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

04.03.20

Clear Linux is to GNU/Linux What Clearly Defined is to Open Source

Posted in DRM, GNU/Linux, Hardware at 6:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Clearly proprietary and clearly vague and ambiguous terms (clearing GNU and freedom off the map)

Intel: criminal inside

Summary: The idea that we need Intel to take GNU/Linux ‘mainstream’ is ludicrous; as OSDL co-founder (now succeeded in the flesh of the Corporate Linux Foundation), Intel is more about Linux (with DRM, “secure boot” and everything that lets it be remotely controlled) than about GNU and it’s not too keen on GPL (copyleft), either

“FREE as in Freedom” is the motto or slogan imprinted upon the father of Free software in a famous biography. GNU wasn’t supposed to be just “another system” or “another UNIX” but a free system. It’s a paradigm change, not a branding change. There’s substance to it rather than mere identity. If geeks and nerds wanted to just advocate “not Windows,” then they’d be able to join the millions of gullible fools who voluntarily shill for Apple with its infinite moral deficit. People who look past false choices, buzzwords and ‘lifestyle’-themed marketing stunts understand the unprecedented importance if not urgency of GNU. The COVID-19 crisis shows us how marvelously fast the “security state” can advance with no proper safeguards just because “there’s no time” or whatever. Technical means, not just legal means, become necessary for guarding one’s human rights.

“The COVID-19 crisis shows us how marvelously fast the “security state” can advance with no proper safeguard just because “there’s no time” or whatever.”This morning Phoronix said that “[t]here has been plumbing within [Clear Linux] swupd package/bundle management system to support third-party repositories to expand the [proprietary] ecosystem [sic] and now we’re finally seeing that happen.”

Speaking of Phoronix, please support the site and support Michael Larabel. They really need it right now because they got a baby a few months ago (first-born) and the wife (mother) has just lost her job. Phoronix is a very important site which investigates, benchmarks and digs things no other site does. Michael treated us well over the years; we owe or ought to look after him, too.

Now, back to Intel…

“There’s nothing inherently special about it and Intel likely uses it for optimisations that help sell more of its deeply defective, back-doored chips.”As a reminder, Intel is the foremost pusher of DRM inside Linux (we did analysis of commits last year), with AMD coming not too far behind, working with the likes of Google.

Phoronix has been one of the main pushers or proponents of Clear Linux — a distro which otherwise nobody would bother with or care about. There’s nothing inherently special about it and Intel likely uses it for optimisations that help sell more of its deeply defective, back-doored chips.

The word “Clear” is close to “Pure” (like Purism and PureOS) and maybe even transparency if not freedom. But Clear Linux has nothing to do with any of those things. Like Microsoft’s “Clearly Defined” push, it’s mostly about imposing proprietary software (such as GitHub) on people. It’s not too far from the bogus concept of “ethical” software, wherein “ethics” refer to a reduction in freedom.

“It’s not too far from the bogus concept of “ethical” software, wherein “ethics” refer to a reduction in freedom.”A better term or name for Clear Linux would be “Intel Linux”; but that would not ‘sell’ too well (if they tried it). It’s made by Intel, for Intel, and users of it are controlled by Intel. In the same way that people who choose to host a Git repo in GitHub are controlled by Microsoft.

Nice try, Intel. Take your DRM and shove it somewhere else. The BSD world would likely be even less receptive than the GNU and Linux worlds. As de Raadt put it before he blasted Intel for its defects and security flaws, “Intel [is] Only ‘Open’ for Business”. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with business, Intel’s business practices if not crimes make it clear that Intel is clearly allergic to ethics.

Disclosure: My sister and my brother-in-law worked for Intel, but that never had an effect on my position regarding Intel, based on its ethical and technical behaviour alone.

02.19.20

DRM (Proprietary Software) Already Makes Mozilla Firefox Broken, Unreliable, Undependable (Dependent on Binary Blobs)

Posted in DRM at 2:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

So Brendan Eich was right about DRM? (2014): New Claims That Brendan Eich Got Abused and Pushed Out for Opposing DRM, Not for Opposing Gay Marriage Some Time in the Past

Binary
Scrambled bits aren’t the way the Web is supposed to function (except for security)

Summary: More people are beginning to realise that Mozilla resorted to self-harming DRM and self-inflicted damage that impacts Firefox; can Mozilla (re)join the anti-DRM coalitions?

THE FAMOUS fork of Firefox, Waterfox, days ago turned out to have sold out to a surveillance company, just like Startpage (they admitted this only after they had been exposed; it was mentioned here in passing and people start noticing) and I distanced myself from the *Foxes and the Chrom* of the world. I trust neither ‘camp’. I use Konqueror as my main browser on one computer and Qupzilla on the other (they’re KDE browsers that don’t ‘phone home’). There’s much to be said about privacy violations, not just DRM and other aspects.

