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February 6, 2006

Linus on DRM

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Posted by Alan Wexelblat

Torvalds on the DRM battles

As long as you expect Disney to feed your brain and just sit there on your couch, Disney & co will always be able to control the content you see. DRM is the smallest part of it...
Excerpted from a series of postings on the Linux Kernel Mailing List (reprint courtesy of Newsforge).

Comments (1) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Interesting People


COMMENTS

1. Branko Collin on February 7, 2006 8:53 AM writes...

Another quote: "I would suggest that anybody who wants to fight DRM practices seriously look at the equivalent angle. If you create interesting content, you can forbid that _content_ to ever be encrypted or limited."

This is simply not true. You can fairly use works in an encrypted or limited environment.

Also, works may be born in the public domain, for instance when they are created by the federal US government.

And finally, once works have returned to the public domain, everybody can encrypt them or limit access to them. Ask any photographer how easy it has become since Bridgeman v. Corel to take pictures of public domain paintings hanging in public museums.

However, Torvalds was probably talking in the context of software, a type of work that has not been returning to the public domain much, and that isn't easily used fairly.

But then again, software has always been at the forefront of how modern-day copyright goes too far. Computer programs may be easily copied, but aren't easily run. How are you going to run twenty-year old software without an emulator of some sort?

The Free Software movement has found a remedy for this, in that it makes the distribution of the source code obligatory.

About this Torvalds says: "The GPL already requires source code (ie non-protected content). So the GPL already _does_ have an anti-DRM clause as far as the _software_ is concerned. If you want to fight DRM on non-software fronts, you need to create non-software content, and fight it _there_."

It would be interesting to read Stallman's comments on this; does anyone have links to RMS' response?

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