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Torvalds versus GPLv3 DRM restrictions

By Joe Barr on February 02, 2006 (8:00:00 AM)

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Linus Torvalds, father of the Linux kernel, has fleshed out his unhappiness with GPLv3 in three recent posts on the Linux Kernel Mailing List (LKML).
Torvalds previously stated that the kernel will remain under the licensing terms of GPLv2.

Yesterday, Tovalds offered his opinion as to where the battle over DRM should take place:

I would suggest that anybody who wants to fight DRM practices seriously look at the equivalent angle. If you create interesting content, you can forbid that _content_ to ever be encrypted or limited.

In other words, I personally think that the anti-DRM clause is much more sensible in the context of the Creative Commons licenses, than in software licenses. If you create valuable and useful content that other people want to be able to use (catchy tunes, funny animation, good icons), I would suggest you protect that _content_ by saying that it cannot be used in any content-protection schemes.

Afaik, all the Creative Commons licenses already require that you can't use technological measures to restrict the rights you give with the CC licenses. The "Share Alike" license in particular requires all work based on it to also be shared alike, ie it has the "GPL feel" to it.

If enough interesting content is licensed that way, DRM eventually becomes marginalized. Yes, it takes decades, but that's really no different at all from how the GPL works. The GPL has taken decades, and it hasn't "marginalized" commercial proprietary software yet, but it's gotten to the point where fewer people at least _worry_ about it.

As long as you expect Disney to feed your brain and just sit there on your couch, Disney & co will always be able to control the content you see. DRM is the smallest part of it - the crap we see and hear every day (regardless of any protection) is a much bigger issue.

The GPL already requires source code (ie non-protected content). So the GPL already _does_ have an anti-DRM clause as far as the _software_ is concerned. If you want to fight DRM on non-software fronts, you need to create non-software content, and fight it _there_.

I realize that programmers are bad at content creation. So many programmers feel that they can't fight DRM that way. Tough. Spread the word instead. Don't try to fight DRM the wrong way.

In a later post, Tovalds replied to Pierre Ossman, who suggested the GPL can currently be thwarted by DRM measures:

> The point is not only getting access to the source code, but also being able
> to change it. Being able to freely study the code is only half of the beauty
> of the GPL. The other half, being able to change it, can be very effectively
> stopped using DRM.

No it cannot.

Sure, DRM may mean that you can not _install_ or _run_ your changes on somebody else's hardware. But it in no way changes the fact that you got all the source code, and you can make changes (and use their changes) to it. That requirement has always been there, even with plain GPLv2. You have the source.

The difference? The hardware may only run signed kernels. The fact that the hardware is closed is a _hardware_ license issue. Not a software license issue. I'd suggest you take it up with your hardware vendor, and quite possibly just decide to not buy the hardware. Vote with your feet. Join the OpenCores groups. Make your own FPGA's.

And it's important to realize that signed kernels that you can't run in modified form under certain circumstances is not at all a bad idea in many cases.

For example, distributions signing the kernel modules (that are distributed under the GPL) that _they_ have compiled, and having their kernels either refuse to load them entirely (under a "secure policy") or marking the resulting kernel as "Tainted" (under a "less secure" policy) is a GOOD THING.

Notice how the current GPLv3 draft pretty clearly says that Red Hat would have to distribute their private keys so that anybody sign their own versions of the modules they recompile, in order to re-create their own versions of the signed binaries that Red Hat creates. That's INSANE.

Btw, what about signed RPM archives? How well do you think a secure auto-updater would work if it cannot trust digital signatures?

I think a lot of people may find that the GPLv3 "anti-DRM" measures aren't all that wonderful after all.

Because digital signatures and cryptography aren't just "bad DRM". They very much are "good security" too.

Babies and bathwater..

And finally, in yet another response to Ossman and others on the LKML, he wrote:

> So taking open software and closed hardware and combining it into something
> that I cannot modify is ok by you?

But you CAN modify the software part of it. You can run it on other hardware.

It boils down to this: we wrote the software. That's the only part _I_ care about, and perhaps (at least to me) more importantly, because it's the only part we created, it's the only part that I feel we have a moral right to control.

I _literally_ feel that we do not - as software developers - have the moral right to enforce our rules on hardware manufacturers. We are not crusaders, trying to force people to bow to our superior God. We are trying to show others that co-operation and openness works better.

That's my standpoint, at least. Always has been. It's the reason I chose the GPL in the first place (and it's the exact same reason that I wrote the original Linux copyright license). I do _software_, and I license _software_.

And I realize that others don't always agree with me. That's fine. You don't have to. But I licensed my project under a license _I_ agreed with, which is the GPLv2. Others who feel differently can license under their own licenses. Including, very much, the GPLv3.

I'm not arguing against the GPLv3.

I'm arguing that the GPLv3 is wrong for _me_, and it's not the license I ever chose.

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on Torvalds versus GPLv3 DRM restrictions

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How is any of this news?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on February 03, 2006 02:26 AM
Torvalds has as much to do with GPL3 as Bill Gates does with the iPod.

Torvalds won't be releasing code under GPL3, we SHOULD have known that for a while now.

The FSF is doing everything in its power to ensure maximum freedom of information by limiting the use of DRM with GPLed software, we should have seen that coming too...

Not news...

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Re:How is any of this news?

Posted by: Joe Barr on February 03, 2006 02:38 AM
What Torvalds thinks about GPLv3 is very much news. We knew from his previous posts on the subject, that he didn't like it because of its DRM restrictions.


In this new group of posts on the mailing list, he goes into great detail about WHY he feels that way, and where he thinks the DRM battle should be fought.


You may not agree with his views, many don't, but this is a critical time for the GPL, and what Torvalds thinks, does, and says about it is very much news.

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This is why we have a draft

Posted by: Prototerm on February 03, 2006 04:22 AM
Public discussion like this *is* the reason a draft was released. Not only is it news, it is news we should be following, and adding our own 2 cents to.

My own opinion is that this whole DRM issue is beyond the scope of the GPL, because DRM does not deal with the freedom to use the software. DRM is about freedom to use *content*, and as such should not be a part of the GPL at all.

I'm against DRM as much as the next guy. What I don't like to see are unintended consequences, and I'm afraid that's what we'll get if we push the GPL beyond the limits of protecting software freedom.

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Re:This is why we have a draft

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on February 03, 2006 08:39 PM
"RM is about freedom to use *content*, and as such should not be a part of the GPL at all."

Don't you ever get a clue?
Sourcode IS content, there is no difference!
So please shut up and dont try to split efforts here and create to camps, because the fight for freedom of sourcecode and content and the fight against DRM are two sides of exactly the same medal.

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Re:How is any of this news?

Posted by: Nicolas Vigier on February 03, 2006 11:48 PM
I like that whatever is posted on newsforge, there will be someone to say "How is any of this news?"<nobr> <wbr></nobr>:)

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Easy to say...

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on February 03, 2006 02:29 AM
If IBM will supply you hardware you can run your software on. We, who will have to buy whatever they are willing to sell to mere mortals, might run into trouble in a few years. Just imagine that only "certified open source devlopers" will be able to run their modifications--the source is there right?

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Re:Easy to say...

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on February 04, 2006 03:16 AM
I think you hit the nail on the head, however inadvertently: if IBM does that, then just don't buy IBM!

Buy Dell. If Dell does that, buy someone else. Unless this is codified as law somehow, you have an alternative.

I can't imagine many major hardware vendors believing that it would be in their best commercial interests to take such a close-minded position. Even IBM, HP, Sun, etc, who's far from a pure-play hardware vendors and sell highly proprietary software and hardware, would realize that this would be a very bad thing.

