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This is great news. Maybe now people will start contributing more to projects that really value
software freedom, like HURD :)
Re: Kernel developers' position on GPLv3
Posted Sep 23, 2006 4:10 UTC (Sat) by Jel_I_am_disappointed (guest, #40692)
Posted Sep 23, 2006 6:00 UTC (Sat) by mingo (subscriber, #31122)
Agreed. One thing that made Linux so successful (over other GPL-licensed OS projects like Hurd): we do as little politics as possible. Even BSD OSs do more internal politics than the Linux kernel community. That is a fundamental strength that we must protect.
Is DRM evil? Yes and no - DRM is a tool and a tool can be used in good, in evil and in neutral ways, so the answer is: it depends. Such "it depends" moral scenarios we must avoid to "categorize" at all costs, because a forced, hard good/evil (no middle ground, no circumstances) definition written into the license inevitably opens Pandora's box. (The many existing iterations of the DRM section in existing GPLv3 drafts show how hard it is already to get it right to properly cover most of the existing, good FOSS projects.)
And there are more questions that need to be answered: is DRM used in support of the Bible good or evil? Is DRM used in support of Islam good or evil? Is DRM used in support of abortion good or evil? Is DRM used against abortion good or evil? Is DRM used in Pakistan's atomic bombs good or evil? Is DRM used in the USA's atomic bombs good or evil? Is DRM used to enforce movie producer's rights good or evil? Is DRM used to enforce the rights we have under the GPL good or evil?
Lets face it: some of these questions are really hard to answer, and the answer may very much depend on your political and religious viewpoint. Trying to tailor a license to the many moral viewpoints that do exist is futility, because there is no "middle ground" that everyone (or even the majority) would accept. Hence the only practical solution is, even if you dont subscribe to this concept: dont try to dictate the moral decisions of others.
Also, there is no real practical problem we are faced with. We are techies and as such we like to worry about DRM, patents, binary-only modules and alot of other things, but lets recognize that the GPLv2 already gives enough moral and legal background for people to build a community and great free software around - and people are already giving back much, much more to Linux and FOSS than the GPL forces us to do.
Where does the GPL force people to write documentation? Where does the GPL force people to support FOSS? Where does the GPL force people to write and improve FOSS to begin with? It does not. The GPL is only about keeping the source open, not about forcing our moral viewpoint on others. The moment we try to force people they will do less for FOSS, not more.
In fact, trying to dictate the morals of people, like the GPLv3 i believe does (by suggesting that DRM is fundamentally evil), can be considered immoral in itself. This might sound like nitpicking, but on a conceptual level it is a huge issue, and a license i subscribe to must be on the moral high ground to the last letter. Please think about it, we did that too.
Will there be leeches who only take and dont give back? Yes, of course, there always were and there always will be leeches. If leeching turns into outright abuse the GPLv2 has already been enforced to protect our fundamental interests. So we must be very careful to not let our natural worry to "fight" leeches get overboard and damage the very foundation our community is built upon: freedom and fairness.
Posted Sep 23, 2006 9:42 UTC (Sat) by bug1 (subscriber, #7097)
Would you prefer Linux (the kernel) be under a BSD license then ?
I believe forcing people to "do the right thing" sets a standard of behaviour that is required to isolate freeloaders and develop teamwork/community.
Cosntructive criticism is usefull, and its good to clarify your objections like this, but Linux made its decsion many years ago when it excluded the "or later" clause. If GPLv3 was everything you wanted you still couldnt switch to it due to practical reasons of getting everyones permission.
Posted Sep 23, 2006 11:56 UTC (Sat) by mingo (subscriber, #31122)
not all. I would not contribute to the Linux kernel if it were under the BSD license. As i said in my comment, the GPLv2 gives a fabric of freedom and fairness:
[...] the GPLv2 already gives enough moral and legal background for people to build a community and great free software around - and people are already giving back much, much more to Linux and FOSS than the GPL forces us to do.
In my opinion the BSD license does not achieve that.
Posted Sep 23, 2006 12:55 UTC (Sat) by man_ls (guest, #15091)
people are already giving back much, much more to Linux and FOSS than the GPL forces us to do. [...] In my opinion the BSD license does not achieve that.
No, the crux of the matter lies elsewhere; not in volunteer contributions, but in corporate contributions and sponsorship. Companies must justify their contributions, and a BSD-style license lets them get away with keeping them secret.
Posted Sep 23, 2006 9:44 UTC (Sat) by k8to (subscriber, #15413)
How are these two different requirements substantially different that one
is neutral and the other is strongly politicized?
Personally I believe you (and others) have simply absorbed the first
requirement, while the other is new, and so the one seems neutral because
it is not a change, while the other is not-neutral because it is a
change. That doesn't really make one political and the other not. Feel
free to point out my error.
Posted Sep 23, 2006 13:26 UTC (Sat) by mingo (subscriber, #31122)
The fundamental flaw in this argument is that you are somehow believing that "the requirement that you allow end users to run modified code" is universal and applies to all hardware that ships GPL-ed code.
Reality is that every piece of hardware on this planet has one or another end-user restriction. Every single one. Just try a simple experiment: take a GPL-ed piece of software that has a 100MB static array in it, "modify" that code to have a 1GB static array and try to run it on a 128MB RAM swapless system. It wont run, and it's the hardware that keeps you from running that modified code. Hey, the hardware maker cheated me! He does not allow me to run modified code! And the hardware maker could fix this situation easily: he should send me another 900MB of RAM, nobody forced that hardware maker to use GPL-ed code!
(At this point you'll probably say "but those are cases where it's impossible for the vendor too to run that modified code". But - your argument was that the GPL always allowed people to run arbitrary modified code, wasnt it? So (if you like logical arguments like me) you'll have to abandon your argument of "unconditional right to run modified software" which right does not exist because it cannot exist, and you'll have to qualify the way how end-users are limited by hardware. And such "judging" of hardware technologies, whether a given method of limiting end-users is "moral", "immoral" or "neutral" is what i believe to be 1) fundamentally immoral 2) none of our business, because we did not create that hardware.
So the "run modified code" statement only (and obviously) applies to hardware that allows you to run the code you modified. And the answer to that, if you cannot run it on the hardware that came with that GPLed piece of software: buy the right hardware! It's easy: you got the source code.
Once you accept the fundamental fact that no hardware exists that can run arbitrary modified code, you'll see why we think how unrealistic the interpretation is that "the GPL always said that all hardware that runs GPLed code must be able to run modified versions of that GPLed code". You'll also understand why we think that trying to control how hardware designers shape end-user limitations is immoral, because it uses the licensing power we have (and which power was paid for and bought by the RIAAs and MPAAs of this world) to "reach out" into a creative work that we did not write (the hardware), in potentially immoral ways.
