Is it OK that Sabertrio is password protecting access to their ProffieOS update?

With ProffieOS being open source hardware/software, where does the legitimacy of S3 restricting access to their changes in the code stand? Is this allowed under the license?

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This seems to be the relevant part of the license:

It gives several options for how the source for any changes can be made available, but generally the license only says that the source most be available to anybody who has a copy of the compiled code.

That means that if someone buys an S3 saber second-hand, there must be a way for them to get a copy of the modified source, under the GPLv3 license.

Regardless of how they distribute the source, it’s still GPL, so some could always upload their changes somewhere else. (Like here for instance.)

It just feels… wrong though? In spirit, I mean.

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If you don’t like it, don’t buy stuff from them.
It’s called “voting with your wallet”, and it’s a powerful way to affect change in the world. :slight_smile:


Good topic. A couple of us were just discussing this recently and I’d posted a reply in here mentioning this type of thing.

Opinion Advisory.
It’s an “interpretable clause” that would be subject to scrutiny. Their action(s) will only be addressed if it were to be challenged and even then you’re talking international jurisdictions. Whenever I see this I honestly tell the person “This is why I won’t support company-x.” S3’s excuse is they do it to protect the functionality and prevent people from ruining the sabers and costing them sales and warranties. It’s no different than how auto manufacturers have things in their systems. Well, actually IT IS DIFFERENT. This is open source and in my opinion the ethics of this sort of business decision is not a grey area.

Like @profezzorn stated, VOTE WITH YOUR WALLET.

Sabertrio, and two other places that do this, knock it off already. Stop hogging the ball. We’re not a bunch of kids on a playground.

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For the record, the download includes fonts, one of which is named Sabertrio, so it might be considered IP. They are simply keeping it as support for a previous purchase from them. I don’t see anything wrong with that.

OK but at the end of the day they also make use of “nick names” for stuff like color change. “Kyber Dial”. They also do add in specific options but at the end of the day it’s OpenSource and closing a door like this with how they are making changes looks suspect to experienced users.

proffie saber

Current Sabertrio Preconfiguration Version : 1.0
Proffie Firmware Version : 5.9 (29th March 2021)
Sound Font List:
BANK 1: SABERTRIO (Sabertrio Exclusive)
BANK 2: SABERTRIO DARK EDITION (Sabertrio Exclusive)
BANK 8: SNIPPETS (Kyberphonics)
BANK 9: MENACE (Kyberphonics)
BANK 10: TEMPLE GUARDIAN (Kyberphonics)
BANK 11: SHOCK BATON (Kyberphonics)
BANK 12: TRAGEDY (Kyberphonics)
BANK 13: TEENSY SF (KR Sabers)
BANK 14: SMOOTH JEDI (Thexter)
BANK 15: SMOOTH GREY (Thexter)
BANK 16: SMOOTH FUZZ (Thexter)
The internals of a Sabertrio Proffie saber contains multiple components that are all neatly housed together in a chassis. In the sections below, we will be referring to several of these components and therefore it is important to familiarize yourself with all of it.

The Proffie Saber is equipped with the open-sourced ProffieBoard V2.2 soundboard and has already been fully optimizedwith the Sabertrio Proffie Preconfiguration. This saber is ready for action straight out from the box.

The diagram below illustrates how to operate your Proffie Saber and shows all operational modes. The saber can only be in one mode at any given time and depending on which mode it is currently in, different functions and features will be accessible. It starts off in Deep Sleep.

Changing the blade color on the Sabertrio Proffie Saber is performed through a function called the Kyber Dial. It is accessed by pressing the auxiliary and activation switch together when the saber’s blade is ignited. Once in this mode, the blade color changes when the saber is twist rotated.

The diagram below illustrates the near infinite colors that can be accessed through Kyber Dial and highlights the location of predefined blade colors.

For your Proffie Saber to remain functional, the internals of the saber will need to be accessed to perform several essential tasks such as recharging or swapping the batteries. As there are delicate electronic components inside the saber, please read this section first before attempting any of the tasks below.

Accessing the Saber’s chassis
Removing the Saber's Battery
Inserting a New Battery
Recharging the Saber
Inserting the Chassis Back into the Saber
The Sabertrio Proffie Saber allows for extensive customizations of blade effects, saber controls and more. Each time a modification is made, or a new sound font is added, the firmware on the soundboard needs to be recompiled and reflashed. This requires a supporting computer to be initially set up and changes are made through programming codes.

The following section is meant only for advanced users with adequate programming knowledge and is NOT officially supported by Sabertrio. For help and discussion on the ProffieBoard, visit Additional resources can be found at
Setting Up Your Computer
Changing the Neo Blade’s Length Parameter
Adding a Sound Font
Resetting your Proffie Saber to Factory Settings

The download of their version isn’t even active. The “here” doesn’t have a link and there’s no link even listed. Me and another member went through a hassle to get their version a while back just to fix a borked board. There’s a line between protecting your assets and closing the door on OpenSource. Even with the purchase/order number they took days to provide the password let alone the download page link. At the time they apologized for the hassle and helped out but apparently still haven’t stepped up and fixed their site, or they don’t want to.

Link works fine for me.
Sabertrio Proffie Preconfiguration 2.0

It’s on this page

Trippy. That’s new. Found it now going to Support Sabertrio and clicking on Proffie Firmware.

This is why I said ‘wrong in spirit’. It’s the antithesis of open source. And if the zip file contains their own exclusive content, shouldn’t they fork the project and maintain a github entry for it, at the very least? I feel like someone with a bit of clout should give them a semi-official prod about it. Or anyone with access to the zip contents should share the ProffieOS folder with a github account holder so we can at least get some transparency.

My issue is that behaviour like this dilutes the strength of open source.

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That’s fine I wouldn’t keep the stock config any way.

I have several issues with how S3 is handling this, but I do understand they are trying to protect their customers and IP all at once, even if they’ve taken a ham-fisted approach.

If they have custom soundfonts that are being included with POS2.0 then put the SD card files behind a password but not the OS itself, that specifically is open source and should not be locked away. Also, as mentioned above, if someone purchases a S3 hilt second hand they won’t have the original order number and will not be able to upgrade their saber to the new firmware, which is unfair as a practice to their customers.

I generally like S3 and have recommended them a few times but I may hesitate to do so now unless this (and a few other things) get cleared up.

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Update. I contacted them. The fonts are indeed what they are protecting. I have a copy of the configs coming my way, and now the link has this footnote:

“This file is password protected due to distribution rights of the included sound fonts. To get access, please message or email us with your saber’s order number. Open-sourced files contained within are available to anyone upon request.”

That is really good news. Are they sending the whole OS folder over? They have a custom prop too don’t they?

They said configs, and I just wrote back and specified the whole ProffieOS folder. That’s my request for the open source software, so according to their own verbiage on the page that should be fine.

This is what I refer to in my initial reply. With having their product in hand it shouldn’t have been an issue like it was.

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Thanks for contacting them and finding out the reason.
It’s hard to imagine S3 acting in a way that is limiting to their users without having a very good reason for doing so.

Other than their configs, the prop file is all that’s unique to Sabertrio, right? Let us know if they sent it and/or the whole ProffieOS folder.

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