Posted by: Anonymous Coward
on February 04, 2006 12:22 AM
Yeah, but what you're suggesting is like being able to load your own firmware on a mobile phone. That could very well cause issues with the infrastructure and I can see that as a valid use of signing to prevent the running of unauthorized code.
This isn't to say that I don't think I should have the right to run my choice of code on the hardware I've purchased, just to say that there are instances where just because you purchased the hardware, it doesn't always make sense for you to be able to choose what code the hardware is using.
So, in the context of a PC, IMHO preventing me from runing my choice of code is wrong, but that same restriction on my mobile phone is fine. So I 'm with Linus on this one. Sure it's my hardware, but that doesn't prevent the manufacturer from restricting what software runs on it. That's a design choice, you don't have to agree to a EULA because they don't give you a choice: it's inherent in the design of the hardware. They designed the hardware, so I don't have the right to choose how it works. That's not something I get to dictate just by purchasing the finished product. If you want that choice, go with open hardware like Linus suggested.
I, personally, think it's nice that I can see the source code for my hardware, even if I can't change it. At least I can check the code for defects and have confidence that it will work correctly. If people limit the use of open source code to only devices that allow changing that code, manufacturers will start moving back to proprietary code, and then I'm unable to verify from the code that my device will actually work the way I expect and it could be sending my information off to people and I'll have no way of knowing. I think that's a big step backwards for the GPL and the free software movement in general.