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View Full Version : Why didn't they buy a SqueezeBox?



Martin Couchman
2005-02-21, 11:42
I nearly bought a Netgear, as it was almost half the price, but was put off
by bad reviews, and was unsure about the ability to use internet radio.
For a mass consumer product, reliability is key. My CD player is 10 or 12
years old, and in all that time it has never spontaneously rebooted itself
halfway through some music (unlike my squeezebox). It never starts leaving
2-5 second gaps while playing some tracks (unlike my squeezebox). When I use
my CD player I never have to run upstairs to find out why it can't contact
the server any more.

The unique selling point is the range of features that come with slimserver,
best of all the ability to listen to BBC archive radio shows. Perhaps
slimserver should be made proprietary to squeezebox, as at the moment these
selling points aren't actually unique - I can use slimserver on a Roku.

Yan Tran
2005-02-21, 11:52
slimserver can't be made "proprietary to squeezebox" because it
already has been released under the GPL. Any update to the slimserver
must fall under the GPL. Thus, even if slimdevices decided to pull
something along the lines of what MS did against DR DOS, Roku
developers can circumvent that by releasing a firmware patch (although
there's no guarantee that they would which is why I haven't bought a
Roku). Besides, the fact that the slimserver isn't proprietary to any
particular hardware is one of the things I found the squeezebox
appealing.

Yan


On Mon, 21 Feb 2005 18:42:21 -0000, Martin Couchman
<martin (AT) couchman (DOT) eclipse.co.uk> wrote:
> I nearly bought a Netgear, as it was almost half the price, but was put off
> by bad reviews, and was unsure about the ability to use internet radio.
> For a mass consumer product, reliability is key. My CD player is 10 or 12
> years old, and in all that time it has never spontaneously rebooted itself
> halfway through some music (unlike my squeezebox). It never starts leaving
> 2-5 second gaps while playing some tracks (unlike my squeezebox). When I use
> my CD player I never have to run upstairs to find out why it can't contact
> the server any more.
>
> The unique selling point is the range of features that come with slimserver,
> best of all the ability to listen to BBC archive radio shows. Perhaps
> slimserver should be made proprietary to squeezebox, as at the moment these
> selling points aren't actually unique - I can use slimserver on a Roku.
>
>

Marc Sherman
2005-02-21, 11:55
Yan Tran wrote:
> slimserver can't be made "proprietary to squeezebox" because it
> already has been released under the GPL. Any update to the slimserver
> must fall under the GPL. Thus, even if slimdevices decided to pull
> something along the lines of what MS did against DR DOS, Roku
> developers can circumvent that by releasing a firmware patch (although
> there's no guarantee that they would which is why I haven't bought a
> Roku). Besides, the fact that the slimserver isn't proprietary to any
> particular hardware is one of the things I found the squeezebox
> appealing.

Just to clarify this, Slim Devices owns the copyright on a large
percentage of the slimserver code. Assuming that they've kept track of
3rd party contributions (easy to do with CVS logs), they could easily
relicense a future release that only contained their own code.

Of course, they cannot retroactively revoke the GPL license of
previously released versions, so the world is free to fork and continue
under the GPL if necessary.

Needless to say, I highly doubt this would ever happen.

- Marc

Yan Tran
2005-02-21, 12:22
It looks to me like the entire slimserver package has been released
under the GPL. IANAL nor am I a GPL expert, but if a future version
of the slimserver contained code based on previous versions of the
slimserver (even if totally copyrighted by slimdevices), I don't think
it could not be forked under a non-free license. This is part 6 of
the GPL:

"Each time you redistribute the Program (or any work based on the
Program), the recipient automatically receives a license from the
original licensor to copy, distribute or modify the Program subject to
these terms and conditions. "

I think this also applies to when the original licensor (in this case
slimdevices) wants to release new versions of a program.

Yan

On Mon, 21 Feb 2005 13:55:58 -0500, Marc Sherman <msherman (AT) projectile (DOT) ca> wrote:
> Yan Tran wrote:
> > slimserver can't be made "proprietary to squeezebox" because it
> > already has been released under the GPL. Any update to the slimserver
> > must fall under the GPL. Thus, even if slimdevices decided to pull
> > something along the lines of what MS did against DR DOS, Roku
> > developers can circumvent that by releasing a firmware patch (although
> > there's no guarantee that they would which is why I haven't bought a
> > Roku). Besides, the fact that the slimserver isn't proprietary to any
> > particular hardware is one of the things I found the squeezebox
> > appealing.
>
> Just to clarify this, Slim Devices owns the copyright on a large
> percentage of the slimserver code. Assuming that they've kept track of
> 3rd party contributions (easy to do with CVS logs), they could easily
> relicense a future release that only contained their own code.
>
> Of course, they cannot retroactively revoke the GPL license of
> previously released versions, so the world is free to fork and continue
> under the GPL if necessary.
>
> Needless to say, I highly doubt this would ever happen.
>
> - Marc
>

Marc Sherman
2005-02-21, 12:27
Yan Tran wrote:
> It looks to me like the entire slimserver package has been released
> under the GPL. IANAL nor am I a GPL expert, but if a future version
> of the slimserver contained code based on previous versions of the
> slimserver (even if totally copyrighted by slimdevices), I don't think
> it could not be forked under a non-free license. This is part 6 of
> the GPL:
> [snip]
> I think this also applies to when the original licensor (in this case
> slimdevices) wants to release new versions of a program.

You're incorrect, Yan. The copyright owner _grants_ the license, they
are not bound by it. They own the code, and can do anything they like
with it, including releasing a modified version under a non-free license:

http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#ReleaseUnderGPLAndNF
http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#DeveloperViolate

- Marc

Yan Tran
2005-02-21, 12:35
Thank you for that clarification. In fact that makes sense since
companies like Trolltech release their software with dual licenses
(GPL and commerical). I do agree that it's unlikely that slimdevices
would stop releasing software under the GPL.

Yan


On Mon, 21 Feb 2005 14:27:24 -0500, Marc Sherman <msherman (AT) projectile (DOT) ca> wrote:
> Yan Tran wrote:
> > It looks to me like the entire slimserver package has been released
> > under the GPL. IANAL nor am I a GPL expert, but if a future version
> > of the slimserver contained code based on previous versions of the
> > slimserver (even if totally copyrighted by slimdevices), I don't think
> > it could not be forked under a non-free license. This is part 6 of
> > the GPL:
> > [snip]
> > I think this also applies to when the original licensor (in this case
> > slimdevices) wants to release new versions of a program.
>
> You're incorrect, Yan. The copyright owner _grants_ the license, they
> are not bound by it. They own the code, and can do anything they like
> with it, including releasing a modified version under a non-free license:
>
> http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#ReleaseUnderGPLAndNF
> http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#DeveloperViolate
>
> - Marc
>