If you're only shipping hardware that will run your software, or software from those who pay you... who's gonna buy your stuff??

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Would someone please explain Linus DRM

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on February 03, 2006 02:35 AM
He does not seem to grasp the difference between cryptography and DRM? Just because one is used as part of the other does not mean that they are equal. Write it in C code if needed so he can't claim that it's just politics engineers needn't worry about.

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But DRM can be used for security

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on February 03, 2006 04:57 AM
Requiring digitally signed programs, for instance, seems to be a perfectly legitimate security measure.

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No, DRM cannot be used for security

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on February 05, 2006 12:18 AM
DRM is an attempt to secure your machine against you, the owner.

Requiring digitally signed programs, for instance, seems to be a perfectly legitimate security measure.

Right, a normal security measure. That is not DRM.

It is not DRM for you to have your machine do what you want, and that includes you directing your computer not to load and run unsigned software. It is not DRM if you have control of your own property. It is not DRM if you have choice and can turn it on and off on your own property.

DRM is an attempt to deny owners control of their own property. DRM is when someone else attempts to deny you the ability to instruct your own computer to run unsigned software.

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Re:Would someone please explain Linus DRM

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on February 03, 2006 04:58 AM
While I partly agree with you, I see a problem. Where do you draw the line? I must admit that I haven't read the GPL V3 yet but from the discussion it seems that unmistakably defined what DRM exactly is. Can you write GPLed Software for a System that only allows signed binaries but also only allows signed content if the same mechanism is used? There really is a gray zone between the two and I guess Stallman and his FSF are on one side and most pragmatic others are on the other.

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Re:Would someone please explain Linus DRM

Posted by: lordcorusa on February 03, 2006 03:09 PM
Actually, this really is an overblown issue that exists only because Linus appears to woefully misunderstand this draft of the GPLv3.

This draft of the GPLv3 requires you to give up your private keys if and only if those keys are necessary to compile and/or run the software. Furthermore, you are also exempt from handing over private keys if it is possible for the user to generate their own keypair.

So Linus can digitally sign his modules and other people can verify his signature, but Linus does not have to give us his private keys because we don't need them to compile or run the code. He can even set up the kernel to run only signed modules, without giving us the his private keys, as long as he gives users the ability to generate their own signatures.

What this draft of the GPLv3 does prevent is the Tivo scenario. Apparently, Tivo uses the Linux kernel and obeys the letter of GPLv2, but no user can run a modified kernel on their Tivo, because the hardware won't run an unsigned kernel. Hypothetically, if the Linux kernel became GPLv3ed, they would be forced to give Tivo owners the private keys, so we could run our modified kernels. Linus' opinion about hardware openness is bunk: the idea of users implementing their own FPGAs or Open Cores is ridiculous, and using open hardware may very well become hard in a world where Treacherous (AKA "Trusted") Computing is becoming more prevalent.

This draft of the GPLv3 still allows you to implement software that encrypts or decrypts DRM-wrapped content. However, if your users modify your software to circumvent the DRM-wrapping, you are not allowed to sue them. (That would have been possible under the GPLv2 via the DMCA.)

The GPLv3 draft does not modify the character of the GPL; it only adapts it to changing legal climate. Computer hardware advances, and software must adapt to the changes. No one expects Linux 0.01 to be relevant on modern hardware; why would you expect the law, or copyright licenses, to be static either?

The draft is unclear in some of its language, and I hope the next year of debate will cause better language to be written.

However, all of this is a moot point with respect to the Linux kernel. Even if Linus loved GPLv3, it would be virtually impossible for him to change the license of Linux. Far too many have contributed to it and subsequently passed away, retired, or just faded into obscurity. Tracking down all of the signatures would be nearly impossible.

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Re:Would someone please explain Linus DRM

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on February 04, 2006 12:54 AM
What this draft of the GPLv3 does prevent is the Tivo scenario. Apparently, Tivo uses the Linux kernel and obeys the letter of GPLv2, but no user can run a modified kernel on their Tivo, because the hardware won't run an unsigned kernel.


But would this apply to other devices, like a mobile phone? Is it a good idea for people to be able to control what information their phone sends or receives? I personally would like to be able to view the source for the code running on my phone to make sure it doesn't have any flaws, but I'd also want to be sure that not just anybody to load whatever code they see fit and impersonate me or interfere with my service. If this is just limited to DRM use, as in Tivo, but doesn't apply to devices using signed binaries to prevent interference with critical infrastructure (not as in, it's critical I control content), then I'm more in line with that, but I still think it's a little extreme for a software license to be dictating how a hardware device that runs the code is manufactured. On the other hand if that prevents the hardware from loading encrypted software that isn't released to other people yet is required for the code to run, again, I'm for that.

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Re:Would someone please explain Linus DRM

Posted by: lordcorusa on February 04, 2006 01:53 AM
<snip>But would this apply to other devices, like a mobile phone?</snip><snip>I personally would like to be able to view the source for the code running on my phone to make sure it doesn't have any flaws</snip>
But what happens when (1) you find a serious bug in your phone's code, report it to the vendor, and the vendor replies that they don't intend to fix the bug, for whatever reason? Or (2) same scenario, but what if your vendor tells you that your phone model 101K is "obsolete" and that you can upgrade to a new 101L for just $99? Or (3) what if you just want to add some really cool functionality to the phone that the phone company doesn't want? There are both ethically based (#3) and practically based (#1, #2) reasons for the freedom to modify GPLed apps and run them.
<snip>Is it a good idea for people to be able to control what information their phone sends or receives?</snip><snip>but I'd also want to be sure that not just anybody to load whatever code they see fit and impersonate me or interfere with my service</snip>
In your mobile phone example, you are misplacing responsibility for network security. It the responsibility of the phone vendor to ensure that their physical hardware is not capable of doing anything it should not. For example, the phone should be incapable of transmitting at a power level higher than that authorized by relevant government standards. Likewise, it is the responsibility of the network provider to ensure network security. For example, the phone network should use some kind of authentication system to ensure a given client (phone) is who it claims to be; the network should not just accept the client's word. If, as I infer from your post, the phone hardware vendors and network providers are cutting corners with physical and network security and using this as an excuse to lock us out of our right to use modified GPL software, then it is their responsibility to fix their flaws.

There is another little wrinkle in that bit of your post that reinforces my earlier point. What if you find out that your phone, in its vendor-supplied configuration, allows remote entities to upload software onto your phone? What if you think the security is too lax on this update process, but your phone company disagrees? Under the current regime, you won't have the ability to fix the problem yourself.
I still think it's a little extreme for a software license to be dictating how a hardware device that runs the code is manufactured
The whole point of any version of the GPL has always been to guarantee all users of the software 4 freedoms, including the rights to modify the software and run modifications. To some extent, this has always implied certain restrictions on hardware, in that the hardware must not be designed in such a way as to render those rights unexercisable. This draft of the GPLv3 just makes that implication explicit. Furthermore, hardware vendors are not unduly restricted. For example, the phone manufacturer could still cut corners and use a general purpose radio, but could limit that radio using some ultra-small non-GPLed firmware or microkernel, on top of which all of the GPLed software could run. This would be neither a technical nor ethical violation of the 4 freedoms, and only the most hardened open-hardware folks would oppose it. What ordinary Free Software people oppose is the use of our GPLed software in environments such that users (and by user we mean owner of the hardware) are effectively not allowed to modify our GPLed software and run it.
On the other hand if that prevents the hardware from loading encrypted software that isn't released to other people yet is required for the code to run, again, I'm for that.
This is exactly the situation this draft of GPLv3 intends to prevent. Preventing this situation may by extension prevent some "security by top-down control of clients", but I think that kind of security is just a specialized form of "security by obscurity" anyway.

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Re:Would someone please explain Linus DRM

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on February 04, 2006 03:28 AM
It the responsibility of the phone vendor to ensure that their physical hardware is not capable of doing anything it should not. For example, the phone should be incapable of transmitting at a power level higher than that authorized by relevant government standards.
Or burn the bit of software that it controls onto a ROM, they should be doing that anyway--binary only is not enough to stop dedicated crackers.

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Re:Would someone please explain Linus DRM

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on February 04, 2006 01:55 AM
Then you'd need a mobile phone that only runs code signed by the manufacturers private key or your private key, the GPL3 draft allows this.

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Re:Would someone please explain Linus DRM

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on February 05, 2006 12:46 AM
Torvalds is a pretty smart guy, and I'm surprised to see how badly he has missunderstood what the new GPL3 clauses actually say. The new "DRM" clauses do two things, and both of them protect the original intent and function of the GPL.

(1) It grants you the legal right to modify and redistribute the software. In particular it says you sall not be denied that right under the DMCA or the equivalant EUCD. This is in no way a restriction on people using the software or a restriction on people applying this license to their software. It simply says that courts are not to treat covered software as an "effective technical protection mechanism" and thus programmers should not be imprisoned for modifying it.

(2) It grants you the practical ability to modify and redistribute the software. In particular it says that the full source code must be provided, and it defines "full source code" to included everything required to be able to make functional modifications. If leaving out some crypto key would make it impossible for a modified program to continue to operate, then that key must be included.

This does not apply or interfere with any normal security issues. If you want to use signed files, and if you want your computer not to run files unless they are properly signed, then there is no problem. You properly have the right and ability to modify and run that software, you have the right and ability to add or alter or remove that key and key code and the software continues to work exactly the way you want. The issue only comes up when someone attempts to defeat the GPL. The issue only comes up if you are denied the legal right or the practical ability to modify the software and for that modified software to continue to operate. The issue comes up if modifed software is prevented from working because they did not include the full source - if the modified software is prevented from continuing to work because a specific key was missing.

That second issue might be hard to understand or may seem weird, becuase it is an issue that has never arisen before. In normal software on normal hardware it would be impossible for that situation to arise. Normally it would be impossible to prevent modifed software from operating in that manner. Normally a specific key is not and cannot be required to get modified and compiled source to continue to run. But on the new PCs currently hitting the market it is in fact possible for such a situation to occur. Such software will not work on a normal old computer, and the new computers are incapable of getting the modified software to work without the secret key. That key has effectively become a part of the source code, a required part of the source to be able to compile code that *can* continue to operate on your computer.

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Re:Would someone please explain Linus DRM

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on February 03, 2006 05:39 AM
Cryptography on digital equipment restricts the rights of someone. That is its purpose. We don't call it DRM when it is used to keep prying eyes and potentially malicious entities at bay, but the technology is the same.

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Re:Would someone please explain Linus DRM

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on February 03, 2006 09:22 PM
I think perhaps someone please explain you English first.

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Re:Would someone please explain Linus DRM

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on February 04, 2006 12:09 AM
As long as that someone knows english better then you...

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Whose hardware?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on February 03, 2006 05:21 AM
DRM may mean that you can not _install_ or _run_ your changes on somebody else's hardware. - Torvalds

But wait a minute. If I bought that hardware, it's not "somebody else's" hardware. It's my hardware. Hardware is not licensed with a EULA in two pages of small print, like software. Hardware is just sold.

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Re:Whose hardware?

Posted by: hanelyp on February 03, 2006 08:02 AM
Suppose someone uses GPL'd software on hardware that uses DRM to prevent the user from upgrading the software. That is sorely against the spirit of GPL, namely allowing the user freedom to customize the software. I'll leave it to the lawyers to determine if it violates the letter.

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Re:Whose hardware?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on February 03, 2006 09:11 AM
Hardware can be propietary, and have patent issues.
Why do you think IBM adopted Linux on their main frames?
Because they don't care that they have to give the sources, as per GPL instructions, because their hardware is patented, and nobody can duplicate it legally!
So they used GPL to their advantage, and that's a great way to skin a (GPL) cat<nobr> <wbr></nobr>;)

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Re:Whose hardware?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on February 03, 2006 09:29 PM
Just like the broadband router that nice ISP _licenced_ to me and still technically owns. Ditto cable modems. Ditto set top boxes. What about DivX? Dude, if a company thinks it can get away with lending you the hardware they will. Witness freeholding and leaseholding of property. Welcome to the real world, hope you like it.

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Re:Whose hardware?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on February 03, 2006 11:59 PM
If you have an issue with the hardware vendor licensing something to you or preventing you from changing it, take it up with the hardware vendor (or don't buy the thing).

But how can you expect a software license to affect the rights you have to your hardware? That makes no sense. I think Linus has a point.

Dan.

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Re:Whose hardware?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on February 04, 2006 12:18 AM
But how can you expect a software license to affect the rights you have to your hardware?
How can you not expect the hardware vendor to follow the license while distributing software? If the vendor has a problem with the license they can take it up with the copyright holder.

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Re:Whose hardware?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on February 04, 2006 12:42 AM
That's not what the poster was referring to, he was referring to a hypothetical license, as in the concept of it. You're referring to it in the context of someone using code licensed by this draft GPLv3 and then not following that license. Those are two different things. The fact is, if someone doesn't agree to the license terms, they're probably not going to use the software so you'll never get to your context because the manufacturers will be thinking the former.

So let me rephrase the question: "Don't you think it's a little controlling (as in BAD IDEA) to have your software license dictate that any hardware it uses must allow any variation of that code to be run?" Now think of that in terms of say, a fire control system or a traffic control system instead of a PC. Being able to audit the software's source code is a plus, but with the GPLv3 as some have interpreted, the manufacturer could be forced to move to closed source code to maintain control of what the hardware executes. That looks like the "baby with the bathwater" to me.

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Re:Whose hardware?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on February 04, 2006 01:10 AM
Not if allowing variations of code is the only purpose of the license. Critical stuff continues as before seal the hardware, only give the private keys to trusted personal and no warranty on modified versions from the manufacturer.

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Re:Whose hardware?

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.

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Re:Whose hardware?

Posted by: Joseph Cooper on February 04, 2006 03:55 AM
I agree - on a case by case basis, there are good reasons for this stuff.

And honestly, who modifies their cell phone code?

If a manufacturer tells me they're not going to fix a bug, I buy from another manufacturer. That is a thousand times easier than hacking the phone.

It's sorta like the X-Box DRM, where you can't go on X-Box Live if a modified X-Box. It's ~your~ X-Box, not "loaned". You can modify it how the heck ever. But obviously it's not a good idea to put hacked X-Boxes on an online game cause then we end up with everything being like Diablo.

Remember Diablo? After a while it wasn't even a game anymore. Just a bunch of assholes hacking it so they can have level 1000000000 strength and one hit kill everyone and everything. That's not even a game, it's like a contest of who can type in a bigger number.

I like my personal computer how it is; Personalized. That's what a personal computer is. That's not, however, what a phone is supposed to do. A phone is supposed to be exactly the same as every other phone so it works with the network without flaw.

But I couldn't care less what my cell phone does so long as it can make calls. My calls. I don't want it to be modifiable so I (and by "I" I mean a greesy sexless hacker) can reprogram it to call 1-800-PHONSEX five times a day.

