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08.31.19

Linux is Not Free/Libre If DRM is Adopted and Open Source is Meaningless in the Age of Openwashing

Posted in Deception, DRM, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Google, Kernel, Microsoft, Red Hat, Vista, Windows at 7:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Welcome to ‘Linux Vista’ and Open-for-business Source (for some parts, for the openwashing factor)

HDCP

Summary: Free/Open Source software (FOSS) and (GNU/)Linux don’t quite change the world as much as they’re being changed by monopolies (software, hardware and entertainment) to suit their agenda and eliminate any remnants of freedom

WHEN we say that Software Freedom is under attack we mean exactly that. We’re under attack; our rights and our dignity are under a heavy assault. We’re gradually losing control of everything digital. We become enslaved by technology, which rather than emancipate people devolves into a tool of oppression and imprisonment. Surveillance is one among many aspects of this.

“We become enslaved by technology, which rather than emancipate people devolves into a tool of oppression and imprisonment.”The harms of DRM are well documented, as are the effects of the DMCA. In the distant past (Windows Vista era) Microsoft colluded with hardware companies to put DRM in Windows and nowadays Google does the same to Linux (having already done the same to the WWW along with Microsoft and Neflix for the most part). It’s the evil DRM, not Direct Rendering (same acronym), which is mostly benign. According to this new post from Phoronix, AMD is doing the 'Intel thing' (which has done that with Vista/Microsoft and ChromeOS/Google). First the back doors (ME), now this…

To quote:

AMD developers have sent out their latest open-source Linux patches doing their kernel driver share for enabling High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) support for version 1.4 and newer.

While seeing HDCP support patches for open-source graphics drivers does irritate many in the community, similar to other open-source drivers supporting HDCP, this is only one part of the content protection puzzle. These patches alone do not impose any restrictions on users or other impairments, but mainly comes down to such proprietary software wanting to make use of HDCP capabilities on Linux. Open-source video players and the like can continue to enjoy GPU-based video acceleration uninterrupted.

[...]

Intel’s open-source Linux graphics driver only began seeing HDCP work relatively recently when Google engineers were interested with the Intel support in the context of Chromebook support.

All the news sites are still busy writing puff pieces about exFAT (at this stage we just skip these repetitive articles); no attention has been paid (or will be paid) to the issue above — an issue we investigated by analysing the kernel some months ago.

“The harms of DRM are well documented, as are the effects of the DMCA.”Make no mistake about it; Google surely spreads Linux, but at the same time it changes it in troubling ways. Yesterday/earlier today opensource.com promoted Google’s openwashing of its surveillance code — a subject that we covered in our previous Openwashing Report or two. To quote:

Developers at search engine giant Google have been busy on the open source front lately. In the last two weeks, they’ve released two very different systems as open source.

The first of those is the speech engine for Live Transcribe, a speech recognition and transcription tool for Android, which “uses machine learning algorithms to turn audio into real-time captions” on mobile devices. Google’s announcement states it is making Live Transcribe open source to “let any developer deliver captions for long-form conversations.”

Google is using this for surveillance, but we’re supposed to be all cheerful and gleeful because “open!”

“Red Hat’s opensource.com (above) actively participates in openwashing and Red Hat as a whole seem to have hired too many people from Microsoft, including managers.”We’ll do another Openwashing Report later this weekend. It’s a growing problem. It’s telling us that “open source” has “won”; what they mean by “won”, however, is co-opted by proprietary frameworks such as AWS, Azure, various spying devices that are dubbed “smart” and even totally meaningless mumbo-jumbo like "serverless". Some of our readers keep insisting that it’s time for the FSF to fight back.

Red Hat’s opensource.com (above) actively participates in openwashing and Red Hat as a whole seem to have hired too many people from Microsoft, including managers. It nearly sold itself to Microsoft and it promoted an Azure thing just before the weekend (we mentioned this in our daily links and it's not the first time).

What is going on? Have we lost sight of the fact that some companies strive to destroy Software Freedom?

“How long before we can call it “exterminate” or “extinguish”?”opensource.com has just published this article from Karl Fogel and James Vasile (we assume one of them is from Microsoft, but the bio was left empty). Microsoft executives — i.e. those who attack Open Source more than anyone — now try to hijack the narrative around its competition (speaking ‘for’ what it’s attacking). See paragraph 4: “Now we have a chance to have this discussion in a more regular and complete way: Microsoft has asked us to do a series of blog posts about open source, and the request was essentially “help organizations get better at open source” (not a direct quote, but a reasonable summary). They were very clear about the series being independent; they did not want editorial control and specifically did not want to be involved in any pre-approval before we publish a post. It goes without saying, but we’ll say it anyway, just so there’s no doubt, that the views we express in the series may or may not be shared by Microsoft.”

So a site called opensource.com is now being composed by/for Microsoft. How long before we can call it “exterminate” or “extinguish”? When will Microsoft ‘own’ Linux as much as it ‘owns’ the Linux Foundation? The Foundation has just outsourced some more projects to GitHub, i.e. to Microsoft. We put links about that in our daily roundup.

We’re being told that FOSS “won”; actually, software monopolies have “won” (read: dominate) FOSS. Who’s in control?

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