And even if i supported an "eye for eye" position (the MPAA is trying to reach out into my creative work so i'm trying to "hit back" [which the MPAA would laugh about - they are only happy about small fish like us voluntarily excluding themselves from their market]), which i dont, it is fundamentally hard (for the reasons i outlined) to judge the "morality" of a given method of end-user limitation, because it is a deeply political and religious thing to do.
Furthermore, the GPLv2 clearly states, in Section 0, that it does not limit end-users:
The act of running the Program is not restricted [...]
And the only way the GPLv3 can "reach out" into hardware, via the vast copyright power that creators of works enjoy these days, is by using that power to limit end-users! Note how the GPLv3 removes the above crutial statement from the GPLv2. Such limiting of end-users via the license i consider to be fundamentally against the spirit of the GPLv2 outlined in Section 0. Using an immoral method to fight an immoral enemy does not make that method moral. It just sinks us to their level. I know it is hard to do, but we must not compromise on our moral high ground.
(We programmers really love to worry too much. We worry because it is our job to worry alot: programs can and do break in unexpected places, so a healthy bit of paranoia is welcome and useful, and the best programmers always expect the unexpected and consider every possible and impossible scenario. But we should not allow this natural tendency to worry let us do bad long-term decisions in licensing matters. FOSS is alot stronger today than the minimum strength the GPL enforces and the "enemy" is alot weaker than we like to think. Just look at how Apple managed to break the RIAA in 2-3 years: they created the iPod that people quickly learned to love /more/ than they love their music. That's how badness should be fought: by creating something that people like. And i strongly believe FOSS can do alot better than old-school Apple. We should just not let us defeat ourselves by damaging the foundation FOSS is built upon: freedom and fairness.)
Posted Sep 23, 2006 17:06 UTC (Sat) by k8to (subscriber, #15413)
There are also fundamental unresolvable restrictions on where one can run
free software that ships in source form without hardware that the GPLv2
cannot address, but yet it attempts to ensure that the end-user freedom
to modify and run that code exist without additional arbitrary
Again, they seem completely in parallel.
DRM is not evil, just useless.
Posted Sep 23, 2006 10:25 UTC (Sat) by hummassa (subscriber, #307)
Posted Sep 23, 2006 11:34 UTC (Sat) by JakeG (guest, #40696)
Or are you one of those saying people should be allowed to shoot anyone just because they have a legal gun?
Posted Sep 23, 2006 11:46 UTC (Sat) by JakeG (guest, #40696)
Or technologies used to circumvent copyright. Essentially a GPLv3 Linux could be considered a tool that helps break the law, even if it's legal.
By the way, if you want to run your own code on your own hardware, they buy hardware that allows it. Fortunately there is still this so called free market economy we have. So vote with your feet.
vote with more than your feet
Posted Sep 24, 2006 23:51 UTC (Sun) by coriordan (guest, #7544)
In 1983, when it was not possible to run a computer with only free software, instead of lobbying government or campaigning against proprietary software companies, Stallman participated in the free market by writing software and licensing it in a way that would give recipients some useful freedoms.
Back then, the problem was that software was being distributed as binary blobs. So GPLv2 said that distributing the source was required. Today, a new problem is rigging computers to require keys, so GPLv3 will say that if this is done, distributing a suitable key is required.
DRM and public benefit.
Posted Sep 23, 2006 12:50 UTC (Sat) by man_ls (guest, #15091)
On the other hand causing interference to others can directly harm others. There is a distinct public benefit in spectrum regulation, even if it can be abused for private gains. Likewise with weapon regulations. Comparing these things with DRM is fallacious and irresponsible, and a bit sad too.
Posted Sep 23, 2006 18:32 UTC (Sat) by sepreece (subscriber, #19270)
If you don't like the restrictions in the device, don't buy it.
Posted Sep 24, 2006 7:03 UTC (Sun) by man_ls (guest, #15091)
If you don't like the restrictions in the device, don't buy it.
Posted Sep 25, 2006 9:23 UTC (Mon) by cate (subscriber, #1359)
You can have license to use software, but you own the hardware.
IANAL, but I think in most countries the "buy" action implies ownership of hardware. (ownership don't implies ownership of "IP" (patents). Software licenses are a special case in copyright laws, but I don't know any special case for hardware devices.
But naturally you should follow the national law, i.e. norm for electric appliances (if you plug the console), radio frequencies (if you emit o receive data) etc. And naturally the new hardware should not be a bomb, or a dangerous item (but considering the newer exploding laptops, this maybe is an outdated norm).
Posted Sep 25, 2006 10:18 UTC (Mon) by man_ls (guest, #15091)
No person shall circumvent a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected under this title.
there is a need to provide for harmonised legal protection against circumvention of effective technological measures and against provision of devices and products or services to this effect.
Posted Sep 25, 2006 14:24 UTC (Mon) by sepreece (subscriber, #19270)
Sorry, I had said elsewhere that the right place to fight for a right to hack is in the legal system. I completely agree that DMCA and similar laws should not have been instituted.
However, I would also not support a law that said "Users must be able to modify all devices" or "Users must be able to update the firmware in all devices". That should be a market issue, not a legal issue.
Posted Sep 25, 2006 21:26 UTC (Mon) by man_ls (guest, #15091)
However, I would also not support a law that said "Users must be able to modify all devices" or "Users must be able to update the firmware in all devices". That should be a market issue, not a legal issue.
Posted Sep 23, 2006 23:33 UTC (Sat) by Arker (guest, #14205)
Posted Sep 26, 2006 23:31 UTC (Tue) by Ross (subscriber, #4065)
I really have a difficult time thinking of any reasonable uses of DRM.
The fundamental problem occurs when it is applied to GPLed software. DRM, like the DMCA, tries to tack on extra rights for the copyright holder, yet the license is written based on the idea that the user has the right to modify code as much as they want under copyright law. Maybe the GPLv3 changes aren't following the right approach, but this isn't something which can be safely ignored.
DRM _is_ evil
Posted Jan 20, 2007 17:59 UTC (Sat) by ArneBab (guest, #42896)
But I don't support technology forcing me not to shoot people or not to
use unlicensed radio frequencies, because it is not for the
technology-producer to decide, what I _can_ do with a device.
There might be a day, where I have to use an unlicensed frequency for a
higher cause, for example using my radio-transmitter to contact the police
in an emergency, when there is no phone at hand, and doing so, I take
responsibility for my action and it is only for a court to decide if I did
right or wrong.
If I save three hundred people by illegally shooting the terrorist with my
legal gun, then I might still run into problems because I killed a person,
but a court might well rule it good action and let me get away with a
Only because a device seems to have only certain good uses, it doesn't
mean there is never a moment where I might have to use a device for
something for which it wasn't originally intended.
And DRM doesn't have an override button.
