TDC disregards developer rights, Version2 suggests GPL is not legally binding
Dec 31st, 2022 by miki

This post is a rescue mission for a quite old comment I’ve made on the Danish computer science publication As the publication is beginning to put up pay-walls around their articles I’ll repost comments here  to keep my own writing out in the open.

It is a comment to an article detailing how the Danish telecom company TDC (previous state driven monopoly Tele Danmark) fails to adhere to the GPL license when distributing a network device built on the GNU/Linux distribution OpenWRT containing large amounts of GPL licensed software.

Link to original comment:

Reproduction of original Danish text:

15. april 2015 kl. 12:05

“..som GPL V2 ellers lægger op til..”

Kan ikke lade være med at finde det påfaldende at man er så skrigende subjektiv i rapporteringen når man forholder sig til brud på copyright. Virksomhedernes holdning skinner selvfølgelig igennem, men en neutral presse burde rapportere mere objektivt end dette.

Den selvsamme forseelse ville man formentlig kalde pirateri og opfatte som vækst/samfunds/forretnings-undergravende, hvis det drejede sig om systematisk copyright-brud på proprietær software som et specifikt og veldefineret firma tjener penge på. Men fordi dette er fri software(/open source), som kun har potentiale til at komme hele menneskeheden til gode, så opfattes licensen som noget der er “lagt op til”. Det er jo hovedrystende forudindtaget. Bestemmelserne i GPL er selvfølgelig lige så gyldige som ethvert andet sæt betingelser en ophavsretsindehaver kunne finde på at videredistribuere sit værk under.

Angående sagens substans er betingelserne i GPL v2 klare og veldefinerede og har været det siden 1991. Det kommer ikke bag på nogen der har fingrene i sovsen, heller ikke sagem/sagemcom som har været med længe, at brugeren skal gøres opmærksom på at et produkt indeholder GPL-software, og at kildekoden der anvendes i produktet skal gøres tilgængelig for brugeren.

Alt andet er klaphatteri og klamp, usympatisk, undergravende og uden respekt for det arbejde der profiteres af ved at anvende fri software som grundlag for sin kommercielle eksistens. Man må følge reglerne eller lade være med at lege med hvis man ikke er i stand til at sætte sig ind i dem, det forlanger virksomhederne også selv af deres kunder.

Godt at se at der er velvilje fra TDC, det burde bare have foregået på forkant i stedet for bagkant. Håber dog de får fat i nogle mere kompetente mennesker at spørge end dem der har svaret “Boksen kører BUSYBOX Linux”, ellers er det op ad bakke.


OSM Use & Attribute: Bisnode Navne & Numre Erhverv website
Mar 28th, 2019 by miki

OSM Use & Attribute?

I regularly stumble upon maps which I cane recognize as derived from OpenStreetMap. Usually by map style, the level of detail or by seeking out details I know is only present in OSM. I usually inspect the attribution and license accompanying the material to assess whether it is prepared by an organisation who understands the needs to and cares about having its chain of copyright somewhat traceable. I’ll attempt to do a small concise writeup of the findings going along this in the future. Maybe I’ll be able to produce a series of “OSM Use & Attribute” posts?

Quite randomly the first one became the Danish company using OSM tiles from Mapquest (the ones who fled from an open approach in 2015) to indicate locations in the commercial and subscription-required yellow pages product named Bisnode Navne & Numre® Erhverv (aka.

Attribution Compliance Analysis

For reference: OSM’s Copyright and License page

Below is a screen-shot from within the walled garden, and the actual link leading to the page (accessible to me because I’m the owner of the company in question).

Bisnode obviously uses Mapquest as supplier of their maps. Mapquest do make sure to display a nice and prominent copyright attribution line in the map with text linking to respectively Mapquest’s Mapbox attribution page (“MAPBOX” text), OpenStreetMap’s about page (“OPENSTREETMAP” text) and Mapquest’s TOS (“TERMS” text).

The OSM attribution doesn’t comply exactly with the words of the OSM attribution instructions; to use the text “© OpenStreetMap contributors” and make it clear that data is distributed under the ODbL license (suggested done by linking to the OSM copyright page which only happens indirectly through the about page). This is almost fulfilled on the 3rd Party Notices and Licences which is, however, buried behind the long read of the Mapquest TOS, and where the attribution strangely becomes the rather twisted “© Open Street Map and Contributors”. Who are OSM beyond its contributors? And why doesn’t Mapquest know the correct name of the project? Is it to prevent search engine hits of the more unique concatenation of the three words? That’s a guess.

Strangely an almost similar text but also with a reference to the ODbL is to be found in the “Mapbox Streets” section of the Mapbox attribution page.

Tile Server Compliance Analysis

For reference: OSM/OSMF’s Tile Usage Policy

The tiles are obviously rendered using the Mapquest cartography and thus can be served only by Mapquest.


Principal Vista refund in DK
Jan 17th, 2011 by miki

Nice story in the media (GTrans) (+2 (GTrans), 3, (GTrans)) in Denmark right now, is of a consumer who filed a complaint to The Danish Consumer Agency regarding reimbursement of his OEM Windows license, and won in a principal judgment (warning Google Translate exaggerates the price by some decades, the correct refund is DKK 850 ~ EUR 114 ~ USD 151 ).

He wanted to use his new computer for GNU/Linux only, but the store (a supermarket) and the computer manufacturer would only accept a refund for the complete purchase, regardless of the Windows Vista license offer to get a refund for the bundled software.

The consumer agency ruled in favor of the consumer, citing his right for reimbursement as pr. the license agreement, and the Danish consumer law that interprets in favor of the consumer when doubts arise.

This is very good news for the rights of Danish consumers, after we were let down by Poul-Henning Kamp’s recent loss in court (GTrans) about a similar complaint.

Go get those Vista refunds!

But remember for Windows 7, the license reads “you must return the entire system on which the software is installed for a refund or credit”, effectively making any product distributed with Windows 7 a madatory subject to the Microsoft tax.

UPDATE 2011/01/18 20:40:

A followup article at ComputerWorld Denmark (GTrans) states that HP Denmark doesn’t think the ruling will have any “practical effect” on their business. They believe very few consumers are interested in alternative operating systems,  and haven’t seen any demand for it in the market. How a demand can be established without a product,  HP doesn’t have any insights into, as they have never had alternative offerings.

Even though we all know what the OEM license says, an OEM director from Microsoft Denmark cleverly enough states that; “we can not and should not interfere with the wording of return policies, including whether the software can be returned with the PC only“. In the last blow to any logic, the HP response is to; “await a statement from Microsoft, and then implement a solution“.

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