Two days ago the Bitcoin hardware wallet pioneer, SatoshiLabs decided to license their once fully open source firmware as shared source. The TREZOR firmware that used to be licensed as LGPLv3 suddenly got changed to Ms-RS in an impulsive move by the developer. Shortly after the license move the Bitcoin community reacted by reaching out to SatoshiLabs with strong feed back concerning the decision. This resulted in an immediate revert of the license and the source code is now back up on Github as fully open source.
SatoshiLabs message to the community:
Some of you might have noticed we have changed the TREZOR firmware license from “completely open-source” (LGPLv3) to “shared-source” (Ms-RSL) two days ago.
When we started working on TREZOR, we chose open development model, because we knew that a security device designed to hold bitcoins has to be transparent. We also wanted to allow people to extend and build upon TREZOR. We never saw open source as an approval of straight copies without any added value.
When exactly this happened, we reacted by changing the license, while keeping the auditability and security of the device unaffected. This reaction was perhaps emotional and impulsive, but it was a genuine statement of how we felt about the matter. Our ideals were being crushed.
After the change, we were amazed by the strength of the feedback showing that you all really do care about open source philosophy.
That’s why we have decided to revert the license change.
If you are the one who wants to contribute in this open spirit, there are many ways how to get involved. Coding firmware or buying a TREZOR device is not the only option. Anyone can help. So please feel free to get in touch with us, we’re always looking for enthusiastic people.
We’d like to thank you all for feedback and support!