[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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