[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: GPLv3 comedy unfolding -- Linus' "Ode to GPLv2"

From: Alan Curry
Subject: Re: GPLv3 comedy unfolding -- Linus' "Ode to GPLv2"
Date: Mon, 25 Sep 2006 22:03:55 +0000 (UTC)

In article <85bqp4jfr1.fsf@lola.goethe.zz>, David Kastrup  <> wrote:
>We are currently just seeing the beginning of DRM sickness.  In 10
>years of time, Linus is likely to sing a different tune.  I am glad
>that RMS has _foresight_ enough to cater for the problems when they
>_start_ appearing.

When I first read the "Right to Read" essay, I thought it was purely
ridiculous paranoia. The world isn't that crazy...

Then the DMCA came. They came for "DVD Jon". They came for that Dmitry guy
who pissed off Adobe. The world *is* crazy enough to criminalize

RMS deserves a lot of credit for predicting the future behavior of
proprietary software pushers. If he says we need to be afraid of the DRM'ers
and the "trusted" computers, I'm ready to believe him.

Linus and the other "open source" people aren't afraid. He even makes fun of
us for being afraid, and for whining about Tivo. Tivo, of course, is
unimportant. It wouldn't be worth paying attention to, if it weren't the
beginning of a trend with no definite endpoint.

Today you can buy a PC and install whatever software you like, including that
which you wrote yourself, and use that to replace a Tivo. Linus sees this as
evidence that everything is working fine. The bad guys -- yes, there *are*
bad guys -- see this as evidence that everything is not working fine yet. But
they have a plan.

How do we know in 10 years it will still be possible to buy a computer that
you can install your own software on? What if they succeed in convincing the
hardware manufacturers that every computer should only run programs digitally
signed by one of a select few governments and corporations? Will everything
still be working fine with GPL2 then? You can still get the code and modify
it. But you'll only be able to run it on your increasingly fragile
10-year-old hardware, if that hasn't been confiscated already.

Linus might still be happy in this future, since he will probably be among
those allowed to run his own code, on the special development machines kept
under tight physical security by the same agencies that control the keys for
signing software to be run on the "consumer" computers.

The "see no evil" GPL2-loving faction probably sees this as ridiculous
paranoia, just like I did when I read "Right to Read". But this isn't a
paranoid fantasy. This is the *plan*. We need a counter-plan.

So, being annoyed by the Linux people, I got curious about HURD. I have a
PPC, and looks mostly empty,
especially of documentation. Are there any bootable images?

The attacker\x92s overall goal would very probably be to convince other users
to run an unsafe program, by using the digital signature to convince them
that it is actually bona fide Microsoft software and therefore safe to run.
            -- security bulletin MS01-017 ushers in a new definition of "safe"

reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]