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More on Tovalds being off the mark...

Posted by: pennystinker on February 03, 2006 10:34 PM

The issue with Freedom 0 <a href="http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html" title="gnu.org">http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html</a gnu.org> is that IF I can run any "free" software that I want then I can run it for any purpose. Additionally, The other freedoms that the GPL is trying to preserve come into play: I start with the ability to run "free" program X. Because it is "free" (as in GPLv3) I can modify it (Freedom 1) and still retain FREEDOM 0! If DRM gets in the way of this then by definition some or all of my freedoms have been taken away.



So, does this mean I can tell hardware manufacturers what to do, or for that matter can I tell other software vendors that I have to interact with via my "free" program what to do. Yes and no. I can certainly TELL them anything I want, try to stop me. But they are not obligated to do as I tell them. In the case of hardware vendors I WILL NOT BUY THEIR HARDWARE! Get enough people to follow suit, and you bet I can tell them what to do. Same is true for software.



Now what the GPLv3 is basically saying is that you can write DRM code protected under GPLv3, you can even DRM the code itself. But such measures are academic as you cannot use such encumbrances to take away any freedoms. So, you are still free to write anything you want, modify anything you want, run anything you want. You are NOT free to take such rights away from others.



I stand firmly on my original point: Linus does not get it (there appears to be evidence that he never got it) and he is off the mark by a wide margin on the GPLv3.

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