EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

06.02.09

How KDE Defeated DRM (and What Linux Might Do Next)

Posted in DRM, GNU/Linux, KDE, Kernel, Tivoization at 4:17 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

DRM Apple
Digital Restrictions, Meh

Summary: KDE’s lesson in maintaining Freedom and defending data accessibility at the same time

YESTERDAY WE WROTE about Linux pondering DRM, having already let in TPM or something that's akin to Tivoization. Some of us at Boycott Novell hold the belief that this is counter-productive for users who perceive GNU/Linux as a free (libre) operating system that respects its users by putting rights and trust in the hands of these users.

Aaron Seigo from the KDE project has just dispatched this encouraging post which revealed how they handled the growing plague of document DRM. From the opening paragraphs:

Jonathan Corbet wrote a piece on LWN about Okular and it’s implementation of user permission restrictions in PDFs (sometimes errantly refered to as “DRM”). This is actually something it has done since it was KPDF back in KDE 3. Obviously, permissions in PDFs are a generally misguided attempt at protecting the agenda of a publisher in a demonstrably ineffective way that comes at a cost to things like the concepts of fair use.

So what’s up with Okular having support for permissions? It’s quite simple: not only is permissions in the PDF spec, but there are organizations in the world who, for contractual or legal reasons, require permissions in PDFs be respected.

Do we simply not serve those users needs? Do we “know better” for the user who says “I want to accept the terms of the publisher of this document”? Of course not; that’s rather user unfriendly in itself.

So the strategy adopted was quite simple: make it an option that the user may choose to abide by the permissions flags in a PDF or not.

If a Linux authority ever insists on support for DRM*, then maybe developers can provide people with a similar option to that which KDE offers. Novell’s Go-OO developers take it a step further.

While on this important subject of Linux and Freedom, what is the consequence this new post from Jim Zemlin?

Canola Project’s GPLv3 Permissions are Worth a Look

[...]

The foundation and its members all believe that licensing choice is ultimately up to the developers and owners of a project. We are concerned, however, with whether the language of popular licenses is legally clear, and also with the fact that having too many licenses and license variations can become confusing.

Regardless of where you come down on the debate as to whether these permissions should be granted, it is clear that this language is effective and that its consistent use will be helpful for those projects and developers that DO wish to provide a similar exception to the GPLv3.

IBM is a little scared of Freedom (and by inference the GPLv3). It refuses to talk about elimination of software patents because it favours them and it is also a (or the) major force in the Linux Foundation and OIN, based on the respective portfolio. Under sufficient pressure from users IBM et al will need to readjust (or face negative impact on PR).

The GNU GPLv3 gains acceptance

______
* Linus Torvalds says he likes Tivoization, but he is glad to see music DRM fading at the same time. Some call it a contradiction.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. The Linux Foundation is Not About Linux

    Linux Foundation (LF) objectives/missions do not resemble what the Open Source Development Labs, Inc. (OSDL) was founded to accomplish; this puts at grave threat the very raison d'être of both GNU and Linux



  2. Guest Post: The Linux Foundation Needs to Define “Support”

    Part of an ongoing series of articles we do about the Linux Foundation



  3. Dimitris Xenos on Unconstitutional Supranational Arrangements for Patent Law: Leaving Out the Elected Legislators and the People’s Participatory Rights

    A new paper from a British scholar proves to be timely because of the EPO's violations of the European Patent Convention (EPC) and failed push to force-feed Europe with the unconstitutional Unified Patent Court (UPC)



  4. The Campinos-Battistelli Strategy is Working: Patent Trolls Are Coming to Europe!

    It cannot be any less obvious that today's European Patent Organisation (and Office) works for patent offices and for those who pay these patent offices (law firms) rather than for science, technology and the public (including the European public)



  5. Links 25/3/2019: Linux 5.1 RC2, Nano 4.0, PyPy 7.1

    Links for the day



  6. Links 24/3/2019: Microsoft Does Not Change; Lots of FOSS Leftovers

    Links for the day



  7. Just Published: Irrational Ignorance at the Patent Office

    Iancu and his fellow Trump-appointed "swamp" at the USPTO are urged to consult academics rather than law firms in order to improve patent quality in the United States



  8. Microsoft Paid the Open Source Initiative. Now (a Year Later) Microsoft is in the Board of the Open Source Initiative.

