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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
Next-gen Nokia Linux devices will get multitouch and Qt UI (ars technica)
Posted Oct 14, 2009 6:06 UTC (Wed) by donbarry (guest, #10485)
Posted Oct 14, 2009 9:36 UTC (Wed) by freealter (guest, #4335)
Posted Oct 14, 2009 10:05 UTC (Wed) by oever (subscriber, #987)
DRM from boot time removes all the freedoms FOSS promises the user of the device. It does
put the advantage of cheap, high quality software in the hands of the manufacturers.
Posted Oct 14, 2009 13:12 UTC (Wed) by freealter (guest, #4335)
In fact, in an ideal world, what should be signed would be : the kernel, the X layer (or equivalent), some libraries and the display software, it would be enough. It may be easier to sign a full partition.
Once again, we may regret that, but we can not blaim content providers to try to protect their content. And with software it is really difficult and complicated (impossible ?). So "chain of trust" and DRM is the best bet so far.
Posted Oct 14, 2009 13:52 UTC (Wed) by viiru (subscriber, #53129)
DRM might be the best bet so far, but it doesn't actually work, and can't actually work. Any content which can be seen or heard by the user can also be copied. Always, no matter what. All that DRM can do is make it more complicated and/or inefficient to do it. (proof: what stops me from pointing my video camera at a tv showing a DRM'd movie?)
How about we just keep working on getting rid of the lie that is DRM and use our horrible illegal dvd players while the madness passes.
Posted Oct 14, 2009 14:07 UTC (Wed) by freealter (guest, #4335)
So if we want to have linux users having access to these contents, and it becomes to be very important, we must have a legal, technical answer. As Nokia does.
Posted Oct 14, 2009 14:44 UTC (Wed) by viiru (subscriber, #53129)
Posted Oct 15, 2009 0:33 UTC (Thu) by gdt (subscriber, #6284)
Uh? What do you mean we can't blame content providers for using DRM? They aren't doing it because the law requires them to...
No, they are doing it because of massive unlicensed use of their copyrighted works. Sure, you can blame the "content providers" for DRM, but you should also blame those sucking down torrents of unlicensed works. In the face of that, content providers feel forced to do something, even if that something doesn't work.
As for content providers having the wrong business model for the digital age, that is true. But the content providers would have got the hint sooner if their sales had plummeted without the excuse that sales were being drained off by unlicensed copies.
Posted Oct 14, 2009 11:39 UTC (Wed) by epa (subscriber, #39769)
the freedom of use, enhance, distribute software. GPL (including V2) guarantees that.
Posted Oct 14, 2009 13:23 UTC (Wed) by freealter (guest, #4335)
But the crucial question is not there. Do we want to have a legal blue-ray player on Linux one day ? One that we can give legally to any administration of any country ? Yes ? Then we will have to use TPM, chain of trust, ...
And if we don't we will continue to have funny remarks such as : "what is the last innovation in your linux ? You have a legal DVD player ! Wow ! I am impressed !". And nice (proprietary, closed sources) competitors will continue to take the market.
So open source must not be incompatible with these technologies on a purely philosophical/ideological basis.
Posted Oct 14, 2009 14:42 UTC (Wed) by foom (subscriber, #14868)
No, actually, not really. It would be really nice to have a 100% foolproof *unlicensed* blue-ray
player on Linux, though. I'm still waiting for that...
One thing that makes DVD players so great on Linux is that they don't follow the hateful "User-
operation-prohibited" flags that DVD players are required by their license to follow. The other thing
is that you can extract the data, recompress it, and store it on your hard drive for easier playing
without needing the physical disc.
If it could only just do exactly what a standalone DVD player could do, and no more, it hardly seems
Posted Oct 14, 2009 14:47 UTC (Wed) by drag (subscriber, #31333)
"Freedom" to restrict and control others and threaten people with legal
sanctions is NOT freedom. It is oppression.
