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News: Linux leader concerned with GPL version 2

  1. Linux leader concerned with GPL version 2 (7 messages)

    Upon the release of the second draft of the revised General Public License, Linus Torvalds is at odds with a clause regarding digital rights management (DRM) technology. While version two only goes so far as to require that changes to source code be made public, Torvalds warned that the GPLv3 draft takes it a step further. The founder of Linux, governed by the GPL, says the DRM provision in GPLv3 won't allow hardware to check the cryptographic signature of a binary to ensure that it only runs the version of a software that it has validated. This requirement will in particular affect TiVo, which requires a signed version and prohibits modifications when using Linux. The Free Software Foundation (FSF) argues that it is seeking to prevent the use of DRM as a way around the GPL's legal requirements for programmer freedoms. And Hewlett-Packard has applauded the clarifications in draft two, saying they cut back on the confusion surrounding DRM. Do you think the DRM clause is a positive change to the GPL, or will the revised provisions have a negative effect?

    Threaded Messages (7)

  2. I personally like the direction of this license. As previously mentioned this license would discourage companies from creating hardware with posion pills in it that prevents it's use from exceeding it's original intended purpose. DRM is a bane on invovation and never has nor ever will function as intended. It is a pity some companies attempt to sabotage their products and rely on the sympathetic ears of legislators to protect their business models instead of embracing change and competing in an open market.
  3. What Linus is protecting is the hardware manufactures' right to *limit* what you can run on the hardware you bought and paid for. Obviously, hardware manufactures have a direct interest to *lock* you into using only manufacture-supplied software (even if it's OSS) for various reasons: to impede competition, to squeeze more money for "support", to implement all kinds of (ad/spy/spam/etc)ware services and so forth. The whole point of OSS is that you can get the source code, you can change it and then run your changed version. Those are the rights that GPLv3 is trying to protect. GPLv3 is about giving *users* more choices, not less. -- Igor Zavialov Factoreal Financial Data and Technical Analysis solutions.
  4. lock-in[ Go to top ]

    What Linus is protecting is the hardware manufactures' right to *limit* what you can run on the hardware you bought and paid for. Obviously, hardware manufactures have a direct interest to *lock* you into using only manufacture-supplied software (even if it's OSS) for various reasons: to impede competition, to squeeze more money for "support", to implement all kinds of (ad/spy/spam/etc)ware services and so forth.
    Allowing you to run any software under the sun on a platform is a feature. Being a trusted platform is a feature. Today, those two features seem incompatible. Which feature do you think will sell more devices?
  5. What Linus is protecting is the hardware manufactures' right to *limit* what you can run on the hardware you bought and paid for. Obviously, hardware manufactures have a direct interest to *lock* you into using only manufacture-supplied software (even if it's OSS) for various reasons: to impede competition, to squeeze more money for "support",
    Personally, I think hardware manufacturers should have this right. Yeah, I *love* it when I can tinker around with something. But it is *their* product. If you don't like how they do things, don't buy the product. I think the difference is that Torvalds sees open source as a good development model. FSF/Stallman sees open source/free software as a philosophy. Personally, I take the good development model view.
  6. Manufacture vs user rights[ Go to top ]

    Erik: "Which feature do you think will sell more devices?"
    Depends on if users really have a choice.
    Thomas: "But it is *their* product."
    It's their *hardware*, but the software is licensed under GPL. The hardware manufactures benefit from the use of GPL software (by reducing the development costs) and thus they should not limit the user rights provided by GPL, namely, "to modify the program to suit your needs" AND "to run the program". GPLv3 simply protects existing FOSS freedoms threatened by the push for DRM in (all) hardware.
    Thomas: "If you don't like how they do things, don't buy the product."
    I could rephrase your statement as: "If the manufactures does not like GPLv3, they certainly have the option of *not* using GPL software." Another point is that we were not discussing product sales in free market environments. For details, please see US vs Microsoft. -- Igor Zavialov Factoreal Financial Data and Technical Analysis solutions.
  7. More comments from Torvalds[ Go to top ]

    http://news.com.com/2061-10795_3-6099985.html He really slams the FSF in that one.
  8. It's from a groklaw thread[ Go to top ]

    Linus seemed unaware of the way the GPLv3 draft comment process works, and made some rather strange claims about the FSF ignoring input. He also made a few false claims about the effect of the DRM clause (per second draft). But he also had some interesting points, that I assume PJ will re-raise in a form that does not involve use of expletives. :)