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#1 2018-04-05 07:33:43

Sox R
Member
Registered: 2018-04-05
Posts: 9

Arch Linux, MPD and Kernel GPL violations by Euphony Audio

Euphony Audio is a company which provides an "audiophile" Linux distribution with a modified RT kernel, based on Arch Linux:

https://euphony-audio.com/

Their trial version which I downloaded, is this one:

http://euphonyimage-798b.kxcdn.com/euph … 019.img.gz

The latest version can be found in this URL:

# curl http://audiokernel.com/euphony.dat
EUPHONY
3680000000
115f193463751925291b8c0f5cc41e29858a9c40
http://euphonyimage-798b.kxcdn.com/euph … 205.img.gz


In the past, they provided a trial of their modified OS:

http://web.archive.org/web/201708151340 … tallation/

They use some modified version of windiskimager, which downloads the latest img.gz file, and writes it to a USB stick.

They later added a GPL written offer to this page (after several people including me and Max Kellermann asking for the source), but now the page is completely gone:

http://euphony-audio.com:80/installation/


This image which I downloaded contains a modified GPLv2 based RT linux kernel. We have asked Euphony to provide the source code for the 4.1.13-rt15-1-rt kernel in this image and it's .config as supported by the GPLv2.

Euphony failed to provide us with the source code, hiding behind all possible bureaucracy tricks to stall and delay us. Now they have taken it to the next level, by removing their GPL written offer. We have a lot of emails / screenshots to prove this, and would like to share these with the Arch Linux devs.

The MPD lead dev also never received a compliant source code for his music server software:

https://www.musicpd.org/commercial.html


SOXR

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#2 2018-04-05 07:39:46

Scimmia
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Registered: 2012-09-01
Posts: 7,047

Re: Arch Linux, MPD and Kernel GPL violations by Euphony Audio

None of this has anything to do with Arch

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#3 2018-04-05 07:45:14

Sox R
Member
Registered: 2018-04-05
Posts: 9

Re: Arch Linux, MPD and Kernel GPL violations by Euphony Audio

Scimmia wrote:

None of this has anything to do with Arch

They modified an Arch Linux distro and are refusing to comply to the GPL.
How is this not related to Arch Linux?

Who should we contact?

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#4 2018-04-05 07:49:05

jasonwryan
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From: .nz
Registered: 2009-05-09
Posts: 26,035
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Re: Arch Linux, MPD and Kernel GPL violations by Euphony Audio

The Euphony people, presumably.


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#5 2018-04-05 07:59:57

Sox R
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Registered: 2018-04-05
Posts: 9

Re: Arch Linux, MPD and Kernel GPL violations by Euphony Audio

jasonwryan wrote:

The Euphony people, presumably.

We already contacted the euphony team several times. They are refusing the give us the source code of their modified kernel, which is based on an arch linux kernel.

So this is why we contact Arch.

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#6 2018-04-05 08:15:31

jasonwryan
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From: .nz
Registered: 2009-05-09
Posts: 26,035
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Re: Arch Linux, MPD and Kernel GPL violations by Euphony Audio

The "Arch Linux" kernel is just the vanilla upstream kernel. This issue has nothing to do with us. Try here: http://gpl-violations.org/


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#7 2018-04-05 08:24:07

Sox R
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Registered: 2018-04-05
Posts: 9

Re: Arch Linux, MPD and Kernel GPL violations by Euphony Audio

jasonwryan wrote:

The "Arch Linux" kernel is just the vanilla upstream kernel. This issue has nothing to do with us. Try here: http://gpl-violations.org/

It seems Greg KH is the current Linux kernel maintainer:

https://lwn.net/Articles/663866/

So we will contact the kernel team / Greg.

Please leave this topic intact, so we can reference to it.

