driver and device reliability authentication and DRM monoopolisation
Posted Jul 22, 2003 10:31 UTC (Tue) by copsewood
Parent article: 2003 Kernel Summit: High Availability
This is a very difficult one for a free-software decentralised development model to get right, because it depends upon the trustability of specific hardware and software, both of which are constantly changing. Where you have a single development auditing authority, they can charge for checking and signing something, and of course in the area of centralised systems development such an authority can readily be identified i.e. Microsoft. Even this doesn't totally prevent availability of a driver cryptographically signed as audited and stress tested against particular hardware being used on less reliable cheaper clone hardware, or (which could be much worse) the digital signature being used to squash competition in an otherwise clonable hardware market.
Truly decentralised trust management is an inherently very difficult thing to achieve, which is part of the reason why people are so dependant upon centralised banks to control the thing we call money, despite high charges and terrible service creating a sloping playing field (called economy while significantly misusing the term). A potential danger in the Linux world is a single vendor firstly getting a reputation for signing drivers responsibly, and then progressively using DRM techniques to turn this and connected markets into a rent-seeking monopolistic heirarchy.
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