DRM is not evil, just useless.
Posted Sep 23, 2006 19:44 UTC (Sat) by obi
In reply to: DRM is not evil, just useless.
Parent article: Kernel developers' position on GPLv3
Even though I mostly agree with the kernel devs side (complying with the GPL means a "god-given right to source" not a "god-given right to use it on any hardware") - I'd still take issue with "punishing with our feet".
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)
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