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Re: Niches for the Hurd: evaluation method; was: DRM musings, capabiliti


From: Arne Babenhauserheide
Subject: Re: Niches for the Hurd: evaluation method; was: DRM musings, capabilities and stuff
Date: Tue, 30 Dec 2008 13:06:43 +0100
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Am Dienstag 30 Dezember 2008 12:43:45 schrieb Michal Suchanek:
> Yes, it does. But with DRM content protection it is not the system
> what makes the computer useless but the services or devices outside of
> the computer that would require a particular version of the system. I
> do not see how you can prevent this by the system itself or any
> license except by disallowing to run any not-free-enough (lgpl, gpl
> <3, bsd, non-free) application on the system altogether.

The system provides something to the applications from outside which allows 
these applications to find out the version of the system. 

If this something is free, I can still tell the applications that my system 
hasn't changed, and they continue to run, regardless of their licensing. 

That something is then rougly speaking a part of the API of my system. 

If that something isn't free, a part of my systems API isn't free, and since 
that something can be used to check the version of any part of my system it 
must not be unfree if any part of the system is free. 

> In this case the code change would not make the system cease to work,
> it would render some applications (which must be non-free to perform
> their function and thus not part of the system) unusable on the
> system.

Now please think a step further. What happens if running that application is 
the primary function of the system? 

(Take any application, and somewhere in the world you'll find someone who 
almost exclusively uses that application)

> > It is designed to make it hard for the admin of the system to decide
> > whether DRM should be effective on his own system.
> >
> >  I thought I said that often enough.
>
> Probably not that clearly then. I fail to see how a system design can
> make a decision hard. It may come with poor documentation but that's
> all it can do in this regard.

ThatTaking that decision means configuring / changing your system to allow or 
not to allow DRM to be effective. 

And the system design can make acting on the decision hard, just like code 
obfuscation makes it hard to fix bugs. 

If I have to rewrite a nontrivial part of the system to make DRM ineffective, 
then the system is clearly designed for allowing effective DRM, and so it is 
treacherous. 

Best wishes, 
Arne
-- 
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