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Re: Linus in Defence of DRM?

__/ [The Ghost In The Machine] on Monday 06 February 2006 18:00 \__

> In comp.os.linux.advocacy, Linønut
> <linønut@xxxxxxxx>
>  wrote
> on Sat, 04 Feb 2006 19:56:50 -0600
> <_4udneithfH_xnjenZ2dnUVZ_sCdnZ2d@xxxxxxxxxxx>:
>> After takin' a swig o' grog, Roy Schestowitz belched out this
>> bit o' wisdom:
>>> That apart, fighting DRM is almost like sidling with piracy,
>>> at least at some blackhat level. This could potentially
>>> reflect badly on Linux users and developers, OSDL included.
>> What about corporations that want to use DRM to pirate my fair-use
>> rights and my privacy in regard to viewing/listening habits?

I think I could live without many of these narrow-minded corporations. If
media intersects with vital aspects of life, however, this could become

To illustarte this point with a hypothetical example, what if some time in
the future governments were to sent aid with some form of digital rights
management to restrict aid to the needed only?  This would lock some people
out of the loop, potentially. FEMA in the MSIE-only fiasco (Katrina victims)
comes to mind.

> Can't be too careful with al Qaeda out there; it might lead to dancing.
> :-)

Did you not use that line earlier on in another thread?

> It's going to get real interesting soon, I suspect; the IT
> market may very well dwindle down next to nothing.  Why?
> Simple.  Software is infinitely duplicable; therefore, once
> developed, it's worthless as a continuing revenue source.
> The subscription's the thing -- and you've probably already
> noticed, for example, the many services surrounding things
> such as mobile phones, DSL, and cable.  There are attempts
> to extend this to Usenet and the WWW -- the "penny a page"
> initiative doesn't appear to be gaining much headway but
> AFAICT it's still alive.

Bandwidth is a factor too. Let's not forget about the impact of VoIP and
downloads of OpenOffice.org/Linux distribution in the course of a sole
afternoon (or within just seconds on my 100MBit connection).

> And a "right" in this context involves transmission
> of data.  Is an Internet router (malfunctioning or
> otherwise) going to decide whose votes are counted?
> A *very* disturbing question.

Good point.

> However, it's clear that corporations have rights too,
> mostly to ensure their works aren't mistreated (e.g.,
> swapping Han Solo and Princess Leia on an otherwise
> flawless HDTV derivative work would probably get some
> *very* strange press in Hollywood, harmless as the prank
> would be otherwise).  But who's to say what "mistreatment"
> is?  Darth Vader (David Prowse & James Earl Jones) might
> be very unhappy with Rick Moranis (Spaceballs), despite
> the small differences in constume (Darth Vader didn't have
> a tie or a flipup "helmet face", and the eyewindows were
> different).  Then again, I doubt they were that unhappy,
> and it's clear Spaceballs was more of a tribute than a
> derivative work.
> (It's also hard to take a film all that seriously that
> plays itself on a VCR midway through the movie, in order
> to locate the heroes who had crashlanded on a desert moon.
>     Rick Moranis (Dark Helmet): "What happened to then?"
>     George Wyner (Colonel Sanderz): "We passed then."
>     DH: "When will now be then?"
>     CS: "Soon."
>     (this is from memory; the movie's at home)

Not snipped only in interests of completeness and mutual respect...

> And then there's the Winnebago -- with secret hyperjets,
> yet.  One wonders if the makers of other recreational
> vehicles got jealous.)
> And of course "mistreatment" might include piracy --
> which might be construed as theft of rightful revenue.
> But again, what's rightful in this context?  Do films
> deserve revenue?  Many films are outright flops --
> "Prince of Space", "Killer Klowns from Outer Space",
> and "Battlefield Earth" come to mind, but there's been
> a fair number, as evidenced by Mystery Science Theater
> 3000 (which lasted about 10 years on Comedy Central).
> Battlefield Earth in particular cost $73M, but grossed all
> of $21.4M.
> http://www.boxofficemojo.com/battlefield.html
> This compared with Star Wars: Episode IV, which cost all of
> $11M to make originally, and has been rereleased several
> times, with some controversial changes.  It's not clear
> to me how much revenue this movie has made -- since in a
> sense all follow-on movies depend on it to start the whole
> thing off, and there's been a fair number of derivatives,
> including toys.
> I don't know how much Spaceballs has grossed but it's
> probably a lot more than $21M.
> So much for *my* privacy, but I happen to like both movies. :-)

That sums it all up perfectly. DRM to prevent Darth Vader in a dress.


Roy S. Schestowitz      |    Software patents destroy innovation
http://Schestowitz.com  |    SuSE Linux     |     PGP-Key: 0x74572E8E
  6:05pm  up 20 days 13:21,  11 users,  load average: 0.76, 0.77, 0.81
      http://iuron.com - Open Source knowledge engine project

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