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Re: [fsfc-discuss] Petition to protect Information Technology property r

From: Richard Stallman
Subject: Re: [fsfc-discuss] Petition to protect Information Technology property rights (Was: Re: "FSF Canada" )
Date: Fri, 17 Feb 2012 13:57:01 -0500

    Petition to protect Information Technology property rights

    THAT technical protection measures (TPMs), as implemented by some 
    copyright holders, can violate end users privacy rights, prevent 
    consumers from enjoying content on devices and software of their 
    independent choice, and circumvent or compromise the security of their 
    computers, including rendering them vulnerable to attack, as was the 
    case in the well publicized Sony-BMG RootKit fiasco.

"Protection" is a propaganda term of the enemy, so we should
not use the term "technical protection measures" as if we
agreed with it.

Regarding the conclusion:

    THEREFORE, your petitioners call upon Parliament to prohibit the 
    application of a technical protection measure to a device without the 
    informed consent of the owner of the device,

That seems very weak.  It would not require any change in practices,
it would only require telling users that they are screwed.  So what?

                                                 and to prohibit the 
    conditioning of the supply of content to the purchase or use of a device 
    which has a technical measure applied to it.

I can't figure out what that would mean in practice.  Consider DVDs.
Would this prohibit selling DVDs with CSS?  Or would it mean that if
they sell DVDs with CSS, they must sell DVDs without CSS for the same
price?  Or would it mean that they can sell DVDs with CSS, they just
can't officially demand you use CSS to play it?

It doesn't seem useful to make such an abstract demand when we
can't tell if it would solve any problem.

                                                 We further call upon 
    Parliament to recognise the right of citizens to personally control 
    their own communication devices, and to choose software based on their 
    own personal criteria.

It is not clear to me that this implies any conclusion about the
issue.  It seems to hint at something without saying it.  What is it
meant to mean?

Dr Richard Stallman
President, Free Software Foundation
51 Franklin St
Boston MA 02110
www.fsf.org  www.gnu.org
Skype: No way! That's nonfree (freedom-denying) software.
  Use free telephony http://directory.fsf.org/category/tel/

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