Laser & DRM
Posted Oct 5, 2006 12:54 UTC (Thu) by mingo
In reply to: Voting and X-Ray machines?
Parent article: Similar in spirit?
And surprise the GPLv3 actually allows it.
The GPLv3 does not allow the use of DRM in a couple of other cases, for example to prevent the tweaking of barcode-reader laser light intensities by shop owners. (As described in a thread before on lwn.net, shop owners frequently requested the manufacturer of such devices to allow the increasing of the intensity of the laser - against work safety regulations - just to increase their efficiency and thus improve the throughput of shops (not caring about the eyesight of their workers).)
So this is an example of a case where the GPLv3 would hurt the little guy, and literally so. Again, the reason for the injustice is that the FSF is making the false assumption that DRM is "evil", and that "upstream" providers are doing "evil lock-in", while "downstream recipients" are the "victims". In the laser-scanner case the situation is exactly the opposite: the upstream manufacturer is more moral (and has the larger legal liability), while the downstream "owner of the hardware" is less moral - and the little guy suffers under the GPLv3's DRM provisions.
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