GPLv3: Preserving four freedoms or "owner's rights"? (was: [discuss] Discussing: Torvalds' comments on GPLv3 committees refuted

On 8/14/06, Etienne Goyer wrote:
> Don Kelly wrote:
> > Russell seems to expect some protection from restrictive software via
> > use of GPL licensed software.
> Correction : restrictive /hardware/. And that is the crux of the
> matter: should we try fix with a *software license* a problem that is
> essentially related to hardware ?

I actually meant restrictive *software*. It's not a problem of hardware.

Perhaps the digital signature checking widget is some dongle/circuit
thingie attached to the back of the device. Perhaps it's some
microcode running on a special chip. Perhaps it's a proprietary
kernel module. I'm not concerned with the restrictive mechanism, only
that my freedom to execute modified software in the original
environment has been compromised. Furthermore, the original intent of
the original authors seems to have been compromised.

Often, recipes are used as an illustrative example when discussing the
GPL. Consider a world where someone gives me a recipe for a cake with
vanilla icing (software), based on someone else's recipe for a cake
with chocolate icing. It is a restriction of my freedom (0: the run
the software) if they insist I must eat it with them (this may not be
so offensive since they went to all the trouble of baking the cake).
It would be quite offensive, to me, if they insisted on coming to my
house to watch over my baking when I created a version of their recipe
using caramel icing (freedom 4: to improve and redistribute).

> I agree with the premise that the device owner's right need to be
> protected. But it is doubtful the approach taken by the GPLv3 will yeld
> any results, or that it is even applicable.

As I said before, I don't see an attempt in the GPLv3 to preserve
"owner's rights" - that something that Russell's be writing. I do see
an attempt in the GPLv3 to *clarify* the four freedoms given new
information (digital signature based restriction).

Don Kelly/

Don Kelly
karfai [AT]
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