safety-critical systems can use ROM
Posted Oct 18, 2006 4:50 UTC (Wed) by stevenj
In reply to: FSF should separate GPLv3 changes (Linux.com)
Parent article: FSF should separate GPLv3 changes (Linux.com)
As Moglen and Stallman have repeatedly pointed out, in conditions where non-modifiability is critical for safety, or because of legal constraints, you can always use a ROM.
And in any case, your flight-management example seems like something of a red herring. GPLv3 wouldn't require you to give me the keys to update it—only the airline (the owner of the plane) needs to have the keys, and they presumably have both a legal and financial interest in not crashing their planes. (If the aircraft owner does want to crash their plane, your DRM is, sadly, not going to stop them.)
As for the assertion that most consumers don't care about modifiability, pause to consider that this has also been a standard argument against GPLv2 and against free software in general.
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