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#8 2018-04-05 10:40:37

Trilby
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Registered: 2011-11-29
Posts: 20,267
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Re: Arch Linux, MPD and Kernel GPL violations by Euphony Audio

Sox R wrote:

It seems Greg KH is the current Linux kernel maintainer...

Yes, he is a software person, not a lawyer - what do you expect him to do about somebody violating a license he didn't write?  Pout?  One of the reasons people use the GPL is so that they can have the backing of the FSF (at least in theory).

So contact the FSF, or the gpl-violations people already linked above, or hire your own lawyer and sue.

Note that "Arch Linux" is not an even an entity that can have a copyright, nor a license.  Some of the icons/artwork can, but they don't seem to be using those.  The name can have trademark protections (I'm not sure if it does or not, but that'd be possible).  But a distro is not eligible for copyright protections as it is just a collection of other content.  That content can be under copyright and have license restrictions - but for this to have anything to do with arch linux, they'd have to be using modified versions of GPLed arch-created software.  Even in that case, the solution would be to hire a lawyer: a license is only as strong as the lawyers that enforce it (I think this is a sad fact, but it is a fact).

Personally I'm more bothered by every page on their site taking a ridiculously long time to load; it even takes several seconds before you get any indication at all that it is loading or that a click was registered.  Kinda' ironic for a project boasting the creation of a system with real time responsiveness.

Last edited by Trilby (2018-04-05 10:57:38)


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#9 2018-04-05 13:33:36

apg
Developer
Registered: 2012-11-10
Posts: 179

Re: Arch Linux, MPD and Kernel GPL violations by Euphony Audio

Trilby wrote:
Sox R wrote:

It seems Greg KH is the current Linux kernel maintainer...

Yes, he is a software person, not a lawyer - what do you expect him to do about somebody violating a license he didn't write?  Pout?  One of the reasons people use the GPL is so that they can have the backing of the FSF (at least in theory).

So contact the FSF, or the gpl-violations people already linked above, or hire your own lawyer and sue.

Note that "Arch Linux" is not an even an entity that can have a copyright, nor a license.  Some of the icons/artwork can, but they don't seem to be using those.  The name can have trademark protections (I'm not sure if it does or not, but that'd be possible).  But a distro is not eligible for copyright protections as it is just a collection of other content.  That content can be under copyright and have license restrictions - but for this to have anything to do with arch linux, they'd have to be using modified versions of GPLed arch-created software.  Even in that case, the solution would be to hire a lawyer: a license is only as strong as the lawyers that enforce it (I think this is a sad fact, but it is a fact).

Where are you getting all of this?  The GPL is a copyright license, why do you think anybody other than the copyright owner(s) should, or even could, sue for violating the license?  A "collection of other content" can absolutely be protected by copyright.

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#10 2018-04-05 13:51:32

Trilby
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Registered: 2011-11-29
Posts: 20,267
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Re: Arch Linux, MPD and Kernel GPL violations by Euphony Audio

apg wrote:

Where are you getting all of this?

Common sense.  Most software developers are not lawyers and would not have the time nor inclination to pursue a law suit.  An additional source, RMS:
https://www.fsf.org/blogs/rms/rms-comme … nforcement

apg wrote:

The GPL is a copyright license, why do you think anybody other than the copyright owner(s) should, or even could, sue for violating the license?

Why do you think I think that?  The OP came here hoping this community would be able to do something about a license violation for non-arch projects - I pointed out that this is nonsensical.  Arch linux would have no claims against Euphony for anything noted in this thread.

apg wrote:

A "collection of other content" can absolutely be protected by copyright.

I did not say that no "collection of content" could be under copyright.  I said a distro could not be.  A distro is an amorphous and ill defined entity.  Do you think archlinux as a whole is copyright protected?  If so, what is the license for the whole assembly?

"Distro" is short for distribution.  It's the distribution - or sharing - of other content.  Is the act of sharing itself copyright protected?  What level of similarity in sharing would be a violation?

Am I violating arch linux's copyright as I have never seen nor received a license for the distro as whole?

