Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 10th Apr 2012 12:00 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless Oh RIM. Already back-peddling on the whole 'let's remove sideloading to prevent the Android chaotic cesspool', are we? PR damage control mode engaged: "We're not getting rid of side-loading on the BlackBerry PlayBook OS or in BlackBerry 10." I think I know where the real chaotic cesspool is, RIM.
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PieterGen
Member since:
2012-01-13

OK, I read the official RIM Side loading statement. It's even worse than we thought....

"I’d like to take this opportunity to set the record straight for our developer community. We’re not getting rid of side-loading on the BlackBerry PlayBook OS or in BlackBerry 10." - OK, this starts good

"Side-loading is a developer feature." - WFT? Side loading means that owners .. uh .. own their devices and that owners can put the software on it that they wish. BTW, ' side loading' is a ridiculous word. If I buy a car, I use it the way I want. If I put my groceries in the trunk, would that be ' side loading' ?

"It is definitely not there for some people to side load a pirated app." - OK, we're back home ;) Independent users EQUALS pirates. ... sigh......

"What are we doing? Starting with our next release of the BlackBerry PlayBook OS, we’re introducing a feature that will encrypt apps so they can only be run by the user who purchased the app." - Great, DRM. Yup, the worlds needs more DRM. DRM is going to save RIM !! (...sigh...)

Edited 2012-04-10 12:26 UTC

Reply Score: 8

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Its like the captain of the titanic reminding passengers that there is a no refund policy as the ship is going down.

Reply Score: 9

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

PieterGen,

I'm with you, DRM sucks. But the lack of sideloading / owner control is worse.

Alec Saunders is a liar, it seems that his initial statement that RIM will NOT support side loading anymore was accurate. Alec's trying to wiggle out of a corner by redefining side loading. Under his new definition even the iphone would support sideloading - after all developers need to be able to load their own software for testing. However sideloading is a *user* feature, the whole point is that users can install apps independently.

It's a real shame Alec, because this was a distinctive feature.

Reply Score: 6

v Provide a use case then
by Not2Sure on Tue 10th Apr 2012 20:53 UTC
RE: Provide a use case then
by Alfman on Tue 10th Apr 2012 21:32 UTC in reply to "Provide a use case then"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

"please provide me with some valid use cases of 'sideloading' on an embedded device from an end-user and not a developer perspective that does not involve software piracy, theft of intellectual property or malware."


The ability to sideload allows alternate software distribution channels to take shape. Some, like Wii homebrew community, allow normal end users to install apps not normally available through through official channels. For example, using it to play internet radio stations, non-commercial games, utilities, etc. None of this is illegal and yet the console maker tries to block it anyway - all console makers do in fact.


Also, sideloading and other marketplaces enable to consumers to exorcise more options when a vendor stops supporting their hardware, so they don't have to throw it away.

Another case is when developers/users suffer from app store policies. One the iphone for example, some innovative apps are blocked on the basis that they include features that apple doesn't want an app to have, either because it competes with one of it's own apps, or it was written in a cross-compatible language, or some other reason that has nothing at all to do with illegal activity or copyright infringement.

These are all legitimate reasons for users to sideload.

Q.E.D.

Reply Score: 9

v RE[2]: Provide a use case then
by Not2Sure on Tue 10th Apr 2012 21:59 UTC in reply to "RE: Provide a use case then"
RE[3]: Provide a use case then
by Alfman on Tue 10th Apr 2012 22:36 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Provide a use case then"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Not2Sure,

"The purchase of the embedded device in question comes with a software distribution channel. That is part of what you are purchasing. Pretty sure the playing of internet radio stations, non-commercial games, utilities, etc are found on AppWorld and come preinstalled."

Your original question didn't specify a blackberry device. But I'm willing to shift the line a bit: the availability of something or not does not dismiss the legitimacy of user preference to install something else if they so choose.

"A consumer product has a lifetime. That is what you are purchasing. For a reasonable lifetime of the product the manufacturer is responsible for its impact on the life of its users..."

Yea, but so what? None of this makes sideloading wrong.

"So, again these apps are violating the terms set by the manufacturer. You don't like those terms but like the device and the app."

Regardless of whether it breaks the TOS or not, it does NOT "involve software piracy, theft of intellectual property or malware.", which were the subject of your original question.
However I admit it's a good point, jailbreakers always do so at their own risk. The TOS are not law, it's a contract. However it's admittedly unclear to me what extent a manufacturer can exert legal control over after sale products, and what mediation if any a manufacturer would be legally entitled to if you install your own software without their authorization.

