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Re: [Gnu-arch-users] contributors' licensing conditions

From: Andrew Suffield
Subject: Re: [Gnu-arch-users] contributors' licensing conditions
Date: Thu, 19 Jan 2006 08:50:11 +0000
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.11

On Thu, Jan 19, 2006 at 03:13:04AM -0500, James Blackwell wrote:
> My favorite example is the Tivo. The Tivo relies heavily on free software
> (its a GNU/Linux system). As such, one can damand (and will get) the
> source in preferred form for the Tivo. This doesn't mean anything under
> gplv2 though because the binaries are DRM signed and replacing their
> authorized version with your unsigned version will result in a tivo which
> will not boot.
> With the DRM clause in the GPL, Tivo will either have to forgo gplv3
> licensed software or provide free software which allows anybody to replace
> the signed-by-them free software on their machines with signed-by-you
> software on their machines.

What this says is:

You may not take GPLed software and use it on the Playstation because
Sony, a third party over which you have no control, has implemented
DRM measures in the hardware which will only run signed binaries. Even
if you publish every scrap of information you posess under an
unrestrictive license, you still can't do it.

It's punishing users for an externality. That makes no sense. The
people who are punished have no control or influence over the
matter. Sony does not care that nobody can run GPLed software on it,
they never wanted to anyway, so they aren't punished.

Furthermore, all Microsoft has to do is to get Palladium as a required
hardware component in every PC, and then you can't have GPLed software
on your PC any more, even if you were willing to pay to get it
there. That makes them *want* to lock down the system, it doesn't make
them want to free it up.

Not every system created is used solely by the people who created it.

Andrew Suffield

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