hell thought it was a good idea to turn the fricking Pi, a device designed to be cheap above all, into a fricking MEDIA CENTER? Now robotics, UAVs, remote control systems of all sorts? yeah I can see

            • by Billlagr (931034)
              Ah, I only knew because I happened to be doing a little research on media players on the weekend and happened across the project ;)
            • by mcgrew (92797) *

              Who in the hell thought it was a good idea to turn the fricking Pi, a device designed to be cheap above all, into a fricking MEDIA CENTER?

              If it does the job, why not? I'm using a ten year old HP running kubuntu as a media center, and it works fine as one. Why spend a couple hundred bucks building something when you can do it for less than a hundred? There's no point in wasting money on unnecessarily overspeced hardware.

            • by tlhIngan (30335)

              That said...WHAT THE FUCK PEOPLE????? What? Why? Who in the hell thought it was a good idea to turn the fricking Pi, a device designed to be cheap above all, into a fricking MEDIA CENTER? Now robotics, UAVs, remote control systems of all sorts? yeah I can see that. But looking at these things you pretty much have to massage the fuck out of your media to make it run on the thing and even then its hit or miss...why? Why would you do that?

              The purpose of the chip is primarily the GPU - it's got a very powerful

        • *Click the link to the website in the summary
          *Click FAQ
          *Read:
          What is XBian?
          XBian is a fined tuned and optimized OS for the raspberry pi based on raspbian. It is focused on the popular XBMC software. So the perfect OS for your raspberry pi media center setup!

    • by Larryish (1215510)

      Says the author "It always compiled with the GPL. gcc FTW!"

  • Youngins. (Score:5, Funny)

    by girlintraining (1395911) on Sunday September 23, 2012 @01:49AM (#41426195)

    Koenkk makes the case that his project has always complied with the GPL.

    Many moons ago, when the internet was young and fresh, and wild UNIX admins roamed freely, there was a thing called Usenet, and on this thing called Usenet, was a relatively new problem called Spam. And much of this Spam came from a particular ISP. And as Usenet back in those days was a community-run entity, there was much discussion about how to resolve this problem. E-mails sent to the ISP were met with silence, or with "not our problem." And the Spam continued. One day, after there had been a much-heated debate, a vote was held, and it was declared the ISP (AT&T), would be given the ultimate punishment: The Usenet death sentence.

    It was rarely carried out, and even the elders recall only a handful of times when an ISP had earned its place amongst the killfiles of the wild UNIX admins of old. And so the call went out: At midnight, the killfiles would be updated, and AT&T would be purged henceforth from the world of Usenet. And word of this spread, and yet the giant still slumbered, refusing to do anything. And it was seen that the death sentence was good, and so all waited for it to come to pass.

    Suddenly, in the final minutes of the final hour, an e-mail appeared from the beligerant ISP! It read, simply, "We do not have a problem, and we are working as quickly as possible to fix it." And thus was it seen for the first time on the internet how corporations deal with these sorts of problems. And ever since, whensoever a cry went up in an internet community that called for the end of access for a corporation, thus has been the response... by tradition, only uttered in the final minutes, of the final hour.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Genda (560240)

      Yea Brother. In the beginning the Usenet was a sweet and lovely thing. Yes there were occasional flamewars, but since it was tied to real email addresses acolytes couldn't be a colossal rectal orifices without ultimately suffering holy sanctions. The thing started out representing thought spaces for work, creation, then play, then strange things began to creep into the Usenet. Alt.sex spawned Alt.sex.small. furry. animals.bin... all sort and kinds ontological sewage backed up into the Usenet converting it f

      • by jd (1658)

        My understanding is that Satan discards spammer souls as unfit for Hell, and they langush instead in the Bog of Eternal Stench.

    • Re:Youngins. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by jd (1658) <imipak@@@yahoo...com> on Sunday September 23, 2012 @05:11AM (#41426755) Homepage Journal

      Actually, USENET was middle-aged when those Utah lawyers posted the first mainstream spam. (And the more serious crime was their publishing a book on how to exploit the Internet to harvest personal data and spam them.)

      AT&T should have been terminated, not just by USENET but by the MBone and maybe even some of their Tier 1 peers. Not just until they did something, but permanently. Some crimes should not be forgiven, and AT&T's actions then have cost the world on aggregate since that time (bandwidth ain't cheap, neither is storage) far more than the market value of AT&T. This was anticipated and widely expected to be the outcome of AT&T's negligence. Sometimes, the best option is to cut your losses and run, and AT&T was definitely a loss.