Last edited by Trilby (2018-04-05 13:55:14)


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#11 2018-04-05 14:03:55

ayekat
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Re: Arch Linux, MPD and Kernel GPL violations by Euphony Audio

If anything, the authors of pacman (which are mostly involved with Arch Linux) might make a claim/complaint, since that's a software project that is very likely affected (you know, with code, licenses and everything).

Otherwise I agree that it's a bit odd to think of distributions as single entities in almost any context (usually I see that in the form of: "What's the stance of Arch on this?" and, little more technically, "I upgraded Arch and now [complaint]").

Last edited by ayekat (2018-04-05 14:06:47)

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#12 2018-04-05 14:11:54

Trilby
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Re: Arch Linux, MPD and Kernel GPL violations by Euphony Audio

That's why I included this note:

me wrote:

That content can be under copyright and have license restrictions - but for this to have anything to do with arch linux, they'd have to be using modified versions of GPLed arch-created software.

Does their disk contain the pacman binary?  Is there reason to believe they modified the pacman source code to produce a new binary that they are distributing?  Nothing in this thread even suggests a violation of pacman's license (nor any other arch-created software).  If there is such a suggestion, then of course this could go to the arch-dev responsible for that bit of software.  But again, there is no distro-wide copyright that can be violated.

Did they just use arch linux as a tool to create their disk?  If so, the GPL is irrelevant.  Using GPLed tools to create new content does not impose any restrictions on the licensing of that content.  Using GCC to compile a program does not restrict how you can license the program; using GIMP to create an image doesn't restrict how you can license the image; using a GPLed text editor does not restrict how you can license your book; and using GPLed compoenents from arch linux to create a new disk image does not (in itself) place any restrictions on how they can license that disk image.

As for "removing the GPL written offer" I'm not sure exactly what that means, but if they just happened to have briefly offered their content under a GPL license but have since opted to no longer do so, that is their right - they have no obligation to *continue* distributing something they briefly offered under a GPL license.

Last edited by Trilby (2018-04-05 14:18:15)


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#13 2018-04-05 14:24:38

apg
Developer
Registered: 2012-11-10
Posts: 179

Re: Arch Linux, MPD and Kernel GPL violations by Euphony Audio

Trilby wrote:

That's why I included this note:

me wrote:

That content can be under copyright and have license restrictions - but for this to have anything to do with arch linux, they'd have to be using modified versions of GPLed arch-created software.

Does their disk contain the pacman binary?  Is there reason to believe they modified the pacman source code to produce a new binary that they are distributing?  Nothing in this thread even suggests a violation of pacman's license (nor any other arch-created software).  If there is such a suggestion, then of course this could go to the arch-dev responsible for that bit of software.  But again, there is no distro-wide copyright that can be violated.

They don't need to have modified pacman's source to violate the GPL.  Distributing a compiled version without providing the source would be enough.

Trillby wrote:

As for "removing the GPL written offer" I'm not sure exactly what that means, but if they just happened to have briefly offered their content under a GPL license but have since opted to no longer do so, that is their right - they have no obligation to *continue* distributing something they briefly offered under a GPL license.

One method of satisfying GPL requirements is a written offer to provide source code.  It sounds like there was a written offer, but they removed it, hence the alleged GPL violation.

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#14 2018-04-05 14:45:10

Trilby
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Registered: 2011-11-29
Posts: 20,267
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Re: Arch Linux, MPD and Kernel GPL violations by Euphony Audio

apg wrote:

They don't need to have modified pacman's source to violate the GPL.  Distributing a compiled version without providing the source would be enough.

That's why I asked:

Trilby wrote:

Does their disk contain the pacman binary?

This is not clear.

Even if their disk image does contain pacman, is there reason to believe the source isn't also on this disk?

Even if the disk image does contain pacman and does not contain source code it can contain the offer to obtain the source code.

