Re: the beef
Posted Oct 4, 2006 19:35 UTC (Wed) by nim-nim
In reply to: Re: the beef
Parent article: Busy busy busybox
> 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.
What they actually care about is the device behaviour, and it's not even an absolute requirement, or they'd be selling welded steel enclosures not cheap plastic ones anyone can open to install mod-chips.
The intended end result is to make the device somewhat harder to modify as long as it does not cost too much. Shock! DRM is only about saving a few bucks! One could easily argue the costs of having to forgo DRM are largely couterbalanced by free access to the GPL software pool.
> preserving the ability to repair devices lowers the lifecycle cost of the
Nothing forbids repairing devices in a GPLv3 world. It only forbids repair accesses closed to the device owner. That screwdrivers are widely available never stopped an appliance manufacturer from using standard screws, precisely because lowering lifecycle costs has priority over keeping the owner out at all costs.
> 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
This argument does not stand:
1. many of the DRM-ed devices are intended for standalone use (media players...) with the service part completely absent or optional
2. if it's really a condition of using the service then there is something called "terms of service" for this, and it's not even deprecated by DRM, since many terms can not be DRM-enforced.
If the device is sold to the user what he does with it is none of the service provider business as long as it does not impact the service infrastructure (if it does impact the service infrastructure you can detect it infrastructure-side without device-level DRMs)
If the service absolutely depends on total control on the appliance there's a well known solution: providing the device free of charge to the user, and recouping costs with the service fee.
Of course some businesses want to sell appliances without passing control to the user, have customers provide seed money for services by paying for the required appliances beforehand, benefit from GPL code without allowing the tinkering conterpart the GPL was about and so on.
I want a pony too. Will I get one?
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