If you make a MP3 or other digital file you are certainly should be allowed
to encrypt it in any manner they see fit and be allowed to sell it in any
manner they see fit. But that is not what DRM does and that is not how it
DRM, according to the laws of reality and the universe*, is a fundamentally
flawed concept. (*aka math). To play back encrypted media it must be
decrypted. And in order to decrypt it you must have the keys necessary to
decrypt it. So on every DRM using piece of hardware and software out there
exists the means to decrypt it and "pirate" anything that is used with that
software. This is why nobody has created a DRM scheme that actually works
or that is secure in any manner.
Since the goal of DRM is to restrict the users and prevent them from
copying the data then you cannot rely on encryption to prevent that. Your
giving them the media, the keys, the software, and the hardware necessary
to copy your data. The only way you can prevent them from violating the DRM
is just by making sure that they do not know how the DRM works, and if they
do know how then make sure that they cannot tell anybody else how it works.
So how DRM really works is through a combination of legal threats,
blackmail, and pure obfuscation. Without the threat of USA government
behind DRM it would be meaningless and a joke.
That is if you do not obey the DRM requirements they will sue you and if
you do not obey and keep fighting them to the end they eventually will send
armed men into your house, take you away from everything you ever achieved
and loved, and throw you into a cage.
THAT is DRM. That is how technologically enforcemed DRM really works. To
even bring up this "freedom" in that context is a complete nonsense and is
actually somewhat insulting.
Posted Oct 14, 2009 15:45 UTC (Wed) by foom (subscriber, #14868)
The funny thing, of course, is that this works just as well *even without* the technical measures
they're so fond of inflicting upon people. The technical measures are really just about 100% useless.
Posted Oct 14, 2009 15:57 UTC (Wed) by drag (subscriber, #31333)
It is still perfectly legal to have the means and discuss cracking _analog_
copyright restrictions (which is why it is legal to sell descrambling cable
boxes). But digital copyright restrictions is a special protected category
were it is illegal to even discuss, in technological details, the means to
circumvent the restrictions.
Posted Oct 14, 2009 17:50 UTC (Wed) by freealter (guest, #4335)
We can stay between us, nice, clever, honnest geeks. We will stay around 1.2% of the whole desktop offer. Or we can try to give users what they are wishing for and catching up the market share. Then we will have very nice arguments to show that DRM are useless and evil. But we can not exclude us from the market only on ideas, as good as they are.
By the way I find your terms excellent "through a combination of legal threats, blackmail, and pure obfuscation". Very thoughtfull on DRM. Thanks, I will use it on occasions.
I just want you to consider not a "random" user, but anybody that has not any other choice than to respect the law. Somebody from any government for instance. Linux must be vorbidden to them for ever ? Because any illegal code (decss, ...) is impossible for them. There must be a legal option. And philosophy is not going to display a DRM content on a screen ...
Posted Oct 14, 2009 18:08 UTC (Wed) by drag (subscriber, #31333)
The only very troublesome things are going to be things like GSM, which there
isn't any choice in it. Sure its security broken and nobody is allowed to
talk about it or expose it in public, much less fix it, but that is just the
price we pay for having shitastic laws.
Posted Oct 14, 2009 17:46 UTC (Wed) by krake (subscriber, #55996)
Actually it is an attempt to save face of media publishers who want to
hide that loss of revenue is mainly their own fault (e.g. waiting way to
long before establishing digital distribution channels).
Starting from there, you need to have a chain of trust starting at
time, till the execution of the player application.
Chain of trust is a work around for failing to implement a proper
cryptographic channel from content source to destination.
The very base principle of a secure channel is that only the two ends know
the secret protecting the channel, not any random third party
DRM was designed with its flaws in order to not require an actually secure
channel so it could be deployed right away without requiring the consumer
device market to catch up.
It is sad that even newly designed mobile devices rather propagate a
flawed and discriminatory scheme instead of providing real benefits to
both content provider and consumers.
But the worst thing is that people still believe and propagate the excuse
that it would be necessary.
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