The only ones who may keep me from acting freely are the police and other
state-employees, whom I gave my vote to serve _me_ that way.
A company never has that right, at least not morally and not in _my
domain_ (my computer).
Posted Sep 23, 2006 14:16 UTC (Sat) by mingo (subscriber, #31122)
yeah, in many cases that is very much true. But stupidity we should punish with our good judgement and with our feet, not with our "machine gun": the license. Also, it might sound nitpicking, but it is not actually immoral for a hardware maker to be stupid. If a hardware maker excludes itself from the enthusiast market for no good reason, it's their stupidity (and it's their financial loss in the end).
(And we should really let the hardware designers decide. While i have a problem with monopolies doing DRM or DRM being utilized to hide GPL violations, I have no problems with DRM if for example the hardware is a laser toy for children and DRM is used to not allow above-spec voltage to be delivered to the laser diodes.)
Posted Sep 23, 2006 19:44 UTC (Sat) by obi (guest, #5784)
What if all options or alternatives are equally bad, or the good ones start using DRM and "stupid" techniques because the "bad" ones get away with it. The only option we might be left with is to not use any of the alternatives - and even that might not be an option.
Case in point, we used to have quite a few options when it came to graphic cards. There was Matrox, ATI, 3dfx, and others for which you could get open drivers. These days, if you're looking for a graphic card you have no real alternatives. I need a desktop graphics card to do my job. Which one do I choose to "vote with my feet" or even "punish with my feet" - as you put it?
(By the way, I'm not saying nvidia or ATI are doing anything illegal, because after all, they don't distribute Linux with their drivers, they leave the home user to do the dirty deed - not illegal)
With DRM you might eventually get to a situation where there's no non-drm'ed hardware found any more. In a situation like that, there's little point to Free or Open Source software any more. So yes, GPLv3 is a "political" tool to stop such a situation from happening, but GPLv2 was politics too, and imho Linux clearly had benefit from the fact that GPLv2 was a political tool.
I'm not saying GPLv3 is the answer, or that DRM clauses are the right solution, but I do feel like it deserves more than blanket statements and knee-jerk reactions. From an outsider, it seems like the kernel devs haven't really put a lot of effort in participating in the GPLv3 process (which probably has plenty of flaws, but the process is made by the ones contributing to it)
Posted Sep 25, 2006 6:22 UTC (Mon) by email@example.com (guest, #27097)
Consider an Intel graphics card. Running quite well on my Lenovo T60,
with 2.6.18 and no binary drivers.
Posted Sep 26, 2006 22:15 UTC (Tue) by obi (guest, #5784)
If you need a PCI-express card, need to drive multiple screens, can't find one of those mini-DVI cards that plug into your embedded motherboard that of course doesn't come with DVI, or need a bit better performance, you're out of luck.
Even though intel graphics are an alternative, for which I'm really happy and that I really am going to support, it's not always (or even most cases) a viable option.
So punishing with my feet is still hard.
Posted Sep 25, 2006 14:59 UTC (Mon) by mingo (subscriber, #31122)
i'm using ATI cards with free drivers, or Intel cards. Intel has caught up recently and has put their whole 3D stack under the GPL, see: Intel Linux Graphics . ORG.
Posted Sep 26, 2006 22:28 UTC (Tue) by obi (guest, #5784)
Well, maybe I'm a bit impatient - maybe there will be an effort to reverse-engineer the latest generations too.
However, the question was which manufacturer do I reward for being a good open-specs or open-driver citizen. Considering there's an R300 driver in spite of ATI, not thanks to ATI, I find it hard to justify sending cash their way.
ATI, 3dfx, Matrox and others used to be good, now they're not anymore. Intel is the only "good" one (minus a few tiny niggles), and one I'd recommend in a flash provided they have a graphics product that sort of matches your needs, however it often doesn't.
(I refer to my other post on intel graphics here: http://lwn.net/Articles/201235/ )
Posted Sep 23, 2006 12:21 UTC (Sat) by jeroen (subscriber, #12372)
That DRM is a tool is correct, but the GPLv3 doesn't go against DRM. It goes against companies who sell DRM systems without giving users the keys to modify the software on the system. That's an use of DRM that I consider evil. And of course I would like to prevent people doing that with my software.
And how many iteration did the linking clause in the GPLv2 have? We don't know, because AFAIK the drafts were never public. Maybe there have been ten or twenty. Does that make it a bad clause? I don't think so. Linux also needed several rewrites of the packet filtering framework to get it right. Does that make packet filtering a bad thing? I don't think os. The fact that something is hard to get right isn't an argument for not doing it.
The linking clause is also not tailored to the many moral viewpoints that exist, if you listen to the BSD camp. Is that a reason to remove the linking clause of the GPL?
If you would actually think about the hypothetical situation of the GPLv2 not yet existing and then evaluating the GPLv2 according to the same criteria as being done here on the GPLv3, the result would be that GPLv2 is a bad license too. It tries to dictate morals on other people (the moral of that you should give users the freedom to hack their software), there exists many moral viewpoints about it and it is hard to get right.
Posted Sep 23, 2006 13:45 UTC (Sat) by mingo (subscriber, #31122)
i used to buy this (relatively new) line of the FSF, but then i read the actual text of the GPLv3 draft, which in Section 1 says:
The Corresponding Source also includes any encryption or
authorization keys necessary to install and/or execute modified
versions from source code in the recommended or principal context of
use, such that they can implement all the same functionality in the
same range of circumstances.
this attaches keys to the source, fundamentally. And since we all agree that modified source must be given out, the keys have to be given out too. The GPLv3 draft does carve out a few exceptions in later sections, but the damage has already been done here in Section 1: by attaching keys to the source we implicitly and explicitly judge the tool of hiding keys to be immoral! (because by hiding it you are "not giving out the modified source code")
if this "we attach keys to the source" definition in Section 1 is removed then all the DRM problems are solved - no need for the later exceptions either. This portion of section 1 is the big problem.
(Sidenote: this new "we dont go against DRM" position of the FSF is quite inconsistent with earlier positions they took - which questions whether they truly consider this whole issue so fundamental that no compromises are possible)
Posted Sep 23, 2006 14:50 UTC (Sat) by mattmelton (subscriber, #34842)
Assuming there is a product called the MattRouter 2.2b. A Tivo'ized network router running Linux 2.6.
Would something along the lines of,
"The Corresponding Source also includes the ability to be executed, modified and installed in the recommended or principal context of use, such that it can implement all of the same functionality in the same range of circumstances"
be more up your street?
To me, such a change would mean proprietory uploaders and bootloader-compilers would have to be included with the source. These uploaders (etc) can implement the DRM provisions (such as encryption) before they are copied to ROM.
As long as I had the indirect ability to fulfill "the recommended or principal context of use, such that it can implement all of the same functionality" from source, I'd be happy.
