what shall I do?
Alfred M. Szmidt
ams at kemisten.nu
Fri Jan 9 04:11:21 UTC 2004
> I don't belive that for a second, take patents for example. You
> can't implement an MP3 player that is Free Software without
> violating a patent, making it essentially illegal.
oh man... theory is a nice thing...
Where is the theory? Why do you think Ogg Vorbis was started? It was
started for the sole reason to replace non-free, patented audio
formats. If using MP3 was so OK, why don't those that care about
their freedom use it?
but remember that hollywood studios could not avoid decss being
spread all over the world. And if you are capable of playing DVD on
your GNU/Linux box, you should thank little Jon. We know he did
something wrong (not actually from his country law, only americam
law), but I think he did a VERY GOOD thing, because he enabled
thousands of people to watch movies on their computers.
I suggest that you read the court decision, Jon Johansen didn't
break DeCSS. The only thing he did was combine some code to create an
GUI, for Windows. I don't see how he had any impact on Free Software;
specially since Jon Johansen doesn't care about Free Software. He
released the source code by _mistake_, and requested that anyone who
had downloaded the it should delete their copy. And he actually
broken the GPL (sadly I can't find the livid-dev archives, but I
think that will do). So no, Jon Johansen isn't a hero, nor did he do
I might note that Jon Johansen was acquitted, so the law works to some
These rules works on court, but the internet has another rules. Is
it hard to understand this? If it is legal, it will be free
software, if not, they will call it piracy, but it will still
Sadly, this paragraph doesn't make much sense to me. If what is
legal? Unauthorised copying (which you erroneously call piracy,
copying has absolutely nothing about roaming the high seas and jumping
onto boats) is something one can do with Free Software as well...
You can sue one guy, but can you sue the entire world? What is the
point of being illegal?
That is a horrible example, take the following extreme: "You can put
away one person for murder, but can you put away the entire world?" If
you can't, what's the point of not going on a killing spree?
In another example, reverse engineering was a normal learning
process for hackers, now everybody keeps doing the same thing, but
just don't tells that does. I don't know one hacker that at some
point of his life does not reverse engineered some proprietary
software, just to see how it works, or to have more balls at his
I have never reverse-engineered non-free software. In fact, I refuse
to touch non-free software. I have projects like the GNU project that
actually make it OK to see how it all works and tweak it to my hearts
content. And I can list quite a few people that haven't reversed
engineered non-free software which are quite notable hackers. One
such person is Richard M. Stallman; who hasn't touched non-free
software at all...
As for reverse-engineering being a "normal learning process", that is
quite hard to belive. To do reverse engineering takes a lot of skill
and knowledge, and if you already know that much, your time could be
spent on something far more useful then "getting more balls in a
The "underground" will always exist, and the internet will
guarantee it's existence. For each software protection created, 10
minutes later a new crack is created. I'm NOT discussing if piracy
is write or wrong. I'm just saying that it exists for one reason:
"People want access to information!".
No, unauthorised copying does not exist for that reason, nobody copies
<your-favourite-non-free-program> to reverse engineer it. Or to learn
about it. That is what information is, learning. And the only time
you can really learn about software is by reading and modifying the
actual source code, which you can't do with non-free software. In
fact, you can do unauthorised copying of Free Software! So saying
that unauthorised copying is done for the sole purpose of "accessing
information" is complete and utter bullshit.
Here in Brazil, a music CD is about 12 dollars. This is VERY
expensive for our country. There are pirate CDs being sold for 1.5
dollars, a lot more affordable for poor people. Who have money buy
the original, who don't, buy the piracy. If capitalism cannot solve
digital exclusion, maybe piracy (and free software) can.
If you consider unauthorised copying of software OK, then you also
consider that companies are allowed to break the GPL. Since this is
the exact same thing as unauthorised copying. If you don't respect
the law, why should they?
Don't like the pricing? Don't by the CD! It is quite that simple,
nobody is forcing you to buy it, and I am quite sure that there exist
second hand stores that sell CD's cheaper. And if you feel strongly
about it, do something, protest, make people aware. One person can do
quite a lot, just take a look at the GNU project.
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