So, while there's still nothing inherently wrong with sideloading, there's a potential legal risk anyways.


"That phrase doesn't mean what you think it means."

I really meant exactly what Q.E.D. means:
"Q.E.D. is an initialism of the Latin phrase quod erat demonstrandum, which translates as 'which was to be demonstrated'."

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Provide a use case then
by Soulbender on Wed 11th Apr 2012 05:27 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Provide a use case then"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

However it's admittedly unclear to me what extent a manufacturer can exert legal control over after sale products


The manufacturer has no legal control over a product once you have purchased it. You can do whatever you want with it as long as you're not breaking any laws.

and what mediation if any a manufacturer would be legally entitled to if you install your own software without their authorization.


Void the warranty, most likely. Deny access to services might be another one. Of course, it may not be legal for them to do so, depending on the consumer laws in effect.

On the other hand, the manufacturer has no legal obligation to prove side-loading or similar as a feature. It's entirely up to them if they want to do that or not.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Provide a use case then
by Alfman on Wed 11th Apr 2012 06:49 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Provide a use case then"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Soulbender,

"The manufacturer has no legal control over a product once you have purchased it. You can do whatever you want with it as long as you're not breaking any laws."

Practicing armchair law over here, I would strongly agree with you since we are supposed to own our hardware, not the company. However due to insanity in the courts, such as the case against the PS3 moder, who knows any more. In the end Hotz decided it wasn't worth while to defend the right to jail break hardware, the court itself had become a corporate weapon, draining assets and consuming years of his life. How many people would have the conviction (to say nothing of disposable income) to stand up to that kind of threat?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Provide a use case then
by amadensor on Tue 10th Apr 2012 21:38 UTC in reply to "Provide a use case then"
amadensor Member since:
2006-04-10

Easy point: VLC on IOS. Nothing illegal about VLC. The developers said it is fine to use it. Apple refuses to abide by their license terms, and so pulls it from the app store. VLC and the developers who own the software are fine with it, so no copyright infringement. It is just Apple not wanting to comply with their license.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Provide a use case then
by MOS6510 on Wed 11th Apr 2012 06:50 UTC in reply to "RE: Provide a use case then"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

Well, Apple did allow VLC on the app store. I downloaded it and I still have it and it still works.

They pulled it because one of the developers of VLC threatened to sue over GPL related stuff.

If he hadn't VLC would probably in the apps top 10 for quite a while.

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2375476,00.asp

Reply Score: 2

RE: Provide a use case then
by WorknMan on Tue 10th Apr 2012 23:10 UTC in reply to "Provide a use case then"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

We are not talking about a general purpose computing device we are talking about an embedded one.


Well, in the case of the Playbook, we are talking about a tablet, and whether you like it or not, tablets ARE general purpose computing devices for a lot of people. In fact, I know one person who uses and iPad as her primary PC. there are debates raging about whether tablets and smartphones should be considered PCs, and where/how you draw the line.

Seriously, can someone besides Thom Holwerda, whose propensity for stealing anything he likes with the absurd justification he alone believes of "I would buy it if I could", please provide me with some valid use cases of "sideloading" on an embedded device from an end-user and not a developer perspective that does not involve software piracy, theft of intellectual property or malware. It's not entirely obvious to me as it is apparently to others why this should be supported.


Generally speaking, I hold the absurd belief that once you buy a device, you actually OWN it, and people shouldn't have to seek permission from faceless corporations to install whatever the hell they want on their devices. But to answer your question specifically, it depends on the platform, and I'll answer for the devices I own:

Amazon Kindle
I use side-loading to strip DRM from the books I buy, so I don't have any limitations on how many lines I can copy (I use a lot of books as reference material), and so I can convert them to audiobooks. In the US, this has been made legal. Also, I want to have backups of my ebooks in case they decide to pull another '1984' and start removing books from peoples' devices.

iOS
There are a crapton of cool apps in Cydia that Apple would not allow in their app store, including one that bumps the resolution of iPhone apps that are running on the iPad. And yes, I have even paid for some of these apps. You may not agree with folks violating Apple's TOS, but you wanted to know about cases of side loading where piracy wasn't involved, so there ya go.

Android
Some developers use side loading as a way to sell apps, because the Android Market... er, Google Play... is not supported in the country where they live.

PS - It is a shame that your comment was modded down. IMO, it is a valid question, with equally valid answers.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Provide a use case then
by stabbyjones on Wed 11th Apr 2012 01:49 UTC in reply to "Provide a use case then"
stabbyjones Member since:
2008-04-15