    The progression of Microsoft entryism in FOSS-centric institutions (while buying key "assets" such as GitHub) isn't indicative of FOSS "winning" but of FOSS being infiltrated (to be undermined)



  9. Jim Zemlin's Linux Foundation Still Does Not Care About Linux Desktops

    We are saddened to see that the largest body associated with Linux (the kernel and more) is not really eager to see GNU/Linux success; it's mostly concerned about its bottom line (about $100,000,000 per annum)



  10. Links 23/3/2019: Falkon 3.1.0 and Tails 3.13.1

    Links for the day



  11. The Unified Patent Court is Dead, But Doubts Remain Over the EPO's Appeal Boards' Ability to Rule Independently Against Patents on Nature and Code

    Patents used to cover physical inventions (such as engines); nowadays this just isn't the case anymore and judges who can clarify these questions lack the freedom to think outside the box (and disobey patent maximalists' dogma)



  12. Patent Law Firms Still Desperate to Find New Ways to Resurrect Dead Software Patents in the United States

    There's no rebound and no profound changes that favour software patents; in fact, judging by caselaw, there's nothing even remotely like that



  13. Links 22/3/2019: Libinput 1.13 RC2 and Facebook's Latest Security Scandal

    Links for the day



  14. Why the UK Intellectual Property Office (UK-IPO) Cannot Ignore Judges, Whereas the EPO Can (and Does)

    The European Patent Convention (EPC) ceased to matter, judges' interpretation of it no longer matters either; the EPO exploits this to grant hundreds of thousands of dodgy software patents, then trumpet "growth"



  15. The European Patent Office Needs to Put Lives Before Profits

    Patents that pertain to health have always posed an ethical dilemma; the EPO apparently tackled this dilemma by altogether ignoring the rights and needs of patients (in favour of large corporations that benefit financially from poor people's mortality)



  16. “Criminal Organisation”

    Brazil's ex-President, Temer, is arrested (like other former presidents of Brazil); will the EPO's ex-President Battistelli ever be arrested (now that he lacks diplomatic immunity and hides at CEIPI)?



  17. Links 21/3/2019: Wayland 1.17.0, Samba 4.10.0, OpenShot 2.4.4 and Zorin Beta

    Links for the day



  18. Team UPC (Unitary Patent) is a Headless Chicken

    Team UPC's propaganda about the Unified Patent Court (UPC) has become so ridiculous that the pertinent firms do not wish to be identified



  19. António Campinos Makes Up Claims About Patent Quality, Only to be Rebutted by Examiners, Union (Anyone But the 'Puff Pieces' Industry)

    Battistelli's propagandistic style and self-serving 'studies' carry on; the notion of patent quality has been totally discarded and is nowadays lied about as facts get 'manufactured', then disseminated internally and externally



  20. Links 20/3/2019: Google Announces ‘Stadia’, Tails 3.13

    Links for the day



  21. CEN and CENELEC Agreement With the EPO Shows That It's Definitely the European Commission's 'Department'

    With headlines such as “EPO to collaborate on raising SEP awareness” it is clear to see that the Office lacks impartiality and the European Commission cannot pretend that the EPO is “dafür bin ich nicht zuständig” or “da kenne ich mich nicht aus”



  22. Decisions Made Inside the European Patent Organisation (EPO) Lack Credibility Because Examiners and Judges Lack Independence

    The lawless, merciless, Mafia-like culture left by Battistelli continues to haunt judges and examiners; how can one ever trust the Office (or the Organisation at large) to deliver true justice in adherence or compliance with the EPC?



  23. Team UPC Buries Its Credibility Deeper in the Grave

    The three Frenchmen at the top do not mention the UPC anymore; but those who promote it for a living (because they gambled on leveraging it for litigation galore) aren't giving up and in the process they perpetuate falsehoods



  24. The EPO Has Sadly Taken a Side and It's the Patent Trolls' Side

    Abandoning the whole rationale behind patents, the Office now led for almost a year by António Campinos prioritises neither science nor technology; it's all about granting as many patents (European monopolies) as possible for legal activity (applications, litigation and so on)



  25. Where the USPTO Stands on the Subject of Abstract Software Patents

    Not much is changing as we approach Easter and software patents are still fool's gold in the United States, no matter if they get granted or not



  26. Links 19/3/2019: Jetson/JetBot, Linux 5.0.3, Kodi Foundation Joins The Linux Foundation, and Firefox 66

    Links for the day



  27. Links 18/3/2019: Solus 4, Linux 5.1 RC1, Mesa 18.3.5, OSI Individual Member Election Won by Microsoft

    Links for the day



  28. Microsoft and Its Patent Trolls Continue Their Patent War, Including the War on Linux

    Microsoft is still preying on GNU/Linux using patents, notably software patents; it wants billions of dollars served on a silver platter in spite of claims that it reached a “truce” by joining the Open Invention Network and joining the LOT Network



  29. Director Iancu Generally Viewed as a Lapdog of Patent Trolls

    As Director of the Office, Mr. Iancu, a Trump appointee, not only fails to curb patent trolls; he actively defends them and he lowers barriers in order to better equip them with bogus patents that courts would reject (if the targets of extortion could afford a day in court)



  30. Links 17/3/2019: Google Console and IBM-Red Hat Merger Delay?

    Links for the day


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts