Closing the GPL loophole: it doesn't define 'free software'.
Posted Feb 14, 2006 16:05 UTC (Tue) by ibukanov
In reply to: Closing the GPL loophole: it doesn't define 'free software'.
Parent article: FSF: GPLv3 Update #2
> The FSF is also entirely in favour of programs (such as deCSS) which implement
DRM schemes, providing that they are *free software*
Thanks for this remainder. Indeed one of the goals of FSF is to make sure that free software remains free and this is one of the reasons behind GPLv3. As I see it now the license update has *nothing* to do with DRM.
What the draft of GPLv3 does among other thing is to address recent developments that allows through technical or legal measures to make GPLv2 software non-free. That is, it tries to deal with code signing that prevents a user to run a modified version of a program release under GPLv2 and with legal tricks like using DMCA to prevent re-distribution of modified sources.
The fact that closing these loopholes also complicates life for a manufacturer who wants to use free software in boxes with DRM is just a consequence, but not a primary or even secondary objective of the draft.
This also explains the apparent discrepancy when GPL does not allow proprietary code linked against GPL library even if the library brings only trivial benefits while even with GPLv3 OS one can use it in a DRM-ed box. In the first case user can not exercise the freedom of running the proprietary code against the modified library but in the second he can even if the modified version would be useless due to box' design.
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