As reported earlier this week [1,2] (already in our Daily Links), Firefox is breaking because of DRM/EME and this hardly surprises us. It was foretold and foreseen. It was a terrible idea all along and it might get yet worse.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Firefox 73.0.1 Fixes Linux Crashes When Playing Encrypted Content

    Firefox 73.0.1 arrives a week after the launch of Firefox 73.0 to address a few issues reported by users. These include fixes for a bug that made Firefox to crash on some Linux users when playing encrypted content and an issue which forced Firefox to close unexpectedly when the user exits the Print Preview mode.

    Some users also reported intermittent blank page issues when attempting to log in to the RBC Royal Bank website, so this is now fixed as well in the Firefox 73.0.1 release. Also addressed are a couple of issues reported by users on Windows systems, which shouldn’t affect Linux users.

  2. Firefox 73.0.1 Released With Fixes for Linux, Windows Crashes

    Mozilla has released Firefox 73.0.1 today, February 18th, 2020, to the Stable desktop channel for Windows, macOS, and Linux with crash fixes for users of Windows and Linux devices.

    This release also fixes a loss of browser functionality in certain circumstances and RBC Royal Bank website connectivity problems.

    Windows, Mac, and Linux desktop users can upgrade to Firefox 73.0.1 by going to Options -> Help -> About Firefox and the browser will automatically check for the new update and install it when available.

01.25.20

The Linux Kernel is No Longer Free Software?

Posted in DRM, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Kernel at 8:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

[Direct link YouTube | Direct link lbry.tv]

Summary: Gardiner Bryant, the creator of The Linux Gamer as well as The Off Topical Podcast, reacts to our articles about DRM in Linux (he even pronounced my name correctly)

01.09.20

Unintended Effect of DRM in GNU/Linux

Posted in DRM, GNU/Linux, Google at 11:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Recent: Can We Quit Celebrating DRM in GNU/Linux?

We need Disney+ to support Linux!!!! Okay, move to Chrome now

Summary: Browser monopolies are being cemented due to DRM, which the DRM giants nowadays label ‘cross-platform’

12.08.19

Can We Quit Celebrating DRM in GNU/Linux?

Posted in DRM, GNU/Linux, Videos at 6:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Or do we want the system to become another Vista?

Ballmer on DRM

Summary: Over the past couple of days various news sites and “Linux” sites expressed great satisfaction [1-5] over the passive embrace of Disney’s DRM ploy (Disney+), even when Disney itself rejects DRM, seeing the harms practically caused by it [6,7]

References:

  1. Disney+ Now Works on Linux, No Workarounds Required

    Disney launched its new video streaming service in the USA and Canada last month to much hype and attention (it scores 10 million subscribers in the first day alone).

    But many Linux users in those countries who’d been hoping to tune in to watch shows like The Mandalorian and High School Musical: The Musical: The Series were left disappointed.

    For although rival streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime work “out of the box” on Linux in web browsers like Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, Disney+ didn’t.

  2. Disney+ Now Works in Linux After DRM Tweak

    Linux users can now stream shows and movies from the Disney+ streaming service after Disney lowering the level of their DRM requirements.

    When Disney+ was first launched, Linux users who attempted to watch shows and movies were shown an error stating “Something went wrong. Please try again. If the problem persists, visit the Disney+ Help Center (Error Code 83).”

  3. Disney+ finally works on Linux!

    A little more than three weeks after the new Disney+ movie streaming service went officially live, the Disney company has added Linux support to their Widevine DRM protection. No more “Error 83”. No more need to install the Windows version of Chrome in Wine. Watching your favorite movies is now possible in the native Linux browsers – both Mozilla and Google based. Firefox will download the Widevine CDM (content delivery module) automatically, Chrome has the support built-in and for my Chromium package and other Chromium-based browsers you;ll have to install my chromium-widevine-plugin package.

  4. Disney+ finally works on Linux!

    A little more than three weeks after the new Disney+ movie streaming service went officially live, the Disney company has added Linux support to their Widevine DRM protection. No more “Error 83”. No more need to install the Windows version of Chrome in Wine. Watching your favorite movies is now possible in the native Linux browsers – both Mozilla and Google based. Firefox will download the Widevine CDM (content delivery module) automatically, Chrome has the support built-in and for my Chromium package and other Chromium-based browsers you;ll have to install my chromium-widevine-plugin package.

  5. You Can Now Stream Disney+ On Linux Computers

    With Disney+ now lowering the DRM requirements, Linux users should be able to watch their favorite shows like The Mandalorian and High School Musical: The Musical: The Series.

    In order to stream the Disney+ service on Linux devices, users need to ensure that DRM is enabled in their browser.

