FSF should separate GPLv3 changes (Linux.com)
Posted Oct 18, 2006 9:22 UTC (Wed) by khim
In reply to: FSF should separate GPLv3 changes (Linux.com)
Parent article: FSF should separate GPLv3 changes (Linux.com)
The problem with this argument is it assumes that a GPL v3 OS could have an appreciable impact on the trends you mention.
Read this then. The fact is simple: while everyone is using rhetoric "DRM or die" today (Linux kernel developers, FSF, etc) it's just not so simple: it's entirely possible to create the system where you can have strong DRM and you can run GPLv3 code. Or even have the whole GPLv3 OS... Actually it's already done today (you have read the article, right ?)...
If there are will be sizable amount of code not available for DRM lock-in the vendors will supply "dual-purpose" systems. In fact it will strengthen DRM position not weaken it - once it'll become clear you'll see that "entertainment industry" will push for this type of change! Think about it: if you are trying to "protect" (in TiVo style) huge codebase with GPL components - you precious DRM is at risk! One buffer overflow - and DRM protection is moot. Now if you clearly separate "protected path" and put in separate part of the system and make it talk with the rest of the system via simple (and thus checkable) interface - then your DRM have a chance. And (coincidently) you now have no reason whatsoever to fight the GPLv3!
Okaaay... Then why all this hoopla about "DRM and GPLv3" ? Oh, it's easy: if you want to develop properly layered DRM-support you must work hard. It's expensive. It's much easier to just lock everything down and be done with it. That's why verdors don't like the proposed GPLv3 (and since a lot of kernel hackers are either work for vendors or work with vendors they are not happy too). But the fact is: GPLv3 is good for both used and "entertainment industry" (even if it was not the initial goal).
Far more effective would be an approach that somehow blunts the lobbying efforts of the entertainment industry. I don't find it credible that the gpl v3 will have any appreciable impact in that area.
Sadly the GPLv3 will have the opposite effect - if you are talking about the ability to want your video collection in a form you like it. But that's not the problem here: GPLv3 is not designed to fight the DRM battle. It's designed to fight TiVo battle - and that's totally different kettle of fish. It does not concern "entertainment industry" at all - but it does concern free software very much... Oh - and it does concern hardware vendors (they'll be forced to work somewhat harder to satisfy both GPLv3 requirements and "entertainment industry" requirements) - but in few years when infrastructure will be ready it'll not be a big deal...
to post comments)