[Arm-netbook] closed-source BootROM and RYF certification

Parobalth parobalth at gmail.com
Thu Nov 3 18:55:33 GMT 2016

Thanks a lot for your long and insightful reply.
I am also glad to read that the current prototypes seem to work fine and that
your last update on crowdsupply.com "Observations from Zhuhai" was
rather positive.

kind regards

On Wed, Nov 02, 2016 at 03:12:31AM +0000, Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton wrote:
> On 11/1/16, Parobalth <parobalth at gmail.com> wrote:
> > My original message went to moderation queue because it exceeded the
> > allowed file size. So I am forwarding my message without the pdf
> > attachment to the list.
>  yep.  there's a deliberate 40k limit so that people don't try to use
> alain's mail system as a file server!
> > At the forum of NextThing Chip is a thread about Chip and a
> > possible RYF certification. I wrote there that I think that is unlikely
> > to happen and linked to
> > https://www.crowdsupply.com/eoma68/micro-desktop/updates/fsf-ryf-background.
> > Then someone else mentioned that a closed-source BootROM is used for Chip.
>  because it's a ROM it's fine.  it's not modifiable, it's directly
> readable and thus may be audited.  now, if it was Boot *EEPROM* and
> required a secret key to write to it, and that secret key was not
> available, *then* that would be a problem.
>  the response about TI, Freescale etc. doing exactly the same thing is
> perfectly correct.  BootROMs are normal and are acceptable under RYF
> rules.
>  it's when that bootloader *requires* firmware that is proprietary (or
> requires secret key signing), *that's* when the problems start and RYF
> Certification may not be obtained.
> > I wonder if the mentioned statements are correct and how it relates to
> > the RYF certification of the EOMA68-A20 Libre Tea card.
>  looks fine to me... up until the point where you notice that the CHIP
> has an on-board SD-based WIFI module where the firmware source is *NOT
> AVAILABLE*.  now, with that in mind, i can predict how this will go.
> the FSF will go something like, "we look at this from the perspective
> of end-users being quotes tempted quotes to install proprietary
> firmware or software.  if you ship this hardware with an on-board WIFI
> module where the *ONLY* option is to install proprietary firmware,
> people will be "too tempted" to operate it without WIFI, particularly
> given the extremely low price, here.  therefore, sorry, we cannot
> grant you RYF Certification.  if you create an SBC without WIFI
> actually on-board, or with WIFI that has full source, come back to
> us".
>  now i know for a fact that there simply aren't any SD-based WIFI
> modules anywhere in the world for which there is source code
> available.... so they're screwed, unfortunately.  they'll need to
> provide a variant which doesn't have on-board SD-based WIFI (at all).
>  for the rest of the processor, we know that they've demanded (due to
> community pressure but also due to the fact that they're a USA-based
> Corporation, where Copyright law actually matters) that allwinner
> provide an entirely copyright-legal set of sources as a *binding
> condition* of the purchase of the actual R8 SoCs.
>  3D MALI... can be left out.... (as we learned from EOMA68-A20
> Certification Application)
>  CEDRUS.... can be installed... that's fine...
>  the risk is that they have allwinner try to pull the wool over
> NextThingCo's eyes on boot0, boot1, and stuffing things like libdram.a
> and libhdmi.a and libnand.a into the kernel source (in direct
> violation of the agreement made at the Managerial level).  allwinner's
> engineers *STILL* believe that they have some sort of quotes
> proprietary secret advantage quotes by following the incredibly stupid
> and copyright-illegal practice established over five years ago by
> tom's old manager, such that even when they've been told by their
> managers and by the Vice President, "respect copyright law" they STILL
> can't let go of their mindset, which i've witnessed is heavily
> entrenched at the engineer level.
> l.
> _______________________________________________
> arm-netbook mailing list arm-netbook at lists.phcomp.co.uk
> http://lists.phcomp.co.uk/mailman/listinfo/arm-netbook
> Send large attachments to arm-netbook at files.phcomp.co.uk

More information about the arm-netbook mailing list