[linux-elitists] Register: The truth about Palladium

Rick Moen rick@linuxmafia.com
Thu Jun 27 10:27:30 PDT 2002


Quoting Eugen Leitl (eugen@leitl.org):

> http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/4/25891.html
> 
> MS to eradicate GPL, hence Linux
> By Thomas C Greene in Washington
> Posted: 25/06/2002 at 22:30 GMT

Forwarding my comments from another forum:


 From rick Wed Jun 26 10:22:08 2002
 Date: Wed, 26 Jun 2002 10:22:08 -0700
 To: "Benjamin J. Tilly -- Not Entered --" <ben_tilly@operamail.com>
 Cc: IWE <iwe@labrador.vtluug.org>
 Subject: Re: [Iwe] Interesting Palladium article

Quoting Benjamin J. Tilly -- Not Entered -- (ben_tilly@operamail.com):

> More details than the Fortune article:
> 
> http://www.digitalidworld.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=74&mode=chrono&order=0
> 
> And someone else who came to the conclusion (which I
> happen to think is correct) that their scheme finds a
> loophole in the GPL:
> 
> http://cryptome.org/tcpa-rja2.htm

People keep portraying this initiative as "breaking" the GPL.  But
really, all it does is create yet another bondage-and-discipline
hardware ghetto where free software is crippled in operation.
Exercising GPL-guaranteed freedoms breaks TCPA-feature support?  OK, so
eschew use of TCPA features.  

The use of GPLed code in crippled mode to access TCPA-controlled
features does _not_ "steal" the code.  The code remains fully functional
on general-purpose computing devices.  You can request the source code
of such a TCPA deployment under GPL clause 2, and compile it for your
computer with whatever modifications you like.  You may then not have 
use of TCPA hardware functions -- but my point is that hardware in TCPA
mode _isn't_ a general-purpose computing device.

Now, you might be imagining a dystopian future where general-purpose
computing devices are banned by law or can no longer be procured.  
That would be a separate problem.  

And existence of a ghetto where GPLed software is crippled is certainly 
annoying at best, but calling this "breaking the GPL" or "stealing GPLed
software" (as some authors, not you, have) seems melodramatic.

-- 
Cheers,   The difference between common sense and paranoia is that common sense
Rick Moen     is thinking everyone is out to get you.  That's normal; they are.
rick@linuxmafia.com      Paranoia is thinking they're conspiring.  -- J. Kegler



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