  6. Disney’s Decision Not To Renew SecuROM License Bricks ‘Tron: Evolution’

    Show of hands: who remembers SecuROM? Alright, put your hands down, we can’t see each other anyway. So, SecuROM was a really bad DRM used by several publishers to “protect” video games, by which I mean it mostly just annoyed legitimate buyers, got some of those publishers sued, and ultimately made the game unplayable on modern operating systems. The track record is enough to make you wonder why anyone would use DRM at all after this whole debacle.

  7. The Curse of Outdated DRM Claims Another Victim, ‘Tron: Evolution’

    As of this week, players who owned a legitimate copy of Tron: Evolution they paid for but never played it, no longer can. Tron: Evolution, a tie-in game for the 2010 Tron: Legacy film , used SecurRom, a form of digital rights management (DRM), and publisher Disney hasn’t paid its bill. This means Disney can no longer authenticate purchases and “unlock” copies of the game that people bought but haven’t used yet.

    Players first noticed they couldn’t play the game after purchasing it in October, but a thread on Reddit today brought more attention to the issue.

    “I often buy games on sales, but don’t play them immediately,” user Renusek said on Reddit. “Yesterday I decided to play Tron: Evolution, maybe even practice speedrunning it, so I install the game, try to activate it (game still uses SecuROM DRM) and… the serial key has expired (?!).”

10.15.19

[ES] El Kernel de Linux está introduciendo Open Source Privative Software

Posted in DRM, GNU/Linux, Kernel at 12:08 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

By Pedro Fco. (maslinux.es)

This is a Spanish translation of: Software Freedom Eroding in Linux and Nobody Seems to Care or Oppose This and mirrored over at El Kernel de Linux está introduciendo Open Source Privative Software (Artículo de opinión de Roy Schestowitz)

Free Software and Open Source Proprietary Software (OSPS)

Summary: Linux, el kernel, continúa su trayectoria o el camino hacia convertirse en software propietario de código abierto (OSPS).

La importancia de la Libertad del Software será entendida más y más (o mejor) con el tiempo. He aquí un nuevo ejemplo de las noticias. Cuando la gente no controla el software, es el software el que los controla a ellos – un punto que Richard Stallman ha estado enfatizando durante décadas.

El jefe de la Fundación Linux y el único editor de Linux.com son usuarios de Mac (este último alardeó ayer de sus múltiples “Macs”), así que no esperes que se preocupen por la Libertad de Software. No lo hacen. No hemos estado hablando mucho (o con frecuencia) sobre ellos últimamente porque son una causa perdida. Nos rendimos. Se apoyan en historias antiestallmánicas. Linux.com se siente como un sitio de Openwashing y Microsoft (nuevos ejemplos a tal efecto).

Mientras tanto, se ha puesto de manifiesto, una vez más, que AMD sigue adelante con la DRM. Como dijo Michael Larabel:

“Soporte inicial de HDCP. Sí, protección de contenido digital de alto ancho de banda. Este soporte para HDCP Linux en el lado de Radeon viene para Raven Ridge y más nuevo. Como se explica en el artículo anterior, es probable que se deba a que los APUs de AMD están llegando a más Chromebooks y, por lo tanto, todo puede ser visto como algo bueno. Para aquellos que no desean soporte para HDCP, la implementación de AMDGPU DC permite desactivarlo como una opción de Kconfig“.

“Más cambios en la AMDGPU para Linux 5.5 seguirán en las próximas semanas“, añadió Larabel. “El ciclo Linux 5.5 comenzará formalmente a finales de noviembre y se estabilizará a principios de 2020. La lista de cambios para esta AMDGPU DRM-Next-5.5 pull inicial a través de esta lista de correo.”

Ese segundo DRM no es el mismo DRM (sólo el mismo acrónimo) y no es algo a lo que se opondría ni siquiera Stallman. Lo preocupante, sin embargo, es que se ha vuelto ‘normal’ lanzar DRM de restricción de usuarios a GNU/Linux (usando palabras/términos técnicos como “HDCP”), la pieza más famosa y conocida del software libre. A los responsables de la Fundación Linux no les importa (ni siquiera usan GNU/Linux) o no se atreven a decir nada – viendo lo que les pasa a los que sí lo hacen.

La gente habla mucho sobre la situación de Stallman en este momento (una segunda ola de llamadas para eliminarlo de GNU) aunque pocos conectan lo que se le está haciendo a Stallman con lo que le pasó a Torvalds hace un año. Se está incitando a la gente contra los que hacen lo correcto.

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.

09.26.19

Linux is Not Free Software and It’s Getting Harder to Fix It

Posted in DRM, FSF, GNU/Linux, Hardware, Kernel at 3:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

AMD (now the owner of ATI) puts DRM in Linