Author Topic: Is This The End?  (Read 2953 times)

Cresho

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DrWowe

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Is This The End?
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2006, 04:53:31 pm »
The end of what?

gr8ful

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« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2006, 05:23:13 pm »
Would GPLv3 automatically replace the current GPL or would a developer have the option of which they wanted their software to be governed under?
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Tom61

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« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2006, 07:47:07 pm »
Quote
Would GPLv3 automatically replace the current GPL or would a developer have the option of which they wanted their software to be governed under?
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Developer has to convert it over, and is not automatic, unless the developer said that the program was governed by GPL v2 or higher.

The Linux kernel will not be converted to GPL v3.

raybert

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« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2006, 01:26:22 pm »
I don't think this is going to be "the end" of anything.  It really doesn't matter if Linux goes v3 or not: it's still under the GPL, and that's irrevocable: the cat's out of the bag and it can't be put back in.

I do think that this situation has the potential to result in a Linux fork.  The devs appear to be split over this issue and I can see the v3 supporters forking and going their own way with it (under v3).  I'm not at all convinced that this would be a bad thing overall.

Re the automatic conversion question: as I understand it, some folks distributed a copy of the GPL boilerplate that said "GPLv2 or later", without really noticing or thinking about the implications.  These would automatically convert without taking some action.  It may be possible to change the license now to say "GPLv2 only" and avoid the automatic conversion later, but I'm not sure of this: if *any* version is out in the wild that says "GPLv2 or later", then that version would still automatically convert; I think.

On the other side of the same coin, I'm not sure that someone can re-distribute code marked as "GPLv2 only" under v3, even if they fork it.  I suspect they can, but I'm not sure (since GPL allows dual-licensing, there's no contradiction in having two versions with different licenses).  At the very least, I believe it will be possible to release a project with mixed v2 and v3 licenses.  Ugly and confusing, but possible.

Lastly, I'll say that I think Linus is wrong on this issue.  Someone who releases their code under GPLv3 is not "forcing their own morality" on anyone else; no one is forced to use GPL'ed code.  The whole point of the GPL is that the code and the terms are there; use them if you choose, write your own if you don't.  The GPL is about protecting the *author's* work and ensuring that it is used only as she sees fit.  I and many others believe that most DRM is morally wrong.  I don't happen to believe that true moralty is subjective; therefore I don't believe in the concept of "my morality" vs. "your morality".  Therefore, I have no problem forbidding someone from using my code in a way that is immoral.  Frankly, Linus' position on this makes me wonder if he hasn't fallen under the influence of some of his more influancial "users" (and that alone would be a pretty good reason to fork).  Personally, I don't give a damn if TiVo were to find themselves in a pickle as a result of Linux going v3 and forbidding DRM.  That's their problem and they knew the risks going in.  (I find their actions to be morally questionable anyway, so perhaps they should be in a pickle.)

~ray

Cresho

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Is This The End?
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2006, 02:15:42 pm »
What if we are forced to use DRM hardware which needs DRM software?

this thread is old news

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2002/03/22/dr...e_law_gets_new/

but this one is new!

http://www.hardwareanalysis.com/content/article/1765/

This violates everything I believe in.  Now if i have kids, and would want them to inherit my 400+ dvd collections, 4500 cd's i accumulated over the past 20 years, does this mean they will need to buy there own licence?

This not only applies to hardware and software, but if the government steps in and forces laws ontop of us, will this work to benefit americans?

I thought the government was to serve the american people and we pay our takes to make sure that we are pleased with the system.  Companies and corporations are not "the people"  So whats the point?  they need to have a system which benefits "the American people"  not  the "corporate pocket".  Someone isn't doing the job up in the ranks man and is pissing me along with millions of other people off big time!

Linux OS seems to be designed to allow flexebility and open doors to other developments like gimp, mplayer, etc.  Why am i forced to pay for something when people can do it for free and donate some time if they want to improve on it?

As of right now, i am really confused with DRM embedded hardware and forcing people to buy stuff for the sake of money making and ripping people off.  How many versions of adobe photoshop do we have and how much money does it cost?  700 dollars is way too much for something which you can do the same on gimp for free.
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raybert

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« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2006, 02:04:21 pm »
I agree that this stuff is all really bad.

The obvious and blatant influence that certain special interests have with the legislative branch concerns me a great deal.  Corporations are conglomerates of citizens who have the same rights as you and I, but they shouldn't have more (than the sum of their numbers).  The description of some of these congresscritters as "sock puppets" was beautiful!  There are a number of these "sock puppets" who are so obviously in the pockets of corporations that it's sickening.  They're selling out the American people for their own gain and they should be ashamed of themselves.  If the people were paying close enough attention then these traitors would be removed from office; unfortunately, I fear there simply isn't enough of us keeping watch.  Greed is, sadly, human nature.  It's inevitible that some folks in positions of power will perpetrate acts of selfishness and greed if they think they can get away with it; and, sadly, they can easily get away with it when the people aren't paying attention.  So, in a sense, it's the people's fault as much as anyone's.  The proof of the great depth of wisdom of our founding fathers is that they forsaw the potential for this type of corruption and designed a system that can deal with it.  The system allows itself to be corrected in the face of damage caused by unethical individuals.  It takes time for the corrections to be applied and the nation will suffer some loss as the process plays out, but, with faith in the basic goodness of most people, the problem will always eventually be corrected.  And they also had the wisdom to include the Second Amendment as a failsafe (this is why it exists and why it must be protected at all costs).  One way or another, the people will always retain control.

We're all outraged by DRM because of the many obvious issues it has with respect to consumer rights, etc.  Most other folks would be too if they were aware of the issues.  The content industry can only succeed in passing this stuff by us if they manage to do it under the radar.  The colossal blunders of the Sonys of the world will undo this strategy.  The number of folks who became newly aware of the DRM problem in the wake of the Sony fiasco was massive.  The more that know, the harder it will be to pass this stuff off on us.  The press is running with it and that will help the cause a great deal.  Getting a bill into Congress doesn't necessarily mean that it has a chance of becoming law.  Any sock puppet can introduce one; the trick is then in getting it passed.  So far, none have (the DMCA notwithstanding; it's not quite the same, although it does still play into the hands of unethical people) and I think they all have an uphill battle.  There are still some ethical congresscritters out there and there are also some great advocates on our side (such as Lawrence Lessig and the EFF).  We need to support them.

In the end, even if DRM-mandating laws get passed, they will probably not survive for long.  There are many things stacked against them.  For starters, there are serious questions about whether the Government can force private hardware manufacturers to produce mandated products.  This isn't China, afterall.  And the US Government surely can't dictate the actions of *foreign* manufacturers; and they can't realistically ban all imports of illegal electronics (at the very least, the logistics and costs associated with distinguishing between legal and illegal imports will surely be prohibitive).  I would expect a major law suit, possibly a class action suit on behalf of all HW manufacturers.  There are then serious consumer rights issues, as well as copyright (fair use) issues.  All of these things will be litigated bitterly.  In the end, I'll be quite surprised if mandated-DRM survives.

In addition to this, regardless of how successful the content industry is at subjugating our legal system, the final word will come from consumers.  If enough people don't buy it, it will just go away.  For example, do you remember when DivX first appeared?  It was basically a pay-for-play system.  IIRC, folks could buy DivX DVDs for a low price and they could play them a certan number of times and then they'd have to pay again to watch them further.  It isn't around anymore, is it?  No one wanted it (and why would they).  When people buy something, they expect that it is their property to do what they want with, short of distributing copies to other folks (and, in fact, the law backs this up).  If DRM blocks this behviour, people won't buy it.  IMO, the content industry is playing a dangerous game of Russion Roulette with their business.  They may think they're righteous in what they're doing and that they're justified in limiting consumers' rights in this way, but they're in for a rude awakening, I suspect.  In the end, all the righteousness and justification in the world won't amount to a hill of beans if people won't buy it.

If this weren't enough, those of us with technical backgrounds know that it's virtually impossible to create bullet-proof DRM.  The general rule is that if you can play it, you can copy it; and if you can't play it, it's useless.  I don't see any developments which challenge this principal.  They might make it harder but they'll never make it impossible; and as long as it's possible, people are going to do it.  As we've all saw, the latest attempts to make DRM work have all required draconian and highly questionable tactics, most of which are illegal already or will quickly become illegal.  (When even the US Department of Homeland Security condemns it, you know it's in serious trouble.)  Despite going to such extreme measures, these attempts still failed to produce realiable DRM.  These draconian tactics are testament to the fact that DRM is technically unworkable.

So, although DRM concerns me, ultimately I don't think it has much of a chance to survive.  I don't think there's any reason to panic.  But, nevertheless, we must stay educated and aware, and become involved to whatever extent we can.  Make people aware of the problem, support the advocates, and continue to make your feelings known (especially to your congresscritters).

But don't panic.  These things won't bring about "the end" of anything, but they may bring some changes.  Change is really the only constant thing in our lives and we can deal with that.

~ray