... that is, if your agrument rests on the provision of keys alone.
GPLv3 DRM clause
Posted Sep 23, 2006 15:33 UTC (Sat) by jeroen (subscriber, #12372)
To give an example: when I bought my wireless router that was running Linux I had the freedom to replace the firmware with my own version of Linux. I'm glad I was possible to do that, because now I've got nice set of iptables rules, QoS, etc. on it. But what if they suddenly decied that it is required that the firmware image was signed (like Tivo does)? Then I would be able to get the code, but I wouldn't be able to patch it and put it on my router. So they took away my freedom to run my own code on the router. This is what I consider immoral. It also clearly goes against the spirit of the GPL.
So what does the GPLv3 do against this? It requires that if you sell a device that requires a signature to upload firmware, the user should be able to generate that signature too, so that he is able to exercise his freedom to change the software running on his device. But this doesn't prevent a company that buys some of those devices to keep the signing keys in a safe place so that random employees can't flash the device with untested firmware or malicous people can't put a firmware with trojans on it. So the DRM functionality is still there, it just can't be used against the purchaser of the device.
If you have the opinion that users should have the right to fix bugs in their software, then you should actually like this clause. And even if you don't agree with that, I don't see any reason why you would have a problem with it. I haven't seen any arguments against it yet, except the bogus statement that you're forced to give away all your private keys.
I also didn't claim that the FSF isn't going against DRM. They clearly are, because they have the opinion that the tool itself is bad, and I agree with that (just like I think that tools like nuclear weapons are bad). But the GPLv3 itself isn't really going against DRM, only against the use of DRM to circumvent the GPL.
Posted Sep 23, 2006 20:25 UTC (Sat) by mingo (subscriber, #31122)
the big, big problem with this argument is that: this is not what Tivo did. Tivo never made their PVR "hackable". They never "benefited" from hackability, they never cycled back improvements that happened via hackability - they at most found it an annoyance. Later on they have added a special bootloader to a new generation of boxes, which would only load an OS kernel signed by Tivo. There was no stealth 'DRM-ification' of existing Tivo boxes. Furthermore, all the source code and their modifications, along with binaries (that do load on a Tivo) are made available by Tivo, just as required by the GPL. Plus, you can probably still mod your Tivo by soldering off their BIOS and putting your own BIOS in. Furthermore, a Tivo very obviously does not look like a general purpose computer, it does not smell like one and does not play one on TV. It is made, marketed and sold as a PVR, with no guarantee whatsoever that it would even contain a single screw to allow you to open the lid.
So all this vilification of Tivo is totally misplaced in my opinion.
How Tivo benefitted from hackability
Posted Sep 24, 2006 23:21 UTC (Sun) by coriordan (guest, #7544)
This contradicts the GPLv2 world. In the nineties, the GPL made all software users of GPL'd software interact as equals. Quid pro quo. Share and share alike, etc. Then Tivo found a technology which let them distribute GPL'd software without treating the recipient as an equal. So some words need to be added to GPLv2 to restore the deal that GPLv2 gave everyone in the nineties.
Bad, bad DRM
Posted Sep 23, 2006 15:35 UTC (Sat) by man_ls (guest, #15091)
One thing that made Linux so successful (over other GPL-licensed OS projects like Hurd): we do as little politics as possible.
DRM is a tool and a tool can be used in good, in evil and in neutral ways, so the answer is: it depends.
This relativism does not work in other fields; most human tools have their purpose written upon them in neon letters. Are fingerprint-resistant automatic assault rifles good or evil? They are patently evil. Is the atomic bomb good or evil? They are devised to decimate whole cities; it is hard to see what good they can bring. Were the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki good or evil? They were utterly evil, and making them "the lesser of two huge evils" is not going to change that.
Is DRM good or evil? DRM limits what you can do with your digital devices for two purposes: imposing an artificial scarcity on digital media and therefore raising prices; complementarily, it is used to control said devices and limit what people can do with them. The laws to make them possible have proven many times to have unintended consequences, as professor Felten may tell you. DRM is eminently evil; it serves a bad purpose.
Is DRM used in support of abortion good or evil? [...] Is DRM used in the USA's atomic bombs good or evil?
Lets face it: some of these questions are really hard to answer
Hence the only practical solution is, even if you dont subscribe to this concept: dont try to dictate the moral decisions of others.
the GPLv2 already gives enough moral and legal background for people to build a community and great free software around - and people are already giving back much, much more to Linux and FOSS than the GPL forces us to do.
In fact, trying to dictate the morals of people, like the GPLv3 i believe does (by suggesting that DRM is fundamentally evil), can be considered immoral in itself.
So we must be very careful to not let our natural worry to "fight" leeches get overboard and damage the very foundation our community is built upon: freedom and fairness.
You sound like people who have had their moral decisions taken for them and now enjoy the freedom others have gained; but cannot cope with new situations. I think it is time we all thought about these moral decisions for our own sake. It is not just about theoretical aspects; they are practical matters that arise every time we switch on our devices, which by the way look more like computers as time goes by. Do we want those computers to work for us, or for the manufacturer? Ingo, do you like the fact that your code is used in Tivo devices? Would you like to see your code power other locked-down devices? What good is the GPL then if you cannot hack on them?
GPL-ed projects and politics
Posted Sep 23, 2006 17:48 UTC (Sat) by mingo (subscriber, #31122)
Maybe my different viewpoint comes partly from the fact that i'm right in the middle of these projects. The kernel has lots of dependencies on both gcc and glibc, so we follow them with great interest and we very much want those projects to succeed. Gcc has struggled for years (commercial compilers were leagues better) because it was developed in such a political way for a long time. When the egcs and pgcc projects threatened a hard fork it has been depoliticized and gcc got alot more contribution-centric, and it is in a much better technical shape now.
For glibc i suggest you read the following announcement from Ulrich Drepper (who has contributed most of the glibc code and who has been doing this for ~10 years), from August 2001. I'd suggest for you to scroll down to the section that starts with "And now for some not so nice things":
glibc 2.2.4 announcement . (This was all of course eclipsed by the sad events of 9/11.)
This stuff definitely takes some digestion, and i dont expect you to take this from me at face value, because you do seem to (honestly) believe in the opposite, but doesnt it at least raise some doubt in you, which doubt would justify some more investigation and some more pondering?
Posted Sep 24, 2006 6:45 UTC (Sun) by man_ls (guest, #15091)
doesnt it at least raise some doubt in you, which doubt would justify some more investigation and some more pondering?
Posted Sep 25, 2006 20:55 UTC (Mon) by k8to (subscriber, #15413)
If you don't believe in politics, argue against the new controls being
added to GPLv3 from a practical viewpoint.
If you _do_ believe in politics, argue against the new controls being
added to GPLv3 from a political viewpoint.