An enormous number of assumptions need to be made to suspect that there is a violation of pacman's license here.

For the record every archlinux mirror I'm aware of distributes the pacman binary and isos with the pacman binary with no source code and no written offer for it.


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#15 2018-04-05 16:09:46

Sox R
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Registered: 2018-04-05
Posts: 9

Re: Arch Linux, MPD and Kernel GPL violations by Euphony Audio

Their distro contains the pacman binary, which can be found inside the second partition of this image:

http://euphonyimage-798b.kxcdn.com/euph … 019.img.gz

I have this older image on a USB stick:

[root@analysis ~]# mount /dev/sdb2 /mnt/euphony/
[root@analysis ~]# ls -la /mnt/euphony/bin/
Display all 1552 possibilities? (y or n)
[root@analysis ~]# ls -la /mnt/euphony/bin/pacman
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 122952 Oct  2  2015 /mnt/euphony/bin/pacman
[root@analysis ~]# ls -la /mnt/euphony/etc/issue
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 291 Jul  7  2016 /mnt/euphony/etc/issue
[root@analysis ~]# cat  /mnt/euphony/etc/issue
*
* Please access your euphony installation by visiting:
* http://\n  in browser on your regular PC/laptop                               
* If \n hostname doesn't work try using IP address (log-in first).
*
*
* INFO:
* System: Arch Linux \r (\l)
* Hostname: \n
* \d \t
*
*
*
* IP ADDRESS : 172.16.254.43

I never booted this stick, so the IP ADDRESS is still the stock version. I chrooted into it to play with it once.

So what Euphony did, applies also to Arch Linux. This is also an Arch issue.

When I initially requested the source code of the kernel, they replied that I should provide them with my UPS / DHL / .... account number. Can you expect that the requester has such account?  So they added this bureaucracy layer to make it difficult.

Hello SOXR,

We are pleased to send CD with sources you ask to your legitime address.   Please provide to us your name, address, phone number and your choosen shipping agent (your valid DHL, Fedex or UPS account number).  As soon as your stated courier will accept shipment in your direction on your expenses, we will ship CD  and send you tracking number by email.

I also would like to state that we as a "audiokernel" fully cooperate and contribute with Open Source comunity, but also we ask for any party to identify itself by his real name and legitime address. Otherwise we do not see any sense to comunicate to anonymous requesters.

With best regards,

Robert @ audiokernel.com

Today I reminded them that I opened this thread, and also am going to contact the linux foundation, and they just replied they took down their product:

From: <robert @ audiokernel.com>
Date: Thu, Apr 5, 2018 at 5:20 PM
Subject: RE: FW: Re: euphony kernel source
To: Sox R


Hello Mr. _______

yes we do not distribute any more MPD, nor product based on MPD. 

In this moment, we also do not offer any product or distribution of GPL Linux in download or any form.

If we choose in future to  continue with GPL Linux, we will certanly comply to all requirements of GPL distribution.

Hope this answares your questions.

With best regards,

Robert


And still the kernel has been distributed to me in binary form, and they are not willing to provide me with the source. Regarding the kernel, the copyright is not here at Arch, but I believe you are the copyright owners of pacman.

Euphony has stopped offering the trial, but still is selling Arch Linux on an SSD:

https://euphony-audio-usa.com/euphony_drives

Last edited by Sox R (2018-04-05 16:49:35)

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#16 2018-04-05 17:22:52

progandy
Member
Registered: 2012-05-17
Posts: 3,164

Re: Arch Linux, MPD and Kernel GPL violations by Euphony Audio

Trilby wrote:

For the record every archlinux mirror I'm aware of distributes the pacman binary and isos with the pacman binary with no source code and no written offer for it.

At least mirrors.kernel.org and acc.umu.se have the sources as well.
https://mirrors.kernel.org/archlinux/sources/
https://ftp.acc.umu.se/mirror/archlinux/sources/

Sox R wrote:

When I initially requested the source code of the kernel, they replied that I should provide them with my UPS / DHL / .... account number. Can you expect that the requester has such account?  So they added this bureaucracy layer to make it difficult.

