GPLv3 DRM clause
Posted Sep 23, 2006 20:25 UTC (Sat) by mingo
In reply to: GPLv3 DRM clause
Parent article: Kernel developers' position on GPLv3
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)?
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.
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