Simply calling them "politics" comes off as a refusal to address them at
DRM good or evil?
Posted Sep 23, 2006 18:19 UTC (Sat) by mingo (subscriber, #31122)
most human tools have their purpose written upon them in neon letters. Are fingerprint-resistant automatic assault rifles good or evil? They are patently evil.
is it evil even if you found it on the street (honestly, some street gang left it there), and by accident you are attacked by a drunk maniac weilding an axe, who kills your dog with a single blow and now threatens to kill you, your wife and your son? So while i'd agree with you that the production of such a rifle is probably patently evil, actual use might still be considered "good", in special circumstances.
Is the atomic bomb good or evil? They are devised to decimate whole cities; it is hard to see what good they can bring.
Here again the answer is: "it depends". For example, which atomic bomb? The russian atomic bombs were never used against civilians, and they helped create a "balance of total mutual destruction", which resulted in no other atomic bombs being used after Hiroshima and Nagasaki. (although they were very much considered militarily) Were thus those, "defensive" atomic bombs "evil" too? Or did they save humanity from total destruction?
another question here: man would have figured out the a-bomb no matter what. If not the Manhatten project then some other effort. If you had the choice, and this discovery was inevitable, which country would you have picked to discover the atomic bomb? Nazi Germany? Communist China under the rule of Mao? The Soviet Union under the rule of Stalin? Or maybe the USA?
Were the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki good or evil? They were utterly evil, and making them "the lesser of two huge evils" is not going to change that.
Did they save 3-4 hundreds of thousands of american lives, at the "expense" of 200,000 japanese lives? By simple, cold-blooded extrapolation from the casualty figures of Osaka's assault, probably yes. Is it evil to pick the lesser of two incredible evils? The answer depends on your fate. The Christian religion will most likely say: "yes, it was incredibly evil, man must not kill, let God decide". Under other religions it could be considered "good".
I think even these scenarios - although you picked them - are alot less clear-cut than you suggest. The same goes for DRM. It's a tool, and its morality depends on intent and other circumstances, not on the tool itself. DRM was not invented today, it was in use for more than a decade in probably every desktop chip that you used - and the use of that type of DRM was considered totally good. (the Intel microcode upload mechanism is DRM.) DRM has also been in use in probably almost every ATM that you used in your life, for over a decade. For a totally valid and non-evil purpose too. I believe you only consider DRM "evil" because you are seeing it used for evil things in things like DVD players. But even there it's not the use of DRM that is evil, but the intent of that use: the content mafia wants to preserve its monopoly.
Posted Sep 23, 2006 21:47 UTC (Sat) by dlang (✭ supporter ✭, #313)
if these reports are correct (and from what I know of Japan during that timeframe I tend to believe them) then the use of the Bombs qualify as definitivly Good, not Evil.
Posted Sep 24, 2006 2:46 UTC (Sun) by ianji (guest, #40710)
Arithmetic of death
Posted Sep 24, 2006 6:02 UTC (Sun) by man_ls (guest, #15091)
Also, imagine the report was not true. Maybe some guy in the military slipped it to Truman because he wanted to use his new toy. I tend to think that reports made during wartime are not very trusty, but what do I know.
I cannot avoid but think that those arithmetics of death are weak as a justification.
Posted Sep 24, 2006 13:35 UTC (Sun) by drag (subscriber, #31333)
There are a few concrete things to keep in mind before making up your mind:
Based on historical evidance there is every sign that invading the Japanese homeland would of been horrific in terms of lives and damage to both sides of the war. The only time the U.S. engaged in a land conflict on traditionally Japanese territory (as per my understanding) was during the Battle of Okinawa.
Total casuality counts were 7,373 men killed and 32,056 wounded on the American side on land and another 5,000 killed and 4,600 wounded at sea.
(According to Wikipedia it's 12,500 dead and 32,000 wounded, total British and American )
On the Japanese side they had a estimated 130,000 troops stationed on the island. By the end of the battle they had 107,000 of them killed. With a possible another 20,000 killed, but completely incinerated and unaccounted for by the American's tatics of burning out the Japanese emplacements with flame throwers. (Wikipedia says it's 110,000 dead and 7,455 captured total). Typically soldiers would rush at Americans holding live grenades rather then surrendering.
Okinawa had a civilian population of about 450,000 people. Of that by the end of the battle (according to Wikipedia) they suffered at least 150,000 in terms of 'losses'. Much of it was from people simply killing themselves to avoid the 'American barbarians'.
In comparision with after effects and radiation poisoning taken into account there were about 213,000 people died as a direct result with both atomic bombings.
From Truman's perspective I think the question was much more simple:
Invade Japan and expect U.S. militiary casualties numbering easily over a hundred thousand even if it turned out to be a short land war. (and easily several times that if Japanese decided to drag it out)
Drop the bomb, end the war now, and loose nothing. No ships. No planes. No americans dead, wounded, or dying.
The correct course of action would of been pretty obvious during that time. I think that is the simpliest and most logical explaination as to realy why he dropped the bomb.. and most likely the correct one.
We were definately going to occupy Japan one way or another. There was no way the Americans were going to accept a conditional surrender. No way that they'd give Japan a chance to rebuild itself outside of their complete control. Just not going to happen anymore then they'd let Germany rebuild itself outside of their countrol.
The real delima historically, as I understand it, is Russia. The Russians would of been poised for invading Japan along with the U.S.. Weither or not Japanese would of allowed the Russian army to invade Japan before surrendering is the deciding factor on weither or not the Nuclear bombs were nessicary. There would of been a lot of rascism and ancestoral stuff going on between the Russians and Japanese. (meaning it would of sucked worse for the Japanese then it did for the Eastern European countries.) But to me this is only a question realy asked in hindsight as a historical debating point.
Would of Japan done a unconditional surrender to the Americans just based on the threat of having part of their country subject to Russian occuption? Maybe, I don't think the answer is very obvious (one way or another) and it was much less obvious in 1945. Germany didn't follow this path. The allies had to fight through the entire country until they destroyed the seat of government before the Germans surrendered. And even then after that there was resistance groups that fought against the occupation for years and years before they finally gave up.
As for scaring Russians with nuclear weapons.. a demostration on a small island would of been enough. I think that it's likely the display of weapons on the Japanese was hoped to leave a big impression the Russians, but that would of been a tertiary goal. Primary being to scare Japan to surrender, and secondary to reduce enemy resources if that didn't work.
German resistance AFTER WWII?
Posted Sep 25, 2006 13:24 UTC (Mon) by morhippo (subscriber, #334)
I am German and I have never heard of such a thing.
Posted Sep 24, 2006 6:35 UTC (Sun) by man_ls (guest, #15091)
is it evil even if you found it on the street (honestly, some street gang left it there), and by accident you are attacked by a drunk maniac weilding an axe, who kills your dog with a single blow and now threatens to kill you, your wife and your son?