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what about my rights?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on February 03, 2006 05:26 AM
Well, I want a standard license that express my rigths to tell everyone: do not use my code on DRM like schemes because I just do not want to, If you believe on DRM write your own code. It is good that this kind of diferences are arised because that result in a better GPLv3

-- Robert

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Re:what about my rights?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on February 04, 2006 12:18 AM
You're well within your rights to do this, just as you are within your rights to release software under a license that says it can only be used with unicode (because you think the world would be a better place with just one text encoding), that it should never be ported to any instruction set other than x86 (because you feel that everyone using the same instruction set helps the industry standardize on things), or that it can't be used with content which disparages evolution (which would be trampling freedom of speech if the government did it, but users can always choose not to use your software).

The issue is whether your skills as an engineer are better used to improve the technical landscape, or to further your own political agenda. The FSF is unabashedly pursuing the latter; Linus is frank in being more interested (at least than the FSF) in the former.

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Re:what about my rights?

Posted by: lordcorusa on February 04, 2006 02:41 AM
Argh. When will the misunderstanding end? The sole purpose of any version of the GPL is to give every user (where user is defined as hardware owner or someone with authority to administer the hardware) complete rights over the software, except the right to restrict other users' rights. GPLv2 was written in 1991.

DRM is fundamentally designed to restrict a users' right to do some particular thing with their software. The concept of DRM came into existance sometime after 1991. A law passed in the United States in 1998 gives certain protections to DRM software, so that such software can be used to further restrict user's rights. Other nations are following suit in passing such laws.

Therefore, DRM is nothing more or less than a new method of restricting user's rights. When the GPL is revised, it must take into account all new methods of restricting users' rights, and that includes dealing with DRM in a way that ensures that users' rights kept inviolate.

DRM is no more a "use" of software than refusing to provide source code is. It is a method of restricting users' rights by controlling how they are allowed to run and modify the software. This draft of GPLv3 prevents the use of DRM for restricting users' rights, while still allowing developers to create software capable of encoding or decoding DRM-wrapped files. (The developers just are not allowed to put road blocks, legal or technical, to users modifying the software.)

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Re(1):what about my rights?

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 12.20.148.148] on November 20, 2007 05:32 PM
There are some odd misunderstandings here... and maybe I'm one of them, but here's my take. DRM is digital rights management (or manglement... as some would like to say... yeah me too). DRM, should only be for content... any content, not software. While you consider software content (and I imagine it is for a coder, programer ... hacker etc...) its not content, its software, its the engine and content is the gas (fuel) ... or maybe the road (where you go).

Content is the data - which could be a non executable text file... (not a script) or a song, or a movie or a database or a spreadsheet.

Software has always been controlled ... or maybe 'DRM'd' ... if not by the system itself, by the terms or license of the software... this was the original proprietary AT&T System V. Now some software, systems and tools are protected and licensed to be and stay open.... others are not. DRM has been around, content DRM is new, GPL shouldnt care about this (maybe it doesnt) and maybe you should be able to add your own proprietary DRM to GPL 3 software?

And I agree with the finished product... cell phones, cable boxes, etc... I do think its anyone rights to modify their hardware regardless of what some company may impose on you. You may even have the right to distribute the modification, however that company has no right to support you - or even to continue to support you since you've changed the product (ever so slightly or completely).

A computer is different, because it is not a finished product. There are very many blocks that make up the product and this gives it great versatility, though this can also be a weakness to some.

Anyway, this all may be moot... its almost 2008.

The BSD model seems a lot more clear. Even Apple gives way its kernel, Darwin on PPC and x86 ... so I'm not really sure what the fuss is about. I think GPL 2 is fine - from what I've read. The only issue I see with Linux is allowing DRM content to a point. I wouldnt ever advocate locking a system down like Windows Vista, the user and owner definately has rights to his or her content... even code, but code is not relivant, since that is an old non-issue IMHO.

#

One problem

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on February 03, 2006 06:22 AM
I respect Thorvals view...<nobr> <wbr></nobr>... there's one problem though. We can't fight DRM like he suggests. We can't fight DRM'ed content the same way we fight non-free software. (by writing free software).
It works fine to decide "I'll only use free software". You can do most things.
However... you cannot decide "I'll only use non-DRM content". Of course you can decide it for yourself, but not for your family. Especially not for your children. Imagine how you will affect the social life of your children, if you enforce such a rule on what they can use.

#

Re:One problem

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on February 03, 2006 08:27 AM
I can decide anything I want, including to use only non-DRM content. That is why the freedom to chose is vital. We wanted freedom to chose what to do with software, we created F/OSS software. We want freedom to use content, we can decide to create non-DRM style content. This is being done and approching the quailty of main line entertainment. Do these choices have consequences? Of course, but the affect of not having my children watch DRMed content may be more positive than any damage to their social life. (My parents decided I would not smoke, which had an affect on my social life. Turned out to be a very good choice anyway. Being a parent does mean setting boundries for acceptable behavior.) The only thing stopping the fight is choosing not to fight or saying it can't be done. I have not given my freedom to chose my actions to Hollywood or Microsoft nor anyone else, nor accepted their view that I should consume what they shovel.

#

Re:One problem

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on February 03, 2006 05:57 PM
Linus's whole point is that he believes we should all be able to make choices, on our own, as to what level we participate in the fight. You mention writing free software. Not everyone can do that, but they are still part of the fight by using it in place of proprietary software. It is just the same with content. As a consumer, your only way to fight, is by choosing to avoid protected content. Your last comment is the reason content providers have so much power. As long as they can create content that causes you to ignore your principles, the GPL3 can't protect you. Are you going to go out and buy the media box that can play the big blockbuster movies or do you choose the one that is licensed under GPL3 and cannot legally play the majority of mainstream entertainment? It seems, that your children are going to require that DRM'd player.

#

Social life of your children? You might improve it

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on February 03, 2006 11:11 PM
Have you seen the "content" in the United States these days? I no longer own a television, and have never owned anything like an iPod, for just this reason; I am "underwhelmed" by what passes for "good content" in my country. So, I simply choose not to patronize it. About the only thing I do listen to is C-SPAN (yay, Brian Lamb!) on my car radio.

So, what do I do instead to keep entertained?

I go camping. I take in a live jazz concert (I love jazz and am myself a drummer). I work on improvements to my house. I read books--yes, actual books. I work out to stay in shape. I give talks on, and help folks to implement, LTSP and especially K12LTSP. I do lots of things, and I find that I'm always busy...and entertained.<nobr> <wbr></nobr>:-)

Perhaps if more children's parents saw to it that their kids were less "plugged in" like they are now, those children's social lives would actually take a significant turn for the better. The Boy Scouts is one good example; as a man, I'm still benefiting from what I learned there as a boy. Other cultures, such as those in Europe, seem to be rather ahead of us in this respect.

Disney, et. al. are not necessary for human entertainment, no matter how many times their marketeers try to claim that it is.

#

Re:Social life of your children? You might improve

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on February 04, 2006 12:24 AM
I no longer own a television, and have never owned anything like an iPod, for just this reason; I am "underwhelmed" by what passes for "good content" in my country.



Well considering an iPod, or anything like it, is a music player, I don't quite understand how your lack of appreciation for the "content" produced by the status quo of this country aameks you not want buy one. Do you not own any recorded jazz music? If you don't like what being broadcast besides one radio station, would you not want to have a device that can play alot of music?


Maybe you not a headphone person. Maybe you workout at home and have a decent stero hooked up to your computer. I don't mean to knock your anti ipod/mp3 player lifestyle, just don't see how your dislike of popular content is your reason for not getting such a device that will play content both popular and unpopular just fine.

#

Affect the social life of your children?

Posted by: alandd on February 03, 2006 11:25 PM
My kids have been using Linux for over 2.5 years now. No Windows in all that time. We don't have cable, satalite or any other such TV service since I refuse to pay for 80% garbage.

- My oldest (16) claims that friends think it's cool that we use Linux.
- All my kids like magnatune.com, music under a Creative Commons License for non-commercial use.
- My kids love all the games that come with the Fedora distro. (Ah, Frozen-bubble!)
- We go to free concerts in the park.
- Been to a High School jazz concert? You're missing out, if not.
- Community fairs and events are great fun and if you are not subscribing to "DRM content" the budget to enjoy such events is already there.
- Plays put on by schools, colleges, community groups and even private for-profit theater.
- Hiking, day-trips on Saturday, etc.
- Etc., etc.

"Oh no! They don't fill their brain with the latest pop pablum! What will that do to their social life?!?"

Um... Nothing bad. At least according to them, they are quite content. If it affects your kids negatively to not use "DRM content", your kids and their friends need to learn real cultural values and how to find enjoyment in life, instead of just consuming what the "entertainment industry" decides to feed the masses.

#

Re:One problem

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on February 04, 2006 12:13 AM
Especially not for your children. Imagine how you will affect the social life of your children, if you enforce such a rule on what they can use.

Yeah, and imagine what it would do to your poor, helpless tots if you deprive them of Windows: nothing bad.


Somehow, I managed to survive childhood without seeing every single item of Disney tripe the instant it was made available for sale. I suspect that yours would, as well. But if you're keen to make sure that they think and act exactly as their peer group does, then by all means get started teaching them to shotgun beer.

#

Re:One problem

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on February 04, 2006 01:49 AM
It seems to me cool kids these days make their own content and share it using myspace, livejournal, etc. They don't just want to watch other people rock out, they want to rock out too. I don't think they'd have a problem with CC. As for the younger kids, maybe the parents (i.e. you) can start creating some content for them, the way parents used to before Disney, tell them stories, make stuffed animals (post the design on the web and share), design cute characters and ebooks for printing...

#

Re:One problem

Posted by: Jonadab the Unsightly One on February 04, 2006 10:59 AM
> It works fine to decide "I'll only use free software". You can do most
> things. However... you cannot decide "I'll only use non-DRM content".
> Of course you can decide it for yourself, but not for your family.
> Especially not for your children.

Sure you can. What on earth is the problem? I mean, yeah, they'll meet other kids who have seen content they haven't seen, and talk about it excitedly, but so what? There was all kinds of content I never saw as a kid, because for one reason or another my parents didn't feel it was appropriate, and other kids saw it, and talked about it endlessly, and so on. It just isn't that big a deal.

> Imagine how you will affect the social life of your children, if you
> enforce such a rule on what they can use.

Oh, yeah, imagine how it will impact their taste and aesthetics, if they don't watch Disney videos all the time or listen to Britney Spears. They might actually grow up to *have* some taste. Heck, they might even read books occasionally, play with toys that don't resemble licensed characters, listen to music with actual counterpoint, or (gasp) run around in the yard squirting water at one another in the summer time. How horrible for them! Surely they will be warped and twisted if you allow this doubleplusungood crimethink!

#

A possible distinction

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on February 03, 2006 10:14 AM
Perhaps Linus and Moglen could agree on the distinction that when the admin is in control it is good and when the admin is restricted it is bad.
Some examples:
- Signed binaries are good if the admin can choose

    weather to use signed or unsigned binaries.
- Hardware restricting (ie what OS can be used) is

    good when the admin controls if that restriction

    should be used.
- Restricted content is bad if it doesn't let the

    admin control if the restriction should be used.

So the requirement should not be to always provide the keys, it should be to always give the control to the admin.

#

Define "admin"

Posted by: Leon Brooks on February 03, 2006 02:21 PM
As far as the DRM purveyor is concerned, the admin is the DRM purveyor. They delegate some control to the content providers, and even less to "real" admins, and sometimes even less to end-users (although from their perspective, a distinction between admins and end-users may be too fine to see).

I think the way to win this is to point out to artists that DRM leaves them even less in control than they were before. The publishing company delegates some of the DRM powers which the DRM provider delegated to them, to the artist. The reality for the artist is that they now have an extra controlling entity standing between themselves and their audience.

This is also an extra opportunity for the artist's name to be ruined, if the DRM shackling their artwork misperforms for any reason (/ME thinks back to the temporary demise of the passport.com domain).

#

Re:Define "admin"

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on February 03, 2006 06:20 PM
I define admin as "real" admin.
The GPLv3 should recognize that technology isn't bad, it's how it's used that matters. Thus, the
GPL should state, that all technology is allowed as long as it puts the "real" admin in control.
Yes, it would prohibit what people regularly regard as DRM as long as it doesn't give the "real"
admin the choice not to use it. This would be in line with the intentions of the GPLv3.
It would also allow the kind of usage Linus has stated is good usage of DRM.

#

Re:Define "admin"

Posted by: andrecaldas on February 06, 2006 01:49 PM


I don't really understand the issue, but it seems to me that the GPLv3 guys are trying to define "admin". As "anyone who could possibly be considered one". And this is much broader (in this case better) then "real admin". Don't you think?




This way, you don't have to fight anyone just to convince people that *your* point of view that you are a "real" admin is somehow valid. That is quite complicated!

#

Re:Define "admin"

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on February 05, 2006 01:59 AM
In the case of many personal desktop machines, the admin is the end-user. Of course, this excludes cases where eg, me, and my uncle, and my father are all collectively the admin for my grandmothers' computers. But I am most certainly the admin for my computer.

#

Re:A possible distinction

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on February 05, 2006 01:10 AM
In other words you are saying that Linus is Wrong and the Moglen is right.

Because what you wrote is exactly what the current GPL3 draft does! It says that keys only need to be included as part of the source if leaving them out would prevent the modified source from continuing to operate. Keys need not be included when the admin has the ability and choice to modify the software, when the admin has the ability to choose weather to use signed or unsigned binaries. The keys only need to be included if leaving the keys out would deny the admin ability and choice.

#

Torvals is CLEARLY off the mark...

Posted by: pennystinker on February 03, 2006 11:44 AM

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>



The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0).



It is NOT enough to have source code. You MUST be able to RUN the code! On some DRM-encumbered hardware THAT MAY NOT HAPPEN without the DRM keys!



The FSF/GNU sre fighting, via the GPLv3 to protect this fundamental right of users of FREE software. Linus is NOT getting this. Sad.

#

Re:Torvals is CLEARLY off the mark...

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on February 03, 2006 03:52 PM
You are missing the point. It is not the responsibility (or the right) of the software developer to tell the hardware developer that they MUST run their software. If the hardware developer doesn't want to run your software that is their choice, NOT yours.

YOU are not getting the point that YOU have no business telling other people what THEY should be doing...

#

Re:Torvals is CLEARLY off the mark...

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on February 03, 2006 06:52 PM
Agree with the points both of you make. But if there were no choices, i.e mandated DRM hardware (actually this may be unlikely... so take what I say from here on with a grain of salt) If it's my hardware, I'll run whatever I damn well please. Just as I could run linux on my gamecube, or put monkey island on my palm pilot. Hardware is essentially "petrified" software. If I own either, I'll run it as I please. Otherwise it's not really my hardware nor software... The GPLv3 draft ensures a way, regardless of how hardware cartels feel.

As for misguided viewpoints, I'd rather not demand people think a certain way. Just think for yourself.

#

Re:Torvals is CLEARLY off the mark...

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on February 03, 2006 08:48 PM
"If the hardware developer doesn't want to run your software that is their choice, NOT yours."

