10.11.19

Software Freedom Eroding in Linux and Nobody Seems to Care or Oppose This

Posted in DRM, GNU/Linux, Kernel at 2:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Free Software and Open Source Proprietary Software (OSPS)

Summary: Linux, the kernel, continues its trajectory or the route towards becoming Open Source Proprietary Software (OSPS)

THE importance of Software Freedom will be understood more and more (or better) over time. Here’s a new example from the news. When people do not control the software it’s the software controlling them — a point that Richard Stallman has been stressing for decades.

“The people in charge of Linux don’t care (they don’t even use Linux) or won’t dare say a thing — seeing what happens to those who do.”The Linux Foundation‘s chief and the sole editor of Linux.com are Mac users (the latter bragged about his multiple “Macs” yesterday), so don’t expect them to care about Software Freedom. They don’t. We haven’t been speaking much (or frequently) about them lately because they’re a lost cause. We gave up. They prop up anti-Stallman stories. Linux.com feels like an openwashing and Microsoft site (new examples to that effect).

It has meanwhile emerged — yet again — that AMD pushes ahead with DRM. As Michael Larabel put it:

Initial HDCP support. Yes, High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection. This HDCP Linux support on the Radeon side is coming for Raven Ridge and newer. As explained in that aforelinked article, it’s likely due to AMD APUs coming to more Chromebooks and so all-in can be viewed as a good thing. For those not wanting HDCP support, the AMDGPU DC implementation does allow disabling it as a Kconfig option.

“More AMDGPU changes for Linux 5.5 are still coming over the next few weeks,” Larabel added. “The Linux 5.5 cycle will formally kick off around the end of November while it will reach stable in early 2020. The list of changes for this initial AMDGPU DRM-Next-5.5 pull via this mailing list post.”

That second DRM isn’t the same DRM (just the same acronym) and it’s not something even Stallman would oppose. The worrying thing, however, is that it has become ‘normal’ to toss user-restricting DRM into Linux (using words/technical terms like “HDCP”), the most famous/well-known piece of Free software. The people in charge of Linux don’t care (they don’t even use Linux) or won’t dare say a thing — seeing what happens to those who do.

People speak a lot about Stallman’s situation at the moment (a second wave of calls to remove him from GNU) though few connect what’s being done to Stallman to what happened to Torvalds a year ago. People are being incited against those who do what’s right.

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