Possible routes to kernel on GPLv3
Posted Jan 27, 2007 15:34 UTC (Sat) by sepreece
In reply to: Possible routes to kernel on GPLv3
Parent article: GPL 3: An Open-Source Earthquake? (CRN)
"So where to draw the line? GPLv3 draws the line at network installs. Whatever parts of the software can be upgraded by the manufacturer over the network have to also be modifiable by the owner."
Can you clarify how you think GPLv3 draws the line at that point? I don't see anything in there that talks about a specific means of installing or even about who can do the installing (despite all the FSF comments about "manufacturers having rights they don't pass along"). It says that if there are checks based on keys, you need to provide the keys.
In reality, manufacturers almost never have the ability to push upgrades into delivered devices, though third parties (cable companies, mobile carriers, etc.) may, usually in conjunction with service contracts. Installs are typically done in stores or at the user's request.
The situation is, in fact (at least for cell phones), just as though the vendor said "we sold you version x of our product, but if you bring it back to the store, we'll swap it for the current version." You could get exactly the same model with ROM, but then the process would take a lot longer, since the owner's data would have to be transferred to the new device.
"The other ways to tackle the current DRM frenzy are to either (a) use our market pressure, but that's just choosing to fail since we have a track record of never using our market pressure effectively, or (b) shake off the power that the content industry has over us by moving to free content - this means discarding all culture made in your county and my country in the last century, and It won't happen."
On the contrary, there is some reason to believe that for music, at least, there is a real trend toward selling DRM-free MP3s (there was an article in the New York Times saying that in the last week <http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/23/technology/23music.html...>).
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