The current lockdown of Linux based devices (including Android phones, TiVo, and many many consumer devices) is due, simply, to the Linux developers' unwillingness to update their code to the GPLv3 license. We* contribute to Linux, Linux is taken for use in Android (and remains Open and Free), and then the phone manufacturers take our work and lock it up and sell it to us with reduced functionality. Big thanks, manufacturers.
The GPLv2 license, released a very long time ago (in Technology terms), didn't foresee device manufacturers using the Free, Open code in their devices, but locking down those hardware devices to prevent that hardware from running anything but the manufacturer's signed code. These manufacturers are taking the hard work of thousands and going against the spirit of the license by not allowing these developers to share in the changes and code that these developers helped to create, with the exact intention of sharing their code and its uses and benefits.
Not too long ago, the GPLv3 came out. This new license extended the rights of users that the GPLv2 guaranteed, but also required that code released under this license would still be allowed to run if modified. The intent here was to prevent the 'TiVo-ization' of code; that is, to prevent the code being held hostage by corporations that used GPL code but wouldn't let any modifications run on their hardware. Linus Torvalds, lead developer of the Linux kernel, said that he had no problems with the way his kernel was being used, and wouldn't be moving to the GPLv3. This was a huge discussion a few years ago, with the possibility that whole parts of the kernel would have to be rewritten if they couldn't get the contributors to move to GPLv3 or if those contributors couldn't be contacted.
In the end, the Linux kernel stayed at GPLv2. And now we're stuck with device manufacturers using our* own code against us, which the GPLv3 license would have prevented, although possibly with a huge, initial negative impact had parts of the kernel needed to be dropped or rewritten. Which is better, the initial pain, or the long-term lock-in?
*the FLOSS community, not my own personal code!
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