Nokia does not get it

Dr Ari Jaaksi is Nokia’s vice president of software and head of its open-source operations. Note that Nokia recently acquired Trolltech so now he has an important role in Qt’s future. An I’m worried because he has been quoted saying nonsense like this:

“We want to educate open-source developers. There are certain business rules [developers] need to obey, such as DRM, IPR [intellectual property rights], SIM locks and subsidised business models.”

No thanks you very much, but I don’t want software defective by design (not even the evils at Apple like DRM anymore), I don’t believe in imaginary property, and I hate SIM locks as much as the next guy.

“As an industry, we plan to use open-source technologies but we are not yet ready to play by the rules; but this needs to work the other way round too.”

You better start playing by the rules because else the other companies might do it faster than Nokia and you will lose the opportunity. Oh: And just as a remind: when you go open source, you *must* play by the rules by honoring the license of the software.

Really, it’s sad to listen to things like this from someone controlling the company who owns Trolltech  I am sure that the vice-president of companies like Red Hat wouldn’t say nonsense like the above. But it’s no surprise coming from someone in a company that seems to be absolutely in favor of software patents in Europe according to FFII.

20 Responses to “Nokia does not get it”

  1. 1 TheGZeus junio 14, 2008 de 3:22 am

    This might be good news to fans of BSD-style licenses -_-

  2. 2 dkite junio 14, 2008 de 3:41 am

    The original article is here:


  3. 3 Michael Pyne junio 14, 2008 de 3:54 am

    I was thinking of blogging about this myself because of just how silly statements like the Nokia VP’s are.

    Either way I’m not worried about Trolltech per se. Qt is easily forkable, and the Trolls would certainly be able to convince Nokia of the folly of pissing people off in that regard. Worst case scenario the KDE-Free Qt agreement comes into play so that base is covered for now.

    But what nonsense is this guy trying to come up with? There’s absolutely no good reason for a Linux user (or any user) to support DRM, all it is is a constant kick in the nethers over and over to the customers who actually pay. The pirates simply download a superior version.

  4. 4 Riddle junio 14, 2008 de 8:14 am

    Three things:
    IPR: I will obey the law, and I think the rest of open source will too, so no reason to mention that
    SIM locks: sometimes I need to use the phone on other networks, such as foreign networks if I’m going out-of-country.

    If you tick too many people off, they _will_ fork and you _will_ lose free help developing Qt, which is a part of TT’s business model.

  5. 5 Fehmi junio 14, 2008 de 10:18 am

    Unfortunately forking doesn’t solve all problems. Qt license isn’t future proof. If a developer wants to use a license which is not compatible there’s no way to use Qt. If we decide to fork Qt we should also rewrite it piece by piece so that in the long run we’ll have a Qt replacement which doesn’t have code copyrighted by Nokia and we will be able change its license to a more suitable one for a toolkit.

  6. 6 Henrik junio 14, 2008 de 12:16 pm

    Fehmi: with the KDE-Free Qt agreement, there wouldn’t be any license compatible problems. Because KDE ev can release Qt under the BSD license.

  7. 7 Fri13 junio 14, 2008 de 12:52 pm

    I am more than sorry to tell this but Nokia leaders are just “evil” persons. I know these people and I dont have anything nice to say about them when it comes to business.

    I was afraid that this kind could happend if Nokia gets Trolltech in their pocket, there is still good change that nothing this kind will happend but… money talks

  8. 8 pinky junio 14, 2008 de 1:25 pm

    Henrik: You are right. But “KDE-Free Qt agreement” only works if Nokia decides to stop the free Qt development. If they continue to develop a free Qt but in a direction we don’t like. E.g. don’t allow GPLv4 in the future or something simular we will have no change to resolv the problem because we can only fork the GPLv2 or GPLv3 version.