In my case I would probably kill the drunk maniac, the wife, the kid and some other pedestrians based on my lack of expertise. A simple, non-automatic weapon would be better. Now, before you advocate that "combat weapon training is a good thing in some situations", just give me a good old axe and make it even. After all the maniac is drunk and I am not.
Were thus those, "defensive" atomic bombs "evil" too? Or did they save humanity from total destruction?
If you had the choice, and this discovery was inevitable, which country would you have picked to discover the atomic bomb? Nazi Germany? Communist China under the rule of Mao? The Soviet Union under the rule of Stalin? Or maybe the USA?
DRM was not invented today, it was in use for more than a decade in probably every desktop chip that you used - and the use of that type of DRM was considered totally good. (the Intel microcode upload mechanism is DRM.)
I believe you only consider DRM "evil" because you are seeing it used for evil things in things like DVD players.
When all music is locked down, it is the day that we go back to pre-CD-ROM days. We lose the convenience of digital music, and we lose fair use. So we probably stop buying music.
Posted Sep 23, 2006 18:40 UTC (Sat) by mingo (subscriber, #31122)
actually, that is not what DRM does. DRM is a method for hardware to only execute software from a "trusted source". DRM by itself does not "close down" software: in the case of Tivo you still get the full source code, you still get the binaries, and those binaries will still run on the DRM-ed device (and probably on other devices). What the DRM-ed device does not allow is to run /other/ binaries. Not yours, not other people's software. It is a special-purpose appliance. The Tivo manufacturer, besides having made a decision to limit your software to 128MB of RAM, by limiting you to have access only to a single IDE port, by limiting you to not have a keyboard and by creating a small form factor which has no expansion slots, he also decided to in essence burn the whole OS into "virtual ROM". Note that this "virtual ROM" (the DRM-ed OS) can still be upgraded by the manufacturer rather cheaply, but not by you. The manufacturer never sold this box to you under the pretense that it's a general purpose computer. It's a PVR. The Tivo manufacturer _never made it intentionally hackable_ and never benefited from its hackability. They never wanted an "enthusiast" community around the Tivo - and while you might disagree with their decision, it's their decision to make. They could have burned it all on ROM as well, with easy-to-remove ROM cartridges, where the ROM cartridges have some weird physical form factor that only Tivo produces - which would be just as "unmodifiable" as a DRM-ed OS is. Furthermore, if you still want to hack your Tivo, you can solder out the flash ROM that included their DRM-ed bootloader and can probably replace it with some free BIOS. Furthermore, Tivo is not a monopoly in any market, and you can readily buy other appliances with similar functionality, or you can run MythTV on your PC.
So tell me please, what evil thing did Tivo do?
Posted Sep 24, 2006 14:24 UTC (Sun) by drag (subscriber, #31333)
I don't own one, and I don't realy want one, but isn't part of reason TiVO signs the kernel is so that it protect userland from fiddling?
Hasn't TiVO entered into legal aggrements with media companies so you can do Pay per View and stuff like that and those companies require DRM-like stuff to 'protect' their content? I mean, for instance, if I hack the board by replacing the bios and I distribute bios chips for the TiVO and this allowed users to 'unprotect' protected content then I figure this a violation of the DMCA in the united states.
Are you prepared to allow people to be arrested by hacking on machines using your code if digitally signed versions of your software are part of a DRM sceme?
If your willing then that's fine. It's your code and such. (Just like I ain't going to 'player hate' BSD license using programmers) Just as long as you realise that it's pretty likely that it will end up being illegal to hack the Linux kernel in many situations were the user owns the devices in question.
Posted Sep 25, 2006 15:45 UTC (Mon) by mingo (subscriber, #31122)
But didnt you have the noble goal to freely modify the OS so that you could learn and be free? Or was the goal of that "hacking/modification" of the Tivo to go against the wishes of the content copyright holders and to "unprotect" their stuff, and to not pay? If it's the latter then i have no sympathy for that. If it's the former, i doubt there would be many grounds for suing you. (sure, you can be sued over just about anything and the DMCA makes it particularly easy - but the content owner could hardly claim that you did actual damage to him.)
Think about it this way: we, Linux copyright holders are content owners of a valuable piece of work. Even though I dont agree with Hollywood's monopoly position and their tactics, i do believe in their freedom of licensing too.
Posted Sep 25, 2006 21:22 UTC (Mon) by man_ls (guest, #15091)
You probably don't watch DVDs on your Linux desktop, since those content owners do not want you to. They explicitly protected their valuable content with CSS which you would have to, again explicitly, circumvent to watch your legally bought DVD on your legally bought computer. As you would not be using a sanctioned program, that would make you effectively an outlaw.
You probably don't listen to MP3 music either, since:
Sorry, too much for me. Freedom to tinker is freedom to tinker. If you think "content" licensing is so important that they can limit what you do with your stuff, then this is probably why DRM does not look so evil to you. But this is precisely why some other people, like Stallman and Moglen, must do things which maybe you don't understand now, but will in some years' time when we see the consequences.
Posted Sep 26, 2006 6:36 UTC (Tue) by man_ls (guest, #15091)
I also think your work is great.
Posted Sep 26, 2006 11:03 UTC (Tue) by mingo (subscriber, #31122)
I think i repeatedly asserted that i find the actions of the content monopoly deplorable.
All that i'm trying to point out is what i already wrote about in great detail: that (unlike the anti-DRM propaganda suggests) not all uses of DRM are evil, and that instead of worrying about the effects of other people's creative works we should rather concentrate on making our body of creative works appealing enough. Trying to fight DRM that tries to protect other people's creative works is misplaced in that respect. By doing that we'll be easily handled with in the policy debate by intentionally confusing us with "pirates who want to steal pay-for content". We are fighting the wrong war in the wrong place and at the wrong time.
I find the idea that we'll suddenly find no tools at our disposal to put free software on very far-fetched. DRM used for content is cumbersome, expensive and slow to every party involved.
Posted Sep 26, 2006 2:34 UTC (Tue) by drag (subscriber, #31333)
If I was to sell preflashed BIOS to users who wish to modify their Linux kernel on the TiVO it would put me in jail just as fast as if I sold it intending to allow users to steal content.
It does not matter. Just for the fact that it CAN be used to steal content is what matters.
Anyways what TiVO is doing now is technically illegal according to the GPLv2. It's implied. You guys just aren't going to call them on it, just like you not going to stop people from distributing closed source binarie in their Linux modules. It's up to you.
You can do what you want. I still love your software and appreciate what you guys are doing.
Posted Sep 23, 2006 21:39 UTC (Sat) by ibukanov (subscriber, #3942)
Bad, bad atomic bombs
Posted Sep 24, 2006 10:41 UTC (Sun) by man_ls (guest, #15091)
Have you ever heard about construction of dams? They also create artificial water reservoirs, and the best point is: they do not turn water radioactive! You can drink it afterwards!