      Today, such action would serve little purpose. Spam, which is essentially economic cyberwarfare, has become too widespread. You can't dig it up by the roots, there are too many of them. It will require action on a far larger scale. System admins, network admins and ISP admins alike will have to become the largest gang of herbicidal maniacs ever gathered in one virtual spot. Exterminating botnets, the ultimate weed, will require a change in attitudes. Provider agreements must make spamming grounds for terminating Internet access. System admins must monitor their systems more rigorously for evidence of compromise. Network admins must stop assuming they can just get away with a trivial spam filter then ignore the problem. Spam is a reduction of service, rather than a denial of it, but then in a DDOS, so is each individual component of that attack. Network admins wouldn't be caught dead regarding components of a DDOS as something they can just ignore. Same's true here.

      • Actually, USENET was middle-aged when those Utah lawyers posted the first mainstream spam.

        Ah someone who would know what the hell I was talking about if I attempted to share that story.

        It was before I hit the Usenet myself, I was in a lawyers waiting room of all places where I read of it.
        It was Time or Newsweek (1985?) that had a rather large article about the husband wife lawyer team
        that dared spam the Usenet. How the Usenet got together and kicked (DDOSed) them off the Internet.

        I do remember a time before Spam, the use of ones real email address, and an address
        so others could finger me.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      UDP was threatened several times, always successfully, and always against ISP's who refused to act against the most egregious, documented, and demonstrably illegal abuse. As an old spam hunter, I don't remember one against AT&T. I vaguely remember the one against UUnet, which is not the same company. And lord, do I remember netcom.com, which doesn't show up on the Wikipedia entry for Usenet Death Penalty, probably because they saved themselves at the last possible moment by tweaking their NNTP servers t

    • One day, after there had been a much-heated debate, a vote was held, and it was declared the ISP (AT&T), would be given the ultimate punishment: The Usenet death sentence.

      It is Usenet Death Penalty, or UDP. And I remember the UUnet vote, and the Compuserv vote, but not ATT. (Also some odd little ISP in Michigan, if I remember right. That one went through, and is not mentioned anywhere for some reason.) Anyway, tinc. :)

  • by Bruce Perens (3872) <bruce@perens.com> on Sunday September 23, 2012 @01:56AM (#41426223) Homepage Journal
    Making a distribution is more complicated than just making it work technically. There's a substantial amount of work in making sure that you're complying with all of the licenses, both in software that you just distribute, and the software that you write but combine with other people's work.

    So far, the communications I see on this issue don't come from people who appear to understand all of what they're required to do. And the licenses used by these folks on their own work aren't even close to Open Source.

    I think this community needs to go back to the Debian core it started with, and add to that whatever optimizations and installers are necessary without the crayon licenses.

    • by Arker (91948)

      Agreed, except I started from a Slackware core and still don't really see the point in all that extra unnecessary complexity Debian forces down the throat. Although it can be handy on a remote install I will grant... ;)

      But Koenkk is just sad here, claiming he doesnt have to host source because he hasnt changed them. He lost that dispute at least 20 years ago, he just doesnt know it yet.

    • by maswan (106561)

      Yes, it is called Raspbian, which is Debian with a recompile for the target and some installer tweaks and hooks for pulling in the necessary non-free stuff from raspberrypi.org which comes from the pi being a closed platform.

      Xbian, RaspBMC, etc take Raspbian and then make a custom install based on a package presets and some scripts for automagic setup for those that think Debian is "too complicated". And apparently lots of drama.

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        Yes, it is called Raspbian, which is Debian with a recompile for the target and some installer tweaks and hooks for pulling in the necessary non-free stuff from raspberrypi.org which comes from the pi being a closed platform.

        And NO TESTING. I upgraded to the new firmware which enabled turbo mode. Then my raspi locked up. Then my SD card was corrupted, I fsck'd it on my PC but alas, init was destroyed. Now I have no raspbian install any more. So I installed XBian as I had already downloaded the image, but then I discovered that was the day they took it down. So I installed raspbmc and it doesn't have the driver I need (usbtouchscreen - seriously, there's practically no drivers built with these systems!) and RC5 is being delayed

        • by maswan (106561)

          The turbo mode stuff together with the kernel and firmware all come from the same raspberrypi.org repository. Raspbian is really the Debian:y environment around this.

          If you want to run Debian, you can do that too (at a performance penalty since you need to use the soft float version, armhf is targeted for a newer version of ARM than is in the Raspberry Pis). You still need the same non-free blobs to do anything graphical etc though.

