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How do you know that? You cannot predict the requirements of every user in the world. I just gave one example here (http://lwn.net/Articles/335669/) of a legitimate use.
> Besides, there's Fair use.
Your fair use rights are unaffected by this. You can take a screenshot. You can type in the text that you cannot copy. Fair use doesn't mean it has to be convenient for you.
> The problem is even worse in DVDs.
We are not talking about DVDs we are talking about PDFs. Please don't change the subject.
> I digress. To summarize, my Fair Use right (usually) trumps your
> Set-Random-Bits-in-the-PDF rights.
Again, your fair use rights are not affected. Stop whining because you might have to spend a few more minutes of work than you expected to exercise your fair use rights.
Okular is doing the right thing. NOT.
Posted Jun 2, 2009 15:17 UTC (Tue) by GreyWizard (guest, #1026)
Fair use doesn't mean it has to be convenient for you.
True, but the fact that the program is free software does. I expect a PDF viewer that I run on hardware I lawfully own to obey my instructions unconditionally, regardless of any "specifications" to the contrary. If I were willing to let other people decide what my computer does I would run Microsoft Windows or Mac OS X.
If your organization needs to restrict printing on its workstations and you feel that implementing that restriction in the PDF viewers installed on workstations it owns is the best solution I have no objection. Go ahead and install a modified package tailored to the needs of medical device manufacturers. If there is no such thing then modify the settings yourself.
Maybe an option for locking things down in this way does belong in a general purpose distribution like Debian. But if so it certainly must be off by default. Don't expect me to accept restrictions that are of no value to me. That's now how free software works.
Posted Jun 2, 2009 15:31 UTC (Tue) by MattPerry (guest, #46341)
> True, but the fact that the program is free software does. I expect a PDF
> viewer that I run on hardware I lawfully own to obey my instructions
> unconditionally, regardless of any "specifications" to the contrary. If I
> were willing to let other people decide what my computer does I would run
> Microsoft Windows or Mac OS X.
You point is moot as Okular has a configuration option to disable the feature/bug in question. Free software, like all software, is not a one size fits all proposition. You'll have to adjust settings and configurations to fit your definition of convenience.
Posted Jun 2, 2009 16:12 UTC (Tue) by GreyWizard (guest, #1026)
You point is moot as Okular has a configuration option
No, you have merely missed my point. A configuration option is reasonable (as I stated plainly abov) but the only tolerable default for a general purpose distribution is off. Expecting the most numerous users to fiddle with a setting to make things more convenient for a small group (medical device manufacturers in your example) is backwards.
Posted Jun 2, 2009 21:40 UTC (Tue) by sepreece (subscriber, #19270)
The point of free software is, as you say, that you control your machine. So, go control your machine! Set the configuration option or rebuild the package with your preferred default. That's what GPL freedom is about, not whether or not the default options suit your preferences.
Posted Jun 3, 2009 2:39 UTC (Wed) by GreyWizard (guest, #1026)
Your point seems to be that default settings can be chosen arbitrarily because users are prepared to spend unlimited time tuning their systems. Wrong. Changing configuration settings has a cost, including the possibility that a user will never discover the option at all. Therefore defaults are important and should be sensible for as many users as possible. People or organizations who wish to be bound by PDF restrictions are a tiny minority and so they should bear the cost of altering the configuration. Is that so hard to understand?
Posted Jun 3, 2009 10:18 UTC (Wed) by anselm (subscriber, #2796)
You're wrong. Free software is about you being able to scratch your own
required, not about having all your itches proactively scratched for you
Free software authors (or distributors) are under no obligation whatsoever
to cater to the wishes of »as many users as possible«. If they don't, they
may have to
accept the fact that nobody but themselves may be interested in their
output, but if they're cool with that then it is totally
their option. The
whole point of free software is that you are (or anyone is) free to change
a free program to suit different preferences than those of its
original author, and to pass the changed program on to others.
So if the Debian KDE people won't uncheck that box for you, then you will
unfortunately have to do it yourself, or else find another distribution
that comes with it unchecked. You could even create your own Debian
derivative that is 100% identical to Debian in every respect except that
it has that box unchecked, and distribute that for the benefit of all the
other users who aren't prepared to bear the cost of figuring out how to
uncheck the box themselves. This is what free software is about,
everything perfect for everybody out of the box, which is obviously
Posted Jun 4, 2009 6:05 UTC (Thu) by GreyWizard (guest, #1026)
Okular is doing the right thing.mostly.
Posted Jun 3, 2009 13:23 UTC (Wed) by sepreece (subscriber, #19270)
You did correctly state one implication of my point. The complete point was that the essence of free software is that software creators can scratch their itch in whatever way they please and if downstream re-distributors and users don't like it, they're free to change it. That does imply that default settings are arbitrary, at the will of their creator.
Since neither of has any evidence as to the distribution of opinions across the user base, your estimate of a "tiny minority" has as good a chance of being right as any other. My own guess is that most users would be comfortable with supporting the flag by default if the warning behavior was changed to allow an override action as part of the dialog and to provide a better message (without the misleading word "DRM" - a simple statement that the author has disabled copying text from the document). I, for one, DO appreciate knowing when I'm breaking the author's expressed rules for using the document.
Posted Jun 4, 2009 5:49 UTC (Thu) by GreyWizard (guest, #1026)
That does imply that default settings are arbitrary, at the will of their creator.
No, it most certainly does not. Free software is not incompatible with striving for excellence. That means attempting to make the best decisions possible at every level, including making the defaults sensible for as many users as possible.
Since neither of has any evidence as to the distribution of opinions across the user base,
There is plenty of evidence on my side. But I don't care to present it because your challenge is not an intellectually honest one. You could apply this pattern to any statement, no matter how reasonable or self-evident. Do you have evidence that there is more light during the day than at night? Have you actually collected time series data of light measurements? Are you sure your instruments are calibrated properly? And so on. Would you waste time trying to convince me of the obvious? I hope not.
Therefore if you insist that there might be more users who prefer to be constrained by PDF flags than not we will have to agree to disagree.
I, for one, DO appreciate knowing when I'm breaking the author's expressed rules for using the document.
Wanting to know the author's preference is not the same as wanting to be constrained by it.
Posted Jun 2, 2009 15:42 UTC (Tue) by jspaleta (subscriber, #50639)
My question is, would notification about the flags be just as effective as default enforcement? If there was space in the UI that communicated that the document was flagged no-copy but the software reader itself made no effort to prevent you from copying it by default..would the no-copy notification be just as effective at preventing casual protocol breaches?
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