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OSS and Tesla

Discussion in 'Model S: User Interface' started by lagann, Jun 9, 2015.

  1. lagann

    lagann Member

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    Is anyone else upset that Tesla has not given us owners any of the OSS software that are in the car yet? I mean, I love the car and Tesla, but this is a serious slap in the face for all the developers who put their hard work into those projects, including the Linux kernel. I emailed them about it and was basically just told it's "unsupported". If this were their plan, they should have just written it all in-house instead of stealing the software.
     
  2. Majerus

    Majerus Member

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    Many companies sadly abuse GPL , and OSS in general. Based on the share holders conference I do not think Tesla will anytime soon release any source. The line Elon mentioned regarding wanting to protect the source due to the possibilities of vulnerabilities IMO is BS.
     
  3. lagann

    lagann Member

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    I agree. It's really not their choice, either. In this case they're just being big bullies. I emailed GNU since I'm sure Tesla is using some of their code, and they said they can't really do anything without a firmware binary to verify that any of their code is included.
     
  4. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    Sadly, I'm not certain that Tesla is in violation of the GPL, it can be argued that they don't distribute the software in binary form to anyone, and therefore they may not need to release the source either (GPL allows you to use that software internally without releasing source, only if you release binaries do you also need to release source)

    I'd like them to release the source, but so far Tesla's response to any attempts to interop with their hardware or software has been... disappointing is the most polite term I can come up with.
     
  5. Chris TX

    Chris TX Active Member

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    But, you're paying for the license to use it. Sure, no one is buying just the software but it is being used for commercial purposes.

    It took several years for Dell to be pressured into releasing their OSS they used for some networking gear.

    However, I can certainly understand Tesla's concern about things being exploited, especially with Autopilot hardware onboard. You don't want stuff like that making the news. ;)
     
  6. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    The difference with the Dell gear is that you could download the binaries to upgrade your router, you can't do the same with the Tesla (hence why we can't supply a binary to GNU)
    Hence Dell was distributing binaries, Tesla arguably is not.
     
  7. Stoneymonster

    Stoneymonster Active Member

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    It's also pretty easy to architect the code around GPL and keep nearly everything from being tainted. When they do release code, don't expect there to be anything useful or interesting.
     
  8. lagann

    lagann Member

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    This is completely wrong. The software comes in the car when you buy it, which counts as distribution. It is NOT just being used internally since the touchscreen at least has the Linux kernel. Just because you can't easily get access to the binary doesn't mean Tesla is exempt from copyright laws...

    Here's a question on stack overflow about it licensing - GPL licensed software installed on commercial hardware - Programmers Stack Exchange

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    If this was such of a concern they should have written it themselves. Their security concerns don't give them the right to steal.

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    Once again this is so wrong it hurts. Having it on the hardware you buy counts as distribution. There is no other argument.
     
  9. matbl

    matbl Member

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    It is a common missunderstandning that by using GPL'ed OSS, you have to release the source. You only have to release any modified source code. And strictly speaking you only have to release the actual modification. So technically they could release tgeir patch files and that's that. IF they have modified any GPL'ed code.
     
  10. scaesare

    scaesare Active Member

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    Correct. What's more you can use GPL'd components in your stack (such as the base OS), and write your drivers to plug in to it, all of your apps to run on top of it, etc... and you don't need to release any of that as long as you haven't modified the source of the GPL'd components you choose to use.
     
  11. GaryREM

    GaryREM Member

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    +1 to matbl and scaesare

    Making noise about what may be a nonexistent issue.
     
  12. lagann

    lagann Member

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    #12 lagann, Jun 10, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2015
    This is true, but where are any of the statements about this? In the manual there's a statement that OSS is used, and a link to Privacy & Legal | Tesla Motors This goes to legal which mentions nothing about this. Even if they haven't modified any of it, they need to say what software is being used, including which version of the Linux kernel, as can be seen in this FAQ for the kernel: How to comply with GPL version 2.

    So regardless at what is included and whether they have modified anything or not, they are still in violation.

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    It is definitely not a nonexistent issue. Here is a great explanation on why not to sit around and call it a non-issue: http://sfconservancy.org/linux-compliance/vmware-lawsuit-appeal.html
     
  13. GaryREM

    GaryREM Member

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    Regarding the listing of OSS components used, I agree there is an issue and this should easily be addressed.

    But, the case you cited was clearly a serious violation because VMware had taken code and modified it extensively to work in their environment. You were implying that Tesla had done the same, but have no evidence.

    Tesla needs to state what OSS is being used and I agree they need to respond to this issue now.
     
  14. lagann

    lagann Member

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    This I agree with. If they haven't modified anything then everything is good. However, we don't know that. I know that link was for the certain case, but it still explains why the GPL should be enforced and why we should fight for it. Every firmware release, including the minor ones, needs at the very list to have a list of all the included GPL'ed tools if not modified. It would be rather simple for them if that's the case, so I see no reason why they're not doing this. Security reasons are just dumb and not an excuse, and the other is just a general apathy towards the GPL, which is a terrible mindset.
     
  15. scaesare

    scaesare Active Member

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    Did you read that article you posted? Here's the issue it addresses:

    Again, using an existing OSS product without modification does not require release of private source for code running on top of that platform, ​provided you didn't modify the underlying GPL source.
     
  16. thebishop

    thebishop Member

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    Well.

    One can hope that they chose to go with proper free OSS that does not use the broken GPL license that tries to taint commercial software vendors code due to a political agenda by one person. There are many nice truly free alternatives (like various BSD distributions, or even -gasp- Darwin) around actually.

    The root reason for GPL (except for the political agenda) was to allow end users to modify the distributed source code and deploy it in modified form on their device. In this case, it would be on a Model S car. Disregarding obvious security concerns, I don't think it would be a great idea to let end users that in general have little understanding of what a QA process entails (how c00l hackers they may be) hack their cars, it could possibly end up literally killing people. Not so good.

    That being said, they should obviously give credit where credit is due, and if they have used GPL-tainted code, there should better be a cleanup project planned to remove it from anything distributed...

    I must say that the proliferation of the GPL licenses is probably one of the worst things of all time to affect the OSS movement - that being said as someone who has sponsored (and open sourced several of my own) development of true open source projects with my company and strongly believe in OSS (that has respect for the needs for commercial software vendors).
     
  17. Twiglett

    Twiglett Single pedal driver

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    Hasn't this all been covered before - but without the accusations of theft and bullying?
     
  18. lagann

    lagann Member

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    Yes but if you have been paying attention they haven't stated anything. If they haven't modified anything then they need to give a detailed explanation of what versions of what is included, THAT at least is REQUIRED by the GPL. Plus, you have NO idea if they have modified anything or not!

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    Maybe, but I brought it up again because of the shareholder meeting yesterday when Musk said that they weren't going to release any OSS because of "security" concerns, which really upset me.
     
  19. scaesare

    scaesare Active Member

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    It might be a good idea to refrain what you accused them of in your initial post then until you have some specific evidence:

     
  20. lagann

    lagann Member

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    Ha, to each their own. If you don't want to use it, then you don't have to. If someone doesn't want to comply with it, then don't use their software. It's not because of "one man", it's because every single developer that released code under the GPL did so at their own choosing. Seriously, it's simple, this is someone else's code, they can ask for whatever they want. The fact that you consider it a "taint" is laughable. It's only a taint if a company cuts corners by using someone else's code and not following their wishes.

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    I doubt it, there is evidence right there when Musk said yesterday that they use the Linux kernel. Whether they modified the code or not, they are not following the license attached to it whatsoever. If they aren't following the license, then yes, they are stealing the software, no question about it.
     

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