Posted Sep 25, 2006 17:53 UTC (Mon) by krishna (subscriber, #24080)
Does DRM have the ability to prevent you, as a consumer of the software,
from examining, modifying, auditing (to your satisfaction), and improving
the product you are accessing? Is that a restriction of your freedom?
The GPLs and the motivations behind them are less about good and
evil and more about freedom -- although freedom is cast in a very
positive light in the license. Everyone will argue that the freedom
good/bad/evil/ugly (e.g., to bare skin to various degrees in public, or
to bear arms), consistent with one's own cultural/religious/moral
But I believe the GPL v2 and v3 are both more about preserving specific
developer and consumer freedoms than value judgements, and that it comes
down to deciding genuinely where those freedoms fall in the priorities of
Kernel developers' position on GPLv3
Posted Sep 23, 2006 15:31 UTC (Sat) by BrucePerens (guest, #2510)
And then the DRM thing. You really want your contributions to be locked down? It seems to be entirely against the spirit of Open Source and I doubt that in the face of widespread locked-down use of Linux that you could sustain contributions outside of the businesses that do the locking down.
Ultimately, we need to recognize that Linux is a 15-year-old kernel and that there will be another technical development to superscede it eventually. I can't say what that will be, but I think the best chance of mobilizing individual contribution to it would be to use GPL 3.
Posted Sep 23, 2006 20:27 UTC (Sat) by steelpillow (guest, #40703)
That made me check my crystal ball. I saw a massive fork of just about everything into -2 and -3 licensed streams. Most developers, especially the paid staffers, needed to see their stuff happen on Linux, and followed the -2 fork. The -3 forks one by one joined the HURD on the back burner. Then a new OS came along, and in order to leverage all that Linux-friendly stuff it was released under GPL v2.4.
Things got a bit blurry after that, where my tears had fallen. I wiped them away and caught someone saying, "the place to fight unwelcome licensing laws is the legislative process, not the licenses themselves." I lost contact.
Posted Sep 24, 2006 17:41 UTC (Sun) by BrucePerens (guest, #2510)
Posted Sep 25, 2006 3:45 UTC (Mon) by jstAusr (guest, #27224)
I really don't understand what else he could do. The kernel developers aren't interested in any changes. What do you think he could have done differently? It is rather difficult to involve those that don't want to be involved.
Posted Sep 30, 2006 12:44 UTC (Sat) by Blaisorblade (guest, #25465)
For Linus Torvalds, this is true - he absolutely said "not" to GPLv3.
However, a set of kernel developers, in their whitepaper about this
(http://lwn.net/Articles/200422/) are pointing out significant issues in
GPLv3, and he should consider those issues and try to solve them.
For the DRM thing, that clause would stop a Linux kernel signed by any
distro. When you run a binary kernel from a distro, requiring a signature
from the kernel builder (think to Debian) would effectively stop
insertion of non-authorized modules (think to Adore or such rootkits);
but GPLv3 would disallow this (I think). Also, code for this has been
written IIRC by Fedora, so this is not "theoretical".
Developers also think the distinction between such cases and DRM abuses
is impossible to draw in a license, because it is connected to political
reasons. RMS should prove them wrong on this point.
Posted Sep 25, 2006 5:01 UTC (Mon) by zorgan (guest, #4016)
Well, RMS has the best crystal ball of anyone I know. He sat
down in the early eighties and envisioned a lot of what would go wrong
Posted Sep 25, 2006 13:01 UTC (Mon) by pinky0x51 (guest, #40742)
Can you explain this? What exactly do you mean?
"cathedral" reminds me only on "The Cathedral and the Bazaar" but that has
nothing to do with RMS, that's Eric Raymond's thing.
Posted Sep 28, 2006 17:25 UTC (Thu) by smoogen (subscriber, #97)
Talking about Linux to RMS was a "forbidden" topic where one would get a nice letter chastising people over using something that was taking away effort from FSF goals. He never answered my question when I could get a bootable HURD to test this stuff with. After a while the stern lecture about hurting FSF got replaced by saying that Linux had to be called GNU/Linux.
So when ESR originally wrote C&B he was talking about how the Linux development model was better than the closed door FSF model. FSF has changed a lot since then.. so you get better access to their snapshots and stuff
Posted Sep 25, 2006 5:41 UTC (Mon) by charris (subscriber, #13263)
Posted Sep 26, 2006 4:20 UTC (Tue) by drag (subscriber, #31333)
Not that I'd actually want to run one of those kernels.. Linux is by far the most sophisticated and best performing kernel aviable. It's just the best.
RMS is fine. You can't seem to trust him.. but as long as your goals are the same as his then everything is cherry.
What is going on here is just different points of view.
The Kernel developers like the GPL because it compels third parties to contribute code back into the Linux kernel. They don't seem care about the freedom so much or helping to ensure the freedom of end users of products using their software.
They are dedicated to making the kernel as usefull and most effective kernel it can be.
The political nature of RMS's message of his brand of 'Freedom' is counteractive to that goal, going with the current GPLv3 draft would sacrifice some commercial interests of Linux which would benifit Linux developers with code, testing, support, etc etc.
Personally I am a end user and obviously for my own self interest I would like the kernel to go GPLv3 because it would help me avoid devices that claim they 'run linux', but are not hackable. It would help to ensure that companies won't try to sneak restrictions in on me. Anything to make DRM less attractive for hardware developers is a good thing to me.
However I doubt that that realy is the highest priority for the kernel devs. I don't blame them.
Posted Sep 26, 2006 17:49 UTC (Tue) by viro (subscriber, #7872)
Posted Sep 25, 2006 20:56 UTC (Mon) by steelpillow (guest, #40703)
In the end it is content (present or future) which sells the OS, and if GPL3 blocks out the content providers then GPL3-ed stuff will just not get used.
There are content-rich restrictive OS out there. The content providers can afford to just ignore us. To bring them in to line will, I suspect, need more than just a rewritten license. There are many growing movements for restriction-free content: musicians posting free downloads, ogg vorbis, and so on. The black hats are evolving a coordinated strategy against all this. We need to do the same. Maybe GPL3 will have its day - I sure hope so. But is now really the right moment? I think the gut instinct of the kernel developers is "not yet."
Someone commented that GPL3 is in essence political. Maybe. At any rate, one key ingredient of successful politics is persuasion. Another is timing.
Posted Sep 29, 2006 18:51 UTC (Fri) by bronson (subscriber, #4806)
We're talking about freedom, aren't we? Is there a need to to bring anybody into line? If you want to impose your own morals on other people then, I agree, it will take more than a license to do it!
