Kernel developers' position on GPLv3
Posted Sep 25, 2006 4:50 UTC (Mon) by bojan
In reply to: Kernel developers' position on GPLv3
Parent article: Kernel developers' position on GPLv3
> We will need open hardware at all levels of Lessig's stack,
I hope most people understand that a chip making business requires billions of dollars in continuous investments (i.e. no backyard operators here). Intels and AMDs of the world need to sell those chips eventually to get the money back and make a profit. I honestly don't think that any kind of convincing except the one made in the marketplace will work here. And that's not anyone's fault. It's just how things work.
If these guys see that DRM is what is required of them to do in order to sell, then this is what they are going to do. And "open hardware" (i.e. hackable by anyone) will end there, IMHO. Don't get me wrong, I'm not predicting a doomsday - just pointing out that businesses generally act in their best financial interest or go bust. If market decides that DRM enabled hardware is not acceptable, then we'll continue seeing it in the future. It's just that I don't know many business people or home users that care beyond "I just want it to work". And they are the ones that a market (mostly) make.
Also note that software licensed under GPLv2 and distributed by companies like Novell, Red Hat etc. could peacefully coexist with proprietary software in this model. Such distributors could enter into agreements with hardware folks in order for their software to be officially supported (i.e. DRM signed). Small distributors would be taken out, most likely. And, we (i.e. the general public) wouldn't be able to compile our own stuff and run it on any hardware in such a scenario, although we'd have all the source.
> Our governments need to understand this.
I would not be too hopeful there. Remember, we're talking about governments that enabled DRM in the first place, as a favour to big (content providing) business. Changes to Australian copyright law are being made primarily to facilitate that same business and it is clear that DRM provisions will be used to further enforce copyright protections, not to relax them.
The story about expanding "fair use" is just a nice fairy tale for the press. For example, you'll be able to legally record TV programs and watch them later, but only once. If that's not a joke, I don't know what is.
Just pointing out the facts, not trying to assign blame or pass judgement on any one company, individual or licence :-).
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