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Re: GPLv3 comedy unfolding -- Linus: "Ceterum censeo, GPLv3 esse delend

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: GPLv3 comedy unfolding -- Linus: "Ceterum censeo, GPLv3 esse delendam"
Date: Tue, 26 Sep 2006 14:35:57 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Alexander Terekhov <> writes:

> In comments to
> (FSF Responds to Misunderstandings about GPLv3)
> -------
> Weasel-wording, part deux
> Authored by: Linus on Tuesday, September 26 2006 @ 02:00 AM EDT
>     Is not the TIVO distributing under the GPL 2 restricting my 'use'?
> Yes, Tivo is restricting your use, but the license is not.

Linus does not get it.  The problem is that the license is _supposed_
to keep Tivo from restricting the user.

Linus then goes on to explain that devices have limited capabilities,
like clock speed, memory and so on.

But that confuses the issue.  The problem is not limitations inherent
to the design.  The problem is artificial limitations that are only
circumventable for a limited set of people.

The GPL (in any version) does not dictate that manufacturers have to
equip the system with rewritable memory.  But if they do, its access
must not be reserved to the manufacturer if the manufacturer chooses
to fill it with GPLed software.

What Linus does not see that already general purpose computers (like
the play stations) appear which are blocked with DRM from running any
programs the user would write.  This trend continues with "trusted
computing" and similar obscenities intended to remove the control of
the user from creating and running his own software.

The main intent of the GPL _always_ was to give to the user power over
his devices.  The GPL is not a license created for publishing software
in a book.  It is a license created for enabling the user to create
and modify his software on the actual devices he has available.

The way of DRM and trusted computing is to lock out users from
everywhere.  The market alone will converge to systems that are
designed to keep the users dumb and impotent, since the market is
dictated by what most users are willing to swallow, and most users
don't change their software and would let those freedoms slump.
Unfortunately, this takes the freedom also from those who care.

A world filled with computers for which the software source is openly
available, but can be changed only by an elite set of people, is _not_
what free software is about.

David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

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