Ah, but this is not about the situation where the software developer wants the hardware developer to run the software developer's software is it? Isn't this more like the situation where the hardware developer wants to run the software developer's software but under conditions that the software developer does not approve of?

And so it would be more like YOU don't want the hardware developer to run YOUR software. Isn't that more like it?

A Nony Mouse

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Re:Torvals is CLEARLY off the mark...

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on February 03, 2006 09:08 PM
Then do not use my code, they can write it if they want to do that.

#

Re:Torvals is CLEARLY off the mark...

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on February 04, 2006 01:37 AM
Then don't use my hardware! Make your own!<nobr> <wbr></nobr>:p

#

Re:Torvals is CLEARLY off the mark...

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on February 04, 2006 11:56 AM
"If the hardware developer doesn't want to run your software that is their choice<nobr> <wbr></nobr>...
YOU have no business telling other people what THEY should be doing... "

*snif* *snif*
I smell contradiction in the air.

#

Re:Torvals is CLEARLY off the mark...

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on February 05, 2006 04:52 AM
No, YOU are the one missing the point. No one is telling any hardware developer that they must run my software. Your complaint is purely ficticious.

What the GPL3 draft says is that if you take *MY* GPL3 software, you cannot take it and modify it and republish it in a way that *I* am denied the right or ability to modify the software and still get the added code to work. What the GPL3 draft says is that the "source code" includes everything required in order to be able to make a functional modifications. In particular if the software cannot be modified and compiled and continue to work without some specific crypto key, then that key is a part of the source code for creating and compiling that software.

It's the same old GPL principals and operation as always, merely addressing new legal issues and closing a potential loophole. The purpose and function of the GPL is (1) to guarantee you the legal right to modify and use the software, and one new clause of the GPL3 is to guarantee that right is not denied on the basis of the DMCA or EUCD, and (2) to guarantee that the full source is included, inclduding everything required for making functional modifications. The same old GPL principals and operations as always. Merely updated to address a new law that threatens that legal guarantee, and updated to close a potential loophole that might be abused to keep critical elements secret to deny people the ability to make functional modifications.

#

Linus does get nothing here,

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on February 03, 2006 08:51 PM
...because he doesnt understand freedom in any sense of the word. I come to think, he doesnt even care.

"Don't try to fight DRM the wrong way."
- Linus

There is no wrong way, DRM is WRONG by itself, no exception!
You've got to fight it in EVERY LEGAL WAY possible if you really care about values like freedom! If people had a choice and wouldnt be forced because of not knowing the full truth about when they purchased a DRM-ridden-device, NOBODY would willingly restrict their content under DRM (like many artist already expressed their regret to their loyal customers, whom they feel got cheated by the RIAA and others...)
Whats happening is that DRM is forcefully implemented BEHIND the average customers back and smuggles itself unnoticed into GPL-licensed content (sourcecode) and therefore must be stopped by a license that cares about these things (GPLv3).

Sourcecode == CONTENT (and a very useful one indeed!) and therefore the GPLv3 applys!

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Re:Linus does get nothing here,

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on February 04, 2006 12:24 AM
Yes. There is. You have, to your credit, ruled out illegal ways - But you also have to rule out the immoral ways.

Two wrongs don't make a right. The way to fight someone from encroaching on your freedoms is not to encroach on theirs - that's called a pissing contest, and nobody wins.

I, too, am scared that I won't be able to purchase hardware after year X, but there are ways and ways to try and prevent that. FPGAs are one - independent manefacturers are others. Heck - this may be a market opportunity.

#

what did you expect from this dude?!

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on February 03, 2006 09:10 PM
The GPL3, as well as the GPL itself, was the creation of a man, RMS, whose main value in life is freedom. Linus' main goal and value in life is "having fun" which, by the way, if fine, but simply cannot be considered as in the same league. Linus saw the technological advantage of the GPL2 for his kernel, but you can be sure he would have us the MS EULA if that would have been a sound choice for his kernel. In fact, Linus is about as "moral value free" as C3po or R2d2 (if in doubt about this, just read his book).

He has been fighting a petty RMS-bashing guerilla for years now because he is irritated by RMS' value-centric philosophy and by the fact that many, including myself, consider RMS as the real founder and leader of our community.

This being said, and sad, the real question is this: if Linus remains opposed to the GPL3 after its final version is adopted we should ask ourselves whether it is for petty personal reasons, or because he sees that the GPL2 is better for his kernel. In the latter case, we would have to look very carefully at his arguments as for being value-free, Linus does know how to take care of his kernel very well and we can count on him to do the best for it.

#

Re:what did you expect from this dude?!

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on February 03, 2006 09:37 PM
I call bollox. When has Linus bashed RMS? I want a citation, not a slander.

Linus created Linux with the GNU tool chain and licenced the kernel under GPLv2, both products of RMS's will. If he so hates RMS why the hell would he do that?

He has some issues about _one_ part of a _draft_ version of GPLv3 (not GPL3 as you so quaintly put it) which is open to public debate. Address the issues Linus has with the GPLv3 if you so desire and stop attacking the person like you claim Linus is doing. And where, by the way, did he mention RMS?

RMS is cool. Linus is cool. Is that so hard for you to grok?

And now back to our scheduled postings.

#

Re:what did you expect from this dude?!

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on February 03, 2006 11:14 PM
Linus' dislike for RMS is not exactly a secret. I never spoke of "hate", only of "bashing" which, I should have noted, Linus' does in an indirect, usually sly way, like when he calls himself an engineer and RMS a philosopher (implying thereby that RMS is technologically irrelevant or somehow out of touch with realities), his refusal to call the OS "GNU/Linux" because it is "silly", his systematic rejection of everything the FSF or RMS try to promote, etc. It also seems that many NF posters have the same suspicion i.e., that Linus' current rejection of the GPL3 is based on personal reasons.

Anyway - his reasons are not really relevant. We should carefully consider his arguments on their value rather than on their author.

#

Re:what did you expect from this dude?!

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on February 04, 2006 12:20 AM
Hi, you sound like you're just ranting. Your ambiguities don't make for a very good argument. I mean how would *you* know someone's personal reasons unless they come right out and tell them (assuming they are honest in the first place)?

#

of sounds and pointed fingers

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on February 04, 2006 04:06 AM
you sound like you're just ranting.

that's exactly how Linus sounds each time he tries to score against RMS

#

Re:what did you expect from this dude?!

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on February 04, 2006 01:07 AM
Calling things GNU/Linux *is* silly.

#

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.

#

Hence the problem

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on February 04, 2006 12:05 AM
I do _software_, and I license _software_.

Linus has a much more pragmatic, humble, and generally sane attitude than the FSF, IMNSHO. Stallman wants to be worshipped, and to tell everyone else how to think. Linus on the other hand apparently simply wants to do what he's always done; work on the kernel, and allow other people to think/act how they like.

This is exactly the reason why I have come to believe that Stallman and the FSF now hinder Linux's forward movement far more than they help it, and should be jettisoned accordingly. Stallman once made enormously beneficial contributions; I won't argue with anyone who says that. Unfortunately however, he's since sold out, primarily to his own ego. That can be plainly seen more or less whenever he says anything these days.

Linus should IMHO relicense the kernel under something which has the functional equivalent of the bare copyleft which he wanted in the first place, but in which the rest of us can be confident that it won't be changed at any time in the future according to Stallman's arbitrary whim.

Linux's long term future is something that is extremely important...and Richard Stallman's words and actions have proven to me anyway on more than one occasion that it is not something that he should be trusted with.

