DRM, DRM, DRM
Posted Oct 19, 2006 3:05 UTC (Thu) by GreyWizard
In reply to: Defining DRM
Parent article: Similar in spirit?
The conventional use of "DRM" is for content control (management of access rights to content).
And in what way does this statement contradict mine? Tivo clearly employs DRM for content control. That the conventional use is content control does not deny the possibility of other uses. The LWN article seems to agree with me, as it refers to the GPLv3 draft provisions that would affect Tivo as "anti-DRM provisions" several times.
Locking down software is TC, not DRM.
First, Trusted Computing is but one technology for locking down software. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trusted_Computing for more details. Second, locking down software can be done under the control of the hardware owner or some other party. Since the GPLv3 has no effect on the former case it should be clear that locking down software in general is not what is at issue. We need some term that expresses only the latter. DRM seems to be that term as far as I can tell (though of course DRM can be implemented less effectively without hardware), but if that usage offends you propose another term that doesn't confuse the issue in this way.
All I can say is, it's not irrelevant to the companies that make consumer electronics, nor to the people who want to buy content despite the DRM that the content owners require. You are, of course, free to consider that they are irrelevant.
Here is the text you were responding to: "The question is whether a free software license should attack DRM. [...]clearly contracts between vendors are not relevant." In what way is it unclear that "relevant" means "relevant to the question" in this case? Replacing the plain meaning of those words with the notion that companies making consumer electronics and the people who buy them are "irrelevant" in general is either an incredible failure of comprehension or outright intellectual dishonesty.
Well, we DO choose to ban or control some things with dangerous or disruptive uses.
Cell phone disruption is generally much less dangerous than guns or drugs, to choose two such things over which there is much disagreement. The preferences of established economic powers and the politicians they patronize does not demonstrate that strict regulation in the specific case of cell phone operating systems would be appropriate or reasonable.
Changing the GPL isn't a high-leverage approach to convincing them.
Some people would dispute this claim and many who wouldn't still find ensuring that their software is not used to implement DRM reason enough. But this is a larger issue than the one raised by this thread, which is merely whether DRM has advantages for society as a whole.
Generally, they're not being denied control of their computers, even if you buy the argument that a cellphone should be considered a computer.
I wrote about "denying people control of their own computers" in response to your claim that there is "public demand for content [...]available only under DRM" which was not specifically about cell phones. That said, while one might plausibly argue that control of a cell phone operating system is unimportant or that cell phones are such special purpose devices that freedom is not useful enough to defend (we'll have to agree to disagree on these points) the ability to replace cell phone operating system software is undeniably a form of control and a modern cell phone is most definitely a computer.
Since you've forced me to revisit this, I wish I had noted in my last message that claiming DRM is good for the public because content owners will only release things the public wants under those circumstances is circular reasoning. Suppose the public wants cultural or educational content owned by an organization that refuses to release it without a human sacrifice. Does this demonstrate that human sacrifice is good for society?
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