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Dividing the Linux desktop
LWN.net Weekly Edition for June 13, 2013
A report from pgCon 2013
Little things that matter in language design
This is not like the Windows NT server/workstation issue where the more expensive software is simply crippled.
This is a situation where an open standard allows for user-removable copy-restrictions to be easily lifted.
I say hoorah for okular's decision to include this functionality by default.
This is a FEATURE, not a "FEATURE".
Posted Jun 1, 2009 23:34 UTC (Mon) by ncm (subscriber, #165)
It's obvious to me that Debian's rightful course is to flip the default on this program, and further to issue a slap up-side the collective head of those arguing otherwise. It would not be wrong to have it post a marginal icon advising users that the document originator had sought to restrict their use of it.
Posted Jun 2, 2009 1:30 UTC (Tue) by ncm (subscriber, #165)
It appears the only choices remaining are: (1) Fork the project, and upload a new package "okular-free"; (2) Initiate a vote to override the package maintainers directly; (3) Initiate a vote to change the project charter so that the repository maintainers are obliged to override the package maintainers' misguided notions. Probably the last is ultimately the right course.
I wonder what project these package maintainers think they are working in. Their unanimously bad judgment makes me disinclined to try KDE programs.
Posted Jun 2, 2009 4:57 UTC (Tue) by jospoortvliet (subscriber, #33164)
Posted Jun 3, 2009 1:37 UTC (Wed) by akumria (subscriber, #7773)
Meanwhile for certain corporations it
is crucial for legal reasons.
Posted Jun 3, 2009 10:07 UTC (Wed) by jospoortvliet (subscriber, #33164)
I've worked at KPN, the dutch largest telecom provider. The government has mandated the company to kind'a split it's operations off from the sales. The reason is that KPN has both network & services. The goverment has forced it to open up it's network, so other providers can compete with KPN on services.
To prevent any unfair competition, operations is not allowed to tell all it knows to headquarters (for example numbers about marketshare, revenue, growth, prices etc from competitors).
This division is rather dificult to maintain - obviously, as it is still ONE company. But the fines by the OPTA (goverment agency overviewing and checking KPN and other companies in the telecom area) are easily in the millions, so there is quite some pressure.
DRM, among other technologies, is used to keep certain employees from certain information. Even IF you send a doc to someone 'on the wrong side' they won't be able to open it. Or can only see but not print etcetera.
How's that for evidence with my rhetoric. I think a person (which includes a legal person like a company) should have every right to enable and enforce DRM on his/her/their own hardware and software. It's perfectly valid, legal and morally right. Imho.
Posted Jun 3, 2009 11:00 UTC (Wed) by mbanck (subscriber, #9035)
You can print the PDF, you can copy the PDF, you just cannot copy&paste if the application honors the bit. So I don't see how this pertains to your KPN example (which might be a valid example for DRM or not, I will not judge on that).
Posted Jun 3, 2009 12:34 UTC (Wed) by sepreece (subscriber, #19270)
This is important to many companies. My previous employer often set the no-copy/no-print flags on PDFs that were covered either by internal distribution restrictions (e.g., registered company secrets) or external restrictions (documents received from third parties with restrictions).
The point isn't to make it impossible to copy (they would love to do that, but recognize that it's impossible in an era when every mobile has a camera can take screenshots), but to make it obvious to people when they are breaking the rules.
Posted Jun 4, 2009 1:09 UTC (Thu) by JoeF (subscriber, #4486)
DRM to prevent opening or reading a file has absolutely nothing to do with this issue.
You'd have to encrypt the file to prevent unauthorized people from reading the contents.
That's the only way to enforce DRM.
This issue is about copying only. And preventing copying is, at least for text, simply impossible. If somebody wants to copy the text, the person can always re-type it. Even for diagrams, I can just take a screenshot.
All this flag does is making things more inconvenient.
Posted Jun 4, 2009 11:57 UTC (Thu) by jospoortvliet (subscriber, #33164)
Anyway, you think the functionality is useless. I think it has it's usecases. You should ask Adobe why they wrote it, and the companies using it why they do that, not me.
Posted Jun 2, 2009 7:33 UTC (Tue) by rvfh (subscriber, #31018)
Posted Jun 4, 2009 0:21 UTC (Thu) by ncm (subscriber, #165)
Posted Jun 2, 2009 6:02 UTC (Tue) by amit (guest, #1274)
Posted Jun 2, 2009 16:33 UTC (Tue) by joey (subscriber, #328)
Evince and others readers used to honor those flags but have been fixed to ignore them. I wonder what Okular does?
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