#

Re:Hence the problem

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on February 04, 2006 12:28 AM
I completely agree with you (while FSF supporters tend to be more vocal than the Linus/pragmatist supporters, I think they're a minority). It's worth noting that Linus actually *did* do just what you say: Linux has never included the "or any future license" clause.

#

Re:Hence the problem

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on February 04, 2006 01:07 AM
I find Stallman rather ego-LESS, particularly in comparison with Torvalds. But that isn't the issue here.

DRM will ultimately determine how you use computers--and every other electronic device. You may feel that is fine, and that would certainly explain your enmity towards Stallman (you're most likely not fond of Joy, either.)

For my part, if it continues in the direction that the greedheads and spooks are pushing it, I will unplug completely. And I'll probably be one of those "vain" wild-eyed monks that you scorn as you and your devices rat out your children and neighbors for "illicit" practices such as thinking and acting differently from the accepted norm.

#

Re:Hence the problem

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on February 04, 2006 06:50 AM
Both these guys (RMS and LT), have dedicated significant amounts of their time, energies, and intelligence to things that they consider to be important. That they do it with enthusiasm and "style" attracts our attention. All I felt they asked from me, I thought they earned,... my respect. I thank them both. That they, at times, appear to argue is good. Each of them argues within himself before he presents the results of those internal discussions. We are left to refine their arguments within ourselves, based on our own priorities and perceptions.

I'm not claiming there's not a devil,... but it's our(my) fault if we imagine he's particularly drawn to things "geek."

I don't know how things "will end," but I do hope folks make every effort to maintain their individual priorities, and a vague memory of a pleasant moment from their childhood.

ps - if you think there's any sense in the comment above, say somethin' nice to someone who pisses you off,... for some unknown reason -- it may change the whole interaction - for the better,... and, if it doesn't,... I apologize in advance,... you probably shouldn't have listened to me in the first place, though.

#

Re:Hence the problem

Posted by: andrecaldas on February 06, 2006 02:16 PM

Stallman once made enormously beneficial contributions; I won't argue with anyone who says that.




Sorry, for arguing then... but do you mean in terms of software, or in terms of promoting freedom ?




Linus should IMHO relicense the kernel under something [...]




Now, this shows how clueless about 'licensing' you are.




I noticed that those who have only a superficial vision about what "free software" is about tend to take the "pragmatic" Linus side.

#

No, you can't modify and redistribute the code

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on February 04, 2006 12:36 AM
One point that seems to surprisingly escape Linus Torvalds is that legislation prohibiting the circumvention of technical protection measures also prohibit the distribution of anything that can be used to circumvent or amount to it. This his argument that you can still get and modify the source code to run it on other machines is deeply flawed (in particular when analyzed in the context of "modern" DRMs).

This does not mean that GPLv3 DRM clauses are presently drafted in the clearest or adapted way, but at least we should discuss them in the proper frame.

#

Re:No, you can't modify and redistribute the code

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on February 04, 2006 03:27 AM
Actually, Linus is right. The GPLv2 still states that the source code must be made available to anyone who gets a non-source version of the program. So the DMCA won't prevent you from getting access to distributable representations of programs. Linus is correct when he says that you'll still be able to run programs that have been signed (or something) with DRM on non-DRM machines.

The DMCA WILL, however, interfere with your use of other kinds of content that aren't licensed under the GPL but are distributed using DRM. It could prevent you from listening to music distibuted using DRM on non-DRM machines, since the music probably won't be licensed under something like the GPL.

#

Re:No, you can't modify and redistribute the code

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on February 05, 2006 01:01 AM
The DMCA prohibits reverse engineering as a way of cracking DRM. Changing the source code that was distributed under a license that expressly allows modification and redistribution, is not reverse engineering.

#

Private keys can be kept if authentication is open

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on February 04, 2006 12:38 AM
As long as the recommended and principal way to run a module for a kernel distributed by Red Hat is to have it recognized as being signed exclusively by Red Hat, you would have to include the signing keys in the source code.
However, if you can install additional public authorization keys for the kernel, so that it can recognize modules signed by other parties, and instead of the tainted / untainted mode of the kernel, it either handles all modules with recognized signatures alike, or it counts the number of signatures used impartially, or keeps a list of the entities that signed the kernel (and of course if can still raise a tainted flag for moduels without a recognized signature), then the recommended way to run a kernel module changes to:
run it authenticated by having it signed by an entity that you trust (which could be yourself).
Then there is no need to distribute private keys to satisfy the provisions of GPL v3.

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Forty-Two

Posted by: ThoreauHD on February 04, 2006 12:44 AM
I think I'm finally figuring out what each are trying to do. And I think I know where I stand on it now. DRM is a new injection of disease, make no mistake about that. But what organism can evolve without having proved itself against such attacks?

I consider us all, whether in life, or in hardware, or in software to be an ecosystem. You have to have the Freedom to persue all vectors, and the freedom to kill off by neglect the bad organisms. I think I know where Linus is hitting with this. He doesn't want or like DRM, but he understands that you cannot mandate or outlaw bad things- you let market forces work to kill off the shit ideas and the rest will tend to itself.

The FSF foundation has a more touch everything approach to this DRM problem. There will be a rule for keeping everything DRM free here but not there, but if it touches here, then it's unlawful. It's a thin brown line of shit, but history tells us that Linus's way works- when monopolistic corporations do not control market forces. When they do, Linus's happy thoughts fall down because there is no market force to deprecate the DRM code. It is artificial and incestuous.

Now which is Linux? Is it corporate sponsored or is it outside the sway of corporate megapolies that want to rule it. I think for now, Linux is independent and market forces still work if Linus submits to his peers. That's another hang up that I haven't thought of. Linus has final say in the matter- another disruption of market forces.

Ah shit, the FSF are right on priciple but not in form. Linus is right in form, but not in principle. The path you choose depends on the path you are on. Can the market do a correction or do you have to force the market to preserve itself through licenses.

I don't know guys, but this stuff sucks. Would you like lethal injection or electrocution? WTF.

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Re:Forty-Two

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on February 04, 2006 01:03 AM
"I consider us all, whether in life, or in hardware, or in software to be an ecosystem. You have to have the Freedom to persue all vectors, and the freedom to kill off by neglect the bad organisms. I think I know where Linus is hitting with this. He doesn't want or like DRM, but he understands that you cannot mandate or outlaw bad things- you let market forces work to kill off the shit ideas and the rest will tend to itself."

Yeah sure, like they always say in business class: The market will decide.
But you know what?
The market isnt't free either, it's a tightly controlled warfield, where if you step into unprotected (like GPL-shield), you get creamed lighntning fast. Guess thats the reason there's so much GPL-bashing from Redmond and others, cause its not a WEAPON, but a highly effective SHIELD against waepons like money, lobbying, etc.
Now they use "nuclear bombs" to destroy that protection (say: Patents, DRM), no matter what the causalities (say: Freedom, Selfdetermination), and its up to the people again to "raise" the bar and protect us against this intrusion, when nobody else (say: most politicans, most CEOs) does.

So, we don't FORCE anyone to stop this mind-numbing stupid thing like patents and DRM, but we can AND SHOULD try to protect us and THEN let the market decide (say: programmers, customers) what they want by giving them an option (say software protected under GPLv3) and we have every right to do so!

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Re:Forty-Two

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on February 04, 2006 02:04 AM
What Linus is saying is basically this: Good... bad... I'm the guy with the code.

Time to move on.

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Re:Forty-Two

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on February 04, 2006 01:17 PM
Yes, but that's his fallback position.

1) The FSF is wrong, they can't DRM in a such a way to account only for RIAA type schemes and not mechanisms (for example) based on hardware checking of signed code as a way of foiling rootkits and other malware.