Well, they can choose to provide the sources only on cd or usb media and require you to pay for the shipping costs. That is not illegal, but there should be a way to pay it as a private customer (bank transfer, paypal, check, cash on delivery, ...) I don't think you can get a dhl account number without a large shipping volume as a business.

Last edited by progandy (2018-04-05 17:41:37)


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#17 2018-04-06 06:28:32

Sox R
Member
Registered: 2018-04-05
Posts: 9

Re: Arch Linux, MPD and Kernel GPL violations by Euphony Audio

progandy wrote:
Sox R wrote:

When I initially requested the source code of the kernel, they replied that I should provide them with my UPS / DHL / .... account number. Can you expect that the requester has such account?  So they added this bureaucracy layer to make it difficult.

Well, they can choose to provide the sources only on cd or usb media and require you to pay for the shipping costs. That is not illegal, but there should be a way to pay it as a private customer (bank transfer, paypal, check, cash on delivery, ...) I don't think you can get a dhl account number without a large shipping volume as a business.

The problem with Euphony is that their written offer is fake. They never intended to give their modifications to the kernel to those who received the binary version.

They put up a fake GPL written offer page, in order to silence package authors (such as Max Kellermann), but they never honored the written offer. They used all kinds of delay tactics, and when we finally provided an address to them to send the CD to, they suddenly claim they no longer offer the trial version and therefore don't need to provide us anything. This is not a valid excuse. The GPL does not work this way.

They gave the MPD source code to the author of MPD, most likely because they did not change MPD. But they obviously changed the linux kernel, and don't want to give the secret behind their business.

The binary versions of pacman and the kernel (and binaries from so many other gpl packages) have been distributed to me (and anyone downloading the image files as mentioned in this topic), so I still have the right to ask the source code of those packages. For the GPL it does not matter if these packages are vanilla versions from upstream, or a modified version by Euphony. In both cases, for every GPL package that is distributed in binary form, they must be able to provide the source to those who have received the binary form.

Euphony is trying to take away those rights with lame excuses, and as a result is not GPL compliant. They are violating your copyright as well, as they bundle pacman in binary form with their distro, which is still being sold as a pre-installed SSD.

https://euphony-audio-usa.com/euphony_drives
http://euphony-audio-usa.com/music_servers

So this sentence in their email reaction as posted earlier, is a lie:

In this moment, we also do not offer any product or distribution of GPL Linux in download or any form.

Each time Euphony is selling a music server or one of their pre-installed SSD's, they sell an illegal copy of pacman.

A similar situation in the case of MPD:
http://mailman.blarg.de/pipermail/mpd-d … 00706.html

Last edited by Sox R (2018-04-06 06:40:22)

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#18 2018-04-06 06:36:39

jasonwryan
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From: .nz
Registered: 2009-05-09
Posts: 26,035
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Re: Arch Linux, MPD and Kernel GPL violations by Euphony Audio

Yes, we have established that they are asshats. Continuing to bleat about it here is not going to achieve anything.


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#19 2018-04-06 06:42:21

Sox R
Member
Registered: 2018-04-05
Posts: 9

Re: Arch Linux, MPD and Kernel GPL violations by Euphony Audio

jasonwryan wrote:

Yes, we have established that they are asshats. Continuing to bleat about it here is not going to achieve anything.

As authors of pacman, please take action.

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#20 2018-04-06 06:52:12

jasonwryan
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From: .nz
Registered: 2009-05-09
Posts: 26,035
Website

Re: Arch Linux, MPD and Kernel GPL violations by Euphony Audio

Sox R wrote:
jasonwryan wrote:

Yes, we have established that they are asshats. Continuing to bleat about it here is not going to achieve anything.

