Hi all.

I apologize if this is the wrong place for this question.

I own a piece of hardware that has an embedded system that appears to be based 
in whole on a variant of linux.

The firmware became corrupted, and so I naively went to the company asking if I 
could have a copy of the firmware that shipped with the device. They said only 
if I would pay $899 annual support fee. I then asked them for the source code, 
to which they responded, it was proprietary and they could not release it 
without a maintenance contract. So I was able to break into the firmware and 
fix the issue manually, but now I am very concerned that this company is 
holding hardware hostage, and doing so with firmware that is open source. By 
the way the firmware has linux file structure/linux commands you name it.

Any suggestions-- especially as to what I could say to the company?

Kelly Jones
Columbus County Schools
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