2) Even if they could, the FSF is radically expanding the charter of the GPL, thus confirming the wisdom of LT's original decision to mandate GPL v2 only. Who's to say that all content DRM is evil anyway. For example, Apple is using DRM hand in hand with their most popular product, one that has captured the imagination and admiration of a lot of the<nobr> <wbr></nobr>/. crowd. Does that make Apple evil? Why haven't we seen massive cries for boycott of iPod and itunes over the DRM issue?

3) Besides that, it's LT's project and he never signed up to be the "flagship of the GNU/Linux operating system", whatever that is. I'm sure he would have no problem if some group of smart people decide to break away and implement an OS from scratch under their choice of license. He'd probably say great, that's the same thing he did 15 years ago.

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Hu? RH does not have to give their private keys!

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on February 04, 2006 05:13 AM
How is Torvald reading the draft of the GPLv3 to understand that RH would have to give their private keys ?

As long as one anyone can re-compile the OS with another signing key -- which is the case with RedHat -- it is GPLv3 compliant.

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Re: Forty-Two

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on February 04, 2006 05:18 PM
"3) Besides that, it's LT's project and he never signed up to be the "flagship of the GNU/Linux operating system", whatever that is. I'm sure he would have no problem if some group of smart people decide to break away and implement an OS from scratch under their choice of license. He'd probably say great, that's the same thing he did 15 years ago."

What a crap-load of bullsh*t!
It's not his project as much as the USA is not Bush's own country.
Linux has outgrown Linus ever since he decided to share and let thousands of other programmers contribute and build the project. Would anybody argue that wikipedia is some single-persons project? Not in a second... so Linus better gets this into his head:
It's not his own projectanymore, some group with a broader vision might as well take it from him here and now and move it beyond his narrow-minded "its my football, so you better behave like i said"-attitude: one word: FORKING!

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Re: Forty-Two

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on February 04, 2006 08:35 PM
Yes, of course someone can fork linux if they want. But that does'nt mean that they can change the license. To change the license they would have to get permission from all copyrightholders in the linux kernel that have placed there code under GPLv2 only, including people that are now dead. To sort out who owns the copyright to all the code would be an enormous task and that is really the reason why Linus Torvalds can't change the licensing of the kernel either, even if he wanted to.

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Re: Forty-Two

Posted by: ToothlessRebel on February 04, 2006 11:34 PM
Oh, but it IS his project. The thing is that he took HIS project and once it got to a certain point released it to the public. Not in th etypical release, however, no, He choose to release his project in such a way that not only could you use it for free, but you could also modify it. Granted, there was one stipulation, and a small one at that, if you released your modification you had to grant the public the same right as you had, you had to allow the free use and modification of your project.

Ahh, but there's the stickler! The instant you modify HIS project it becomes YOUR project. Down the road the first developer may decide to incorporate your modifications into his project. That's fine, because you grant that right through licenses like the ones discussed here, and hey, you've got some pretty cool ideas.

Now, what we have is two projects. Both have been modified to be very similar, but they are still seperate projects. The fact that I choose to excercise my right to use your ideas in my project does not make my project yours, in any way shape or form. It doesn't even make that portion of my project "yours", as you have given the freedom for me to build on it, and to make it my project.

So long as "LT" is heading the developement of this software it is HIS project and HIS call as to what is right or wrong for it. FORKING, although my project is the ancestor of yours, it is still my own.

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Re: Forty-Two

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on February 06, 2006 05:56 PM
I would disagree about the terms.
"LT" choose to make HIS project EVERYBODYs project by placing it under the GPL. Though he didnt lose the rights for HIS own contribution so far, he cannot claim its HIS project anymore. Anyone could replace HIS contributions and then go from there. He now merely supervises the incoming Code.
This doesnt make it HIS project posession-wise as much as it doesnt make Bush the "owner" of USA; both are just governing some objects for a certain time FOR the people.
Or contrary to what another politican once claimed:
Nobody would label "the net" "Gores" Internet, although he in his mind thinks he started it and GAVE it to the public...

Not YOURS or MINE, its EVERYBODYs (or yours AND mine!<nobr> <wbr></nobr>;-)

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when will people figure it out

Posted by: Hillbilly on February 04, 2006 09:42 PM
i like GPL_V3, DRM is a lost cause, the reason DRM wont work is sooner or later someone will crack it and get the hidden goodies inside...

if anyone has something they need to protect they better keep it off of the net (both LAN & WAN) no two ways about it if it gets released it will be found and eventually cracked and/or a non-DRM version copied and released somewhere...

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Linus is an idiot

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on February 05, 2006 09:25 AM
Forgive the flame, but the man simply does not like change that is not brought about by himself. The GPLv3 is a good license and could go a long way in the further adoption of Mr Torvald's kernel in the enterprise environment because of the protection against software patents.

That is a big deal, if he is unwilling to provide that protection to the end user then the man is an idiot and is not worth listening to and the end user will go somewhere else.

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OOT: Linus on software patents?

Posted by: ferdikom98 on February 07, 2006 02:57 PM

I was gonna say this for myself but since Anonymous Reader has brought up this issue before me I must ask, what exacly is Mr. Torvald's position on software patents?



A casual web search suggests that Mr Torvalds is of the opinion that <a href="http://news.com.com/Open-source+honchos+trash+software+patents/2100-7344_3-5559647.html" title="com.com">"[software patents] are clearly a problem"</a com.com>, so I think it would be interesting to hear from the man himself what he thinks of GPLv3's approach to the patent issue, his aggrements, disagreements, etc. And perhaps wether he has any ideas on how to implement said software patent "problem" in the GPLv3 without throwing away the Good Security "baby" (and while perhaps still disposing the DRM "bathwater").



And IMHO I don't think Linus despises "change that is not brought about by himself," I imagine its more that he doesn't "like" said "changes" being forced upon him against his will. Especially when they run counter to his own personal position.

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Time for Linus to go

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on February 06, 2006 01:43 AM
If he cant see the evil of DRM or is unwilling to work with the communities best interest. I think its time we elect a new manager to take his place as the kernel leader. Either get on the right track or get off altogether. GPL v3 is the way to go, its stops the SCO's and Microsofts's of the world. If Linus cant see that, I may start my own fork of the Linux kernel based on GPL v3.

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Re:Time for Linus to go

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on February 06, 2006 04:24 PM
Okay, start it. I hope to see your work soon.

I see a hundred times a day people saying that he will save the world, making his own fork. That´s just talk.

That´s the FSF approach: speak, speak and speak. Ey! just write your own kernel, as Linus has done. Linus is completly right: write GOOD soft, and people will use it regardless DRM or whatever license.

Just my 2 cents.

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Re:Time for Linus to go

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on February 18, 2006 10:38 AM
There is a problem with what you have suggested - As long as the original copyright owners do not agree to the GPL v3, you cannot licence their code under that licence.

Linus has already said that you are free to dual licence your code within the kernel if you so desire. What you cannot do is take his code (or anyone else's) and GPL v3 it.

In order for your code to be compatible with Linus', it must be GPL v2 at a minimum. Otherwise you cannot use his code. If on top of the GPL v2 licence you wish to BSD licence _your_ code or GPL v3 _your_ code, then feel free. Just don't think that BSD's or GPL v3's the other people's code.

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GPL v3 is more adequate

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on February 06, 2006 09:53 PM
Linus missed (or ignored) the fact that its because of GPL that Linux has evolved become what it is. Is he jealous of BSD ?

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Re:GPL v3 is more adequate

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on February 08, 2006 11:38 PM
Fact?

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