As authors of pacman, please take action.

And do what, exactly? Unleash the crack legal team that we have on a permanent retainer?


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#21 2018-04-06 06:58:00

Sox R
Member
Registered: 2018-04-05
Posts: 9

Re: Arch Linux, MPD and Kernel GPL violations by Euphony Audio

jasonwryan wrote:
Sox R wrote:
jasonwryan wrote:

Yes, we have established that they are asshats. Continuing to bleat about it here is not going to achieve anything.

As authors of pacman, please take action.

And do what, exactly? Unleash the crack legal team that we have on a permanent retainer?

Here's an example of such request as seen on the MPD mailing list http://mailman.blarg.de/pipermail/mpd-d … 00650.html:

Dead sir or madam,

I just downloaded from your website:

http://euphonyimage-798b.kxcdn.com/euph … 019.img.gz
SHA256 d1b6d64887ad378e0bf7688d44b86159ccd4b3f34af1f4176e01c32166255a00

I hereby request the source code of all GPL and LGPL licensed binaries
contained therein.

Your image does not contain an offer to provide the source code.
Please note that this is required according to the terms of the GPLv2
section 3.

Note that failure to provide the full source code constitutes a
copyright violation.  Additionally, it will terminate your license
according to GPLv2 section 4, rendering your product illegal.

Regards,
Max Kellermann

As you are the authors of pacman, failure to comply with your request allows you to terminate Euphony's license.

Last edited by Sox R (2018-04-06 06:58:25)

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#22 2018-04-06 09:33:54

R00KIE
Forum Moderator
From: Between a computer and a chair
Registered: 2008-09-14
Posts: 4,734

Re: Arch Linux, MPD and Kernel GPL violations by Euphony Audio

Sox R wrote:

As you are the authors of pacman, failure to comply with your request allows you to terminate Euphony's license.

Copyright infringement enforcement and licence termination actions are not mandatory, the copyright owner or licenser can choose to do nothing.

You want the source of their kernel, but you want us to do all the hard work and incur all the expenses, do you see where the problem is with that?


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#23 2018-04-06 12:45:16

apg
Developer
Registered: 2012-11-10
Posts: 179

Re: Arch Linux, MPD and Kernel GPL violations by Euphony Audio

I don't think there's anywhere else for this thread to go.  If you want to see the GPL enforced, you will need to contact the developers of the specific software whose license is being violated.  In pacman's case, the correct channel for that would be the pacman-dev mailing list.  You are unlikely to get the attention of anybody able and willing to help you on this forum.

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#24 2018-04-11 22:07:39

Sox R
Member
Registered: 2018-04-05
Posts: 9

Re: Arch Linux, MPD and Kernel GPL violations by Euphony Audio

They finally did send me a link with the kernel source, so I consider this case closed.

For those who want to optimize audio playback under Arch, here's the link of their kernel:

http://audiokernel.com/linux41src.tar.gz

I did not yet try to build it, but it contains a .config

I would suggest to make a backup, as I don't know how long this source will be hosted on their site.

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#25 2018-04-12 00:02:18

Xyne
Moderator/TU
Registered: 2008-08-03
Posts: 6,373
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Re: Arch Linux, MPD and Kernel GPL violations by Euphony Audio

Good job! I'll tell the crack legal team to pack it up wink

For the record, GPL violations should always be take seriously lest we risk their erosion. Calling attention to violations even in the absence of lawyers can often impress upon the perpetrator the gravity and potential consequences of non-compliance, which appears to have been the case here. People pull this **** because they think that no one is paying attention and/or because they just don't understand how the GPL works (e.g. taking down binaries after distribution does not abrogate the requirement to distribute the sources). In this case, it seems that both the kernel's license and Pacman's license were (temporarily) violated and the Pacman dev's (and this community by extension) should have been concerned by it.

Anyway, I'm glad that it seemingly worked out in the end.

Closing...


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