Re: the beef
Posted Oct 4, 2006 13:59 UTC (Wed) by sepreece
In reply to: Re: the beef
Parent article: Busy busy busybox
Of course ROM and DRM are different. The question is whether they are difference is qualitative or quantitative. The intended end result, from the device distributor's point of view, is the same: the end user can't change the software in the device so that it does things other than what it is supposed to do.
The FSF is arguing that the difference is qualitative, and has created the "you must pass along the same rights you have"[*] argument to support that point. Nothing in the four freedoms provides a base for such an argument, but, hey, they're reasonably inventive people.
The device distributors would argue that the difference is quantitative; that preserving the ability to repair devices lowers the lifecycle cost of the device. If they had to budget for recalls to replace devices when software defects were discovered in the field, they would have to charge more for the devices to get the same profit margin.
Yes, the device distributors want to have a right on the device that the end user does not have, as a condition of using the device with their service. Some of us honestly don't have any problems with that; the FSF obviously does. That's fine - I just wish they would assert their conviction that an additional freedom is required, rather than rationalizing.
[*] Actually, of course, it's a subset of the rights you have - just the ones covered by the license. Also, they usually ignore the fact that in typical cases (like Tivo and cellphones), the device distributor actually asserts rather more rights over the device than are consistent with a simple transfer of ownership to the end user; they usually claim most of the rights to administer the device, at least when it's used with their service.
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