Laser & DRM
Posted Oct 5, 2006 13:42 UTC (Thu) by mingo
In reply to: Laser & DRM
Parent article: Similar in spirit?
In your example, in my opinion, the problem lies with willful violation of safety regulations, not with GPL v3.
The problem lies in the GPLv3: in essence it declares the "tool of DRM" evil, without leaving for circumstances. It does so by defining the DRM keys to be part of the "Source Code" (see Section 1 of the GPLv3) - and hence forbids the non-release of keys upon redistribution (they are defined into source code, and thus must be released).
Without leaving for circumstances (except a limited list of hand-carved exceptions of a currently known good uses of DRM) it's just plain impossible to correctly map all "good" and all "evil" uses of DRM in advance. The GPLv3 allows little for the licensor (or the judge) to weigh circumstances - it forces the decision of "good vs. evil" right in the license. Furthermore, in its public messaging, the FSF does not even allow for the /possibility/ of "good" DRM uses - DRM has been villified in its entirety.
This is what i loosely described in other threads as "the GPL now gets into the business of defining good and evil, and it should not do so".
To go back to your suggestion: even if there's a blatant violation of safety regulations, if the manufacturer is proven to /not/ have done everything technically possible to protect health, it can be found liable. (there are precedents for that) So a manufacturer, if it cannot use DRM in its laser, X-ray, radio or radar machine might just pick another OS, just to be on the safe side.
And even if it's not found liable, the manufacturer's engineers might have (gasp) conscience.
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