    Even if i don’t think this problem will become reality in the near future i think we shoud be aware of the posibility that a situation can arise where the “KDE-Free Qt agreement” doesn’t kick in and the only option would be to fork Qt-GPL.

    I’m not happy that Trolltech is now part of Nokia. I don’t like Nokias politic. Hope Nokia will not make any problems for us.

  9. 9 Segedunum junio 14, 2008 de 5:25 pm

    I really wasn’t sure how to take the comments, as they’re obviously silly, because you always get people on different corners of large companies who don’t understand what is going on. There is no place for DRM and lock of any kind in open source software, because they just can’t work. There’s just no point.

    I’m not too worried about Qty or the Trolls themselves, but you are right to be piqued by this. I certainly was.

  10. 10 T. J. Brumfield junio 14, 2008 de 5:50 pm

    There are a few things to consider here.

    1 – Nokia does have a track record of arguing against open standards and demanding proprietary ones. So this was to be expected.

    2 – Conversely, if you trust what is being said here, it isn’t that bad. He is saying things like DRM are current accepted business practices in the mobile world, and we need to understand that those things won’t disappear YET. He says yet.

  11. 12 David Johnson junio 14, 2008 de 6:22 pm

    I think it’s funny that you say “I don’t believe in imaginary property” and “you *must* play by the rules by honoring the license” in the same post! Property is more than a legal title or deed, it is legal right to control a thing. By asserting that your rules over a thing must be honored, you are asserting that it is your property.

  12. 13 danigm junio 14, 2008 de 11:03 pm

    with gtk that don’t happen 😛

  13. 14 edulix junio 14, 2008 de 11:45 pm

    David Johnson:
    You might find that funny, but it isn’t. I live in Spain and we have a law called something like “Intellectual Property Law”. And I obey it and thanks to that law we’ve got copyright (we call it derechos de autor/”author’s rights”), etc. But the name is misleading because there is no such a thing as “intellectual property”. So even if play by the rules of that law it doesn’t mean that I belive that the name given to that law is the correct one.

    I will allow myself the luxury of quoting Thomas Jefferson, who in 1813 said:

    If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession of everyone, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it. Its peculiar character, too, is that no one possesses the less, because every other possesses the whole of it. He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me. That ideas should freely spread from one to another over the globe, for the moral and mutual instruction of man, and improvement of his condition, seems to have been peculiarly and benevolently designed by nature, when she made them, like fire, expansible over all space, without lessening their density at any point, and like the air in which we breathe, move, and have our physical being, incapable of confinement or exclusive appropriation. Inventions then cannot, in nature, be a subject of property.

  14. 15 nucco junio 15, 2008 de 9:24 am

    I just saw a hurriedly written response to a troubling story (Nokia’s comments). Now I have trouble deciding which is worse, the Nokia guy’s statements, or Edulix’s.

    Seriously, if you set out to do a rebuttal, please make sure you have something to say first.

  15. 16 Darwin junio 15, 2008 de 8:15 pm

    Calling Apple Evels I can’t understand! because the don’t open their Products?
    They just want to deliver something Homogeneous, Evil is MS that try to destroy the competition with Unfair methods! Apple fight their competition with better Products! DRM in Apple Products are there because of the Music Industry RIA!

    Apple also have a lot of Opensource Projects and we all can make some profits:
    Darwin Streaming Server
    Compiler Tools

    now I sound like Apple Fanboy

  16. 17 Eduardo Robles Elvira junio 15, 2008 de 10:06 pm

    Darwin: well maybe because you are an apple fan-boy? no offense 😛 I mean.. seriously, Apple uses open source so what? Apple is worse to Microsoft because its closed hardware platform and it’s been always like that with them. Thanks god we got the IBM PC back in the day and thus we don’t have to deal with apple-only hardware.

    nucco: my first troll! 😀

  17. 18 Dom junio 16, 2008 de 6:53 pm

    Linus Torvalds should talk to this guy, after all they are from the same country. 🙂

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