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<title>Proprietary Tyrants - GNU Project - Free Software Foundation</title>
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<h2>Proprietary Tyrants</h2>
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<p class="edu-breadcrumb">
<a href="/proprietary/proprietary.html">Other examples of proprietary href="/proprietary/proprietary.html">Proprietary malware</a> →
Tyrants</p>
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<h2 id="main-heading">Proprietary Tyrants</h2>

<div id="about-dir">
<hr class="thin" />
<p>Nonfree (proprietary) software is very often malware (designed to
mistreat the user). Nonfree software is controlled by its developers,
which puts them in a position of power over the users; <a
href="/philosophy/free-software-even-more-important.html">that is the
basic injustice</a>. The developers and manufacturers often exercise
that power to the detriment of the users they ought to serve.</p>

<p>This typically takes the form of malicious functionalities.</p>
<hr class="thin" />
</div>

<div id="about-page">
<p>A <em>tyrant</em> device is one a malicious device that refuses to allow users to
install a different operating system or a modified operating
system.  These devices have measures to block execution of anything
other than the “approved” system versions.  We also
refer to this practice as <em>tivoization</em>.
</p>
</div>

<div class="important">
<p>If you know of an example that ought to be in this page but isn't
here, please write
to <a href="mailto:webmasters@gnu.org"><webmasters@gnu.org></a>
to inform us. Please include the URL of a trustworthy reference or two
to present serve as specific substantiation.</p>
</div>

<div class="column-limit" id="proprietary-tyrants"></div>

<ul class="blurbs">
  <li id="M201607150">
    <p>Microsoft accidentally left a way for users
    to install GNU/Linux on Windows RT tablets, but now it has <a
    href="http://www.securitynewspaper.com/2016/07/15/microsoft-silently-kills-dev-backdoor-boots-linux-locked-windows-rt-slabs/">
    “fixed” the specifics.</p>

<ul>
<li>
<p>Some LG TVs “error”</a>. They have the gall
    to call this “protecting” the users.  The article talks
    of installing “Linux”, but the context shows it is really
    <a href="http://openlgtv.org.ru/wiki/index.php/Achievements">are tyrants</a>.</p> href="/gnu/linux-and-gnu.html">GNU/Linux</a> that users install.</p>
  </li>

<li><a
href="http://wiki.samygo.tv/index.php5/SamyGO_for_DUMMIES#What_are_Restricted_Firmwares.3F">
Samsung

  <li id="M201412010">
    <p>Apple arbitrarily <a
    href="http://9to5mac.com/2014/12/01/ios-8-1-signing-window-closed/">blocks
    users from installing old versions of iOS</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201403150">
    <p><a href="http://soylentnews.org/article.pl?sid=14/03/15/1912255">
    Intel processors will have tyrant software built in</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201304080">
    <p>Motorola, then owned by Google, made <a
    href="http://blog.azimuthsecurity.com/2013/04/unlocking-motorola-bootloader.html">
    Android phones that are tyrants</a> (though someone found a way to
    crack the restriction).  Fortunately, most Android devices are not
    tyrants.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201212180">
    <p>Samsung “Smart” TVs have <a
    href="https://wiki.samygo.tv/index.php?title=SamyGO_for_DUMMIES#What_are_Restricted_Firmwares.3F">
    turned Linux into the base for a tyrant system</a> so as to impose
    DRM.  What enables Samsung to do this is that Linux is released
    under GNU GPL version 2, <a
    href="/licenses/rms-why-gplv3.html">not version 3</a>, together with
    a weak interpretation of GPL version 2. 2.</p>
  </li>

  <li><p>Apple
	  arbitrarily

  <li id="M201210020">
    <p>Some LG TVs <a href="http://9to5mac.com/2014/12/01/ios-8-1-signing-window-closed/">blocks
	  users from installing old versions of iOS</a>.
	</p>
    href="https://web.archive.org/web/20190917164647/http://openlgtv.org.ru/wiki/index.php/Achievements">
    are tyrants</a>.</p>
  </li>

<li>

  <li id="M201205280">
    <p>The Apple iThings are tyrant devices.  There is a
    port of Android to the iThings, but installing it requires <a
    href="https://web.archive.org/web/20150721065208/http://www.idroidproject.org/wiki/Status">
    finding a bug or “exploit”</a> to make it possible to
    install a different system.
</p> system.</p>
  </li>

<li>

  <li id="M201110110">
    <p><a href="http://fsf.org/campaigns/secure-boot-vs-restricted-boot/"> href="https://fsf.org/campaigns/secure-boot-vs-restricted-boot/">
    Mobile devices that come with Windows 8 are tyrants.</a>
</p>
</li>

<li>
<p><a href="http://blog.azimuthsecurity.com/2013/04/unlocking-motorola-bootloader.html">
Some Android phones are tyrants</a> (though someone found a way to
crack the restriction).  Fortunately, most Android devices are not tyrants.
</p> tyrants</a>.</p>
  </li>

<li>

  <li id="M201105070">
    <p><a href="http://boycottsony.org">The href="https://www.defectivebydesign.org/sony">The Playstation
    3 is a tyrant</a>.
</p>
</li>

<li>
<p><a href="http://soylentnews.org/article.pl?sid=14/03/15/1912255">
Intel processors will have tyrant software built in</a>.
</p>
</li>

<li>
<p>Microsoft accidentally left a way for users to install GNU/Linux
on Windows RT tablets, but now it has <a
href="http://www.securitynewspaper.com/2016/07/15/microsoft-silently-kills-dev-backdoor-boots-linux-locked-windows-rt-slabs/">
“fixed” the “error”</a>. They have the
gall to call this “protecting” the users.  The article
talks of installing “Linux”, but the context shows it is
really <a href="/gnu/linux-and-gnu.html">GNU/Linux</a> that users
install.
</p> tyrant</a>.</p>
  </li>
</ul>

</div>

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<p class="unprintable">Updated:
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$Date: 2019/11/18 15:05:19 $
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