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Re: DRM and freedom

From: Martin Schoenbeck
Subject: Re: DRM and freedom
Date: Thu, 10 Nov 2005 19:15:32 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla Thunderbird 1.0.6 (Windows/20050716)

Marcus Brinkmann wrote:

So, we have three issues here:

* The technology question if DRM and privacy are inseparable or not.

It depends on who has control over the system. To implement DRM, there must be parts of the system, where no one, who's not a trustee of the requiring industry, has access. If you want to give some users privacy against even the owner of the system (or as his delegate the sysadmin), you can't avoid, that a virtual user DRM uses this privacy for his advantage. At least in general. Special implementations of DRM may be hindered, by giving no user access to eventually necessary hardware (TPM Chip), but that of course can be deleted easily.

* The strategic question if it makes a difference if we have a structure that
  makes implementing DRM easier.

I think, it will. If you have privacy and a user can tell, whether the system is trustable, the DRM software can, too. The difference is, that for the DRM software it's necessary, to be able to ensure that for any given system without help of any untrusted people while the user has to be able to do it for his system only. If the system is build that way, that is is *possible*, to create a single system, which get the DRM subsystem evaluated, nobody will really create such a DRM system. Perhaps this possibility could be implemented in a way, that a user will detect it, while software could not.

* The political question, which is how much privacy we want.

For me, I of course want full access to my own system for *me* and nobody else. But for a webserver, which I use somewhere out in the dark, I of course want to be able to tell, whether it runs with full privacy for me or not.

The hardest is a balance between the second and third point.

Yes, but we should also keep in mind, that DRM on the hurd will only occur, if it has big market share. And at that point, there perhaps will be somebody, implementing the missing features. Even if installing that than is a break of the GPL, who will sue user installing that, if it's distributed in form of patches.


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