article on GPLv3, Linux kernel, and Devices Rigged to Malfunction

Alex Hudson home at
Tue Oct 24 09:25:23 UTC 2006

On Tue, 2006-10-24 at 09:43 +0100, Rui Miguel Silva Seabra wrote:
> > > The authorisation code the GPL refers to is a shared secret key;
> > > publicising that would make the entire reason of having it moot and
> > > pointless,
> Yes Alex. And that is a feature. What is wrong is that the USERS of said

You totally miss the point, which was in the text you snipped.

The point isn't that the GPLv3 would knock out such systems; it's that
no-one in their right mind (afaik) would design a shared secret system
in the knowledge that they would be sharing the secret.

My concern in that respect isn't whether or not the GPLv3 can function
effectively in that regard (although I'm not convinced it covers a
particularly wide class of DRM measures); but that it seems more
concerned with post-violation compliance, and I wonder if there will be
fewer routes available to both authors and violators in the future.
We've had a fairly peaceful situation so far where it's relatively easy
to come into compliance; it would be best not to change that IMHO.

> I simply can't comprehend why people don't embrace all methods available
> to destroy that business model.
> It's as if drug dealers aren't a problem because you don't buy drugs.

The reason is because some cures are worse than the illness. For
example, if we made everyone take urine tests every month we would be
able to tell who was taking drugs, and jail them, putting the drug
dealers out of business for lack of clients.

That's not a comment on the GPLv3, but on the logic at work.



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