          • by drinkypoo (153816)

            The turbo mode stuff together with the kernel and firmware all come from the same raspberrypi.org repository. Raspbian is really the Debian:y environment around this.

            Right, raspbian is the combination of that stuff and the Debian:y environment. Remember, that stuff is distributed with raspbian, and when you update raspbian, that stuff gets updated. Therefore, they should be testing it before they decide to distribute it. This is why I'm not going to dick with Raspbian again any time soon. Problem is, the alternative is raspbmc, or xbian :p Or OpenELEC, but if I never have to see OpenEmbedded again it will be too soon. I never did manage to get Familiar with GPE built fo

        • strange, my rasp is working in turbo mode at 1ghz just fine.

          I have not seen sd card corrupt yet (thank $deity).

          I still don't fully trust usb on this board, yet, but I've been able to download some source and build from it (example: net-snmp from source, from ./configure to make all was about 2 hours).

          that was a pretty good acid test and it completed and ran when done.

          the software for the pi needs more work but its getting pretty usable each week that goes by.

          • by drinkypoo (153816)

            I have not seen sd card corrupt yet (thank $deity).

            raspbmc has been delayed for this bug
            My raspbian install was destroyed by this bug
            I would overclock rather than use turbo until it is addressed
            I do have some thermal epoxy on order so I can heat sink my core...

          • You shouldn't trust the USB on this card. It manifests in various ways. On my pi, it causes random keystrokes to be auto-repeated hundreds of times. Just try deleting one line of a source file in vi and you will see your source code vanish like magic. The USB trouble also touches the network interface, since it is the connection between the ethernet and the CPU. in my opinion, the pi is unusable, and a gigantic rip-off. They shipped many thousands of these things, knowing full well about the USB problem, wh
  • by Osgeld (1900440)

    more nerd sissy fights

    no one even knew what this was before they started their PMS, and no one cares today

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 23, 2012 @02:52AM (#41426407)

    For GPL and LGPL licenses the source code must be provided by the _distributor_, it doesn't matter whether you modified it or not.

  • by citizenr (871508) on Sunday September 23, 2012 @03:42AM (#41426561) Homepage

    All I got from that reply was :

    "We dont have source code for the installer, we dont know whats in it ergo we are not breaking any licenses. Maybe theres a pot of gold inside, or a MALWARE and a botnet , we dont know, we dont care, we only distribute this binary lalalaa"

    • Ignorance is not an excuse under the Law.

  • by kawabago (551139) on Sunday September 23, 2012 @03:44AM (#41426569)
    No you can't just take it and use it any way you like. Your obligations are fully spelled out in the license so there is absolutely no excuse for Koenkk not complying, particularly after being reminded of the obligation. His actions say all there is to say. If he keeps talking, he'll just make it worse.
    • by sumdumass (711423)

      The installer is not released under the gpl. That is where the supposed code dispute came from. It's a bit difficult to follow as they keep changing posts and crap. But my understanding was that because they used the same USB library that is freely available in some tool kit under a non-gpl license to format flashdrives, that one team assumed they stole their code, changed some file names and the splash image and passed it off as their own. They are now claiming that was a mistake.

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        The installer is not released under the gpl

        What is the installer's license? The installer is not even mentioned in the license statement.

  • This isn't news. They have fixed the "problem". If they had made any changes and distributed the binary without source this might be a problem. They didn't make changes though and pointing to the source is little different than handing it on a platter from there own web site. If you are really that obsessed with getting it from them because technically maybe it requires them to put it on there own servers you have a serious problem.

    This is in no way a free software issue. It's nitpicking over the details. T

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by drinkypoo (153816)

      If you are really that obsessed with getting it from them because technically maybe it requires them to put it on there own servers you have a serious problem.

      Well, GNU has a serious problem with people not putting it on their own servers [gnu.org].

      The only thing that might have made this an issue is if they got the source code from a party which does not distribute it publicly and then linked to it.

      Wrong, and also wrong. See above link.

      Actually having the source code published is NOT required.

      And, wrong again. But don't take my word for it, follow my link above and let the FSF explain it to you in a FAQ that you should read before making such idiotic statements, whoever you are besides a coward.

  • With the tradition of world's biggest mobile and electronic companies suing each other over patents.
    Another 10 years from now, this will be remembered as the day when the same tradition came to Open Source Software *sigh*.
    • by Ash-Fox (726320)

      Another 10 years from now, this will be remembered as the day when the same tradition came to Open Source Software *sigh*.

      Why this day and not the previous days when BSD and GPL licensing dramas occur between the BSD and Linux communities?

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