Custom recovery:pr attack

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PR Attack

This "attack" consists simply in making it beneficial for Motorola to unlock the boot process by providing us with a bootloader that doesn't check for signatures. This is not an attack in itself, but a way to show our disgust with having a phone that's supposed to be running free software but not being able to reap the benefits of it. Since the free software running on the Milestone has largely been made by the user community, we feel that as members of that user community we should be able to modify it at will, but are unable to do it because of Motorola's signature check upon boot forbids us to change the kernel. Although whether Motorola has the legal right to do this is not clear((see here.)), we feel it is unfair and do not want to be subject to this restriction which was not clearly advertised before we purchased our phones (on the contrary, we were told the Milestone was equal to the Droid - but the Droid does not have this bootloader check). And since competing products such as Google's Nexus One and HTC's phones do not have this restriction, we believe it is only logical to expect the same from Motorola. Furthermore, the Motorola Milestone has been widely advertised as "the phone without compromises", but this surely is a big one and makes a good case for false advertising.



Motorola's Facebook groups are a suitable channel to let them know about this issue. In fact, Motorola has answered to the many protests they received through this group by saying we should buy developer phones instead of Milestones. Ha ha, not funny. They chose to answer with a post on their discussion board in Facebook, so as to keep the protests out of their Wall.

You can pester them here (Europe), here (Canada) and here (Latin America).

Amazon's ratings

Criticizing the Milestone's bootloader through Amazon's rating system has a very good chance of making your opinion matter to Motorola. Try posting a review at Amazon Germany or Amazon UK, for example.

vekexasia's poll

vekexasia has conducted a web-based poll that clearly shows many users are willing to waive their right to warranty in exchange for having complete control of their phones. This can be a useful reference to show Motorola there's a significant number of costumers that's bothered by this problem.

GPL Violation

The Linux kernel is licensed under GPLv2, which doesn't explicitly forbid Tivoization, but its spirit certainly DOES forbid it. The GPLv2 has never been put to the test of enforcing it against Tivoization, and in fact one of the reasons for the creation of GPLv3 was the explicit prohibition of Tivoization. The Legal Attack deals with this issue, but spreading awareness of this possible GPL violation would certainly be a valid channel for our PR Attack.

Blogosphere & Media

We should blog about this issue, and spread the word through the Blogosphere. Eventually this should reach a few large sites like Slashdot, Digg, Reddit, etc. If it makes enough impact we may even reach mainstream media.

MWC 2010 Milestone awareness campaign

Both Motorola and Motodev will be present at Mobile World Congress held in Barcelona from 15-18 February 2010. Where Motorola surely will continue to promote the Milestone as an "Open Source based device without limit" and continue to leave anybody in the dark that they actually have crippled the Milestone with a digitally signed bootloader. The goal of the MWC 2010 Awareness Campaign is to make Motorola aware that is a **real** problem and inform potential customers that the Milestone is a closed device. Ideas and suggestions how this can be achieved can be found at MWC2010_Awareness.