Posted Sep 24, 2006 16:21 UTC (Sun) by jejb (subscriber, #6654)
On DRM ... and really, I'm getting a little tired of these muddled issues here, so let me try to separate them.
1. The Tivo case: What Tivo did (making the boot loader only accept signed kernels) was at the behest of its content providers. If GPLv3 had been in force when this came along, the stark choice would have been go out of business now; or go out of business while trying to replace the entire OS.
Firstly, the proposed changes would have affected and probably killed Tivo, but done nothing whatever to impact the people who forced the change: the content providers. It's like treating a symptom, not curing the disease
Secondly, to consider the idea that companies in this position don't give anything back lets use the example of a Tivo competitor here: Moxi (also subject to the same lock down rules by the same content providers). It's produced by a company called Digeo who, by my possibly inaccurate count provided us with several driver enhancements, some nice filesystem work and a kernel maintainer, all under the old GPLv2. Please explain the inequity here.
Finally, embedded Linux in systems as firmware is an end use by the manufacturer. It's also getting embedded further and further away from the user. The GPLv3 introduces a new requirement that wherever these uses of Linux are, you have to be able to find them and modify them ... this represents dictating to the manufacturers how they build systems. It doesn't just affect deliberate things like keyed boot loaders; it also affects people who, because they didn't think about it, didn't provide such a modification channel. This is why it alters the equation: hardware manufacturers must feed this in now as a design requirement. That's what I don't think should be in the licence.
2. All of this is a proxy battle for the real war which is the content providers who're trying to dictate the rules in the first place---and they're doing it purely because they're too stupid to find a new business model, but have the cash to try to buy one. The technological challenges in delivering a copy protected stream all the way from the media to the screen are daunting; and expensive, which is why the manufacturers keep telling the content providers to bog off purely on business grounds. The content providers won't take no for an answer and are now trying to force this by leveraging both their assets (the content) and their money (by lobbying for legal measures). Attacking the manufacturers, who are natural allies in the fight against this type of DRM on business grounds, isn't going to budge the content providers one whit, and might end up diluting the opposition to them by fragmenting it.
Linux in fifteen years? Well ... as long as we maintain the innovation stream, I don't see why not, which is why GPLv3 gets considered on the grounds of its potential impact to that innovation stream.
Posted Sep 24, 2006 17:45 UTC (Sun) by BrucePerens (guest, #2510)
Posted Sep 24, 2006 19:44 UTC (Sun) by jejb (subscriber, #6654)
Just because you don't think you can reach the true culprit (the content providers) doesn't mean you should settle for shooting the messenger (or at least the people caught in the middle).
Firstly, this is wrong on purely moral grounds.
Secondly, the collateral damage from doing this is too great. Even if I accept that Tivo has made no useful contributions (which I don't) you'll end up shooting Digeo and a whole host of embedded device vendors too; entities who, I believe, have made (and continue to make) valuable contributions.
Finally, it antagonises a whole crowd of people who're unhappy about being forced to go along with the content providers and who might have more pressure to bring to bear in the cash and power arena than we do. I really see this as a vast strategic mistake.
I fully respect yours and Richard's right as private individuals to use the weapons you have available. However, I take issue when you expect to use my gun. I'm also not ready to throw in the towel on coming up with a strategy to bring this home to the content providers.
Posted Sep 26, 2006 18:36 UTC (Tue) by ajaypal (guest, #40762)
Only time will tell.
Posted Sep 28, 2006 5:13 UTC (Thu) by AJWM (guest, #15888)
One rather off-topic question -- if it's the TiVo bootloader that vetos loading an unsigned kernel, what stops someone from changing the bootloader? Maybe it needs a hardware hack (I have no idea), but that surely hasn't stopped the community before. (Xbox, as I recall, required a hardware mod to load a different OS.)
Posted Sep 28, 2006 3:22 UTC (Thu) by etrusco (guest, #4227)
LOL. Before reading the full post I thought Bruce Perens meant "use GPL v3 in Linux" and it will be the best chance of a competitor :-P
Posted Sep 28, 2006 9:23 UTC (Thu) by pkern (subscriber, #32883)
Ultimately, we need to recognize that Linux is a 15-year-old kernel and that there will be another technical development to superscede it eventually.
Posted Sep 28, 2006 18:31 UTC (Thu) by smoogen (subscriber, #97)
How to accomplish this we have differing views... but I do not currently see where the middle ground that people will meet on. And without a middle ground the majority of people who aren't developers, aren't coders in any form, don't want to futz with their computer anymore than they want to change the oil on their cars, are going to congregate. And until we get them convinced, it doesnt matter if we write the worlds most perfect License that makes sure that the Four Freedoms are never put aside.. it would just be declared invalid by the paid for courts etc etc.
My view is that work on getting the public knowing why Libre software is important, what it means, and what they get out of it. AND why it makes the Four Needs (Reproduction, Sleep, Food, Safety) easier to accomplish than anything else. Then you can get the problems that stop the Four Freedoms dealt with by consensus in a political/social manner.
Posted Oct 5, 2006 19:35 UTC (Thu) by linuxrocks123 (guest, #34648)
Agreed: Time for the GNU/Hurd
Posted Sep 24, 2006 15:57 UTC (Sun) by accname (guest, #40717)
Corporate-backed Linus has been pissing of a lot of people, and it's only
a matter of time that it blows up in his face.
Alternatives like the GNU Hurd (and others like TUD:OS, DROPS, ...).
Good ridance Linus!
Posted Sep 24, 2006 16:53 UTC (Sun) by charris (subscriber, #13263)
1) The developers are narrow techies with no political sophistication. In short, they are too stupid to know what they are doing.
2) The developers are just passing on corporate propaganda. In short, they are too stupid to have their own thoughts.
3) The developers are bought and paid for by corporations. In short, they are evil minions because corporations are evil entities.
4) The developers were once progressive, but sold out for money. In short, they are selfish and immoral.
Note that none of these arguments deal with the license itself, they are all ad hominem attacks on the developers. Folks, this sort of crap may pass muster in a political forum, but it is out of place in a technical discussion.
That's just not the case
Posted Sep 25, 2006 0:24 UTC (Mon) by coriordan (guest, #7544)
There were some (very valid) comments like that at the start when Linus shocked us with his statement (to a popular business magazine) that GPLv3 would not let him use GnuPG to encrypt his diary.
But Linus' comment have been getting more and more specific. Draft 2 responded to some of his DRM comments (although not to his satisfaction, as he said to the mainstream media within an hour of Draft 2's release). Sometimes it's still hard to understand the point of some criticisms, especially when the criticisms are made to the press instead of on the gplv3.fsf.org forum which would attach the comment to an actuall word/sentence/section of the licence.
But the quality of criticism is increasing, so they should be easier to address.
Posted Sep 26, 2006 3:09 UTC (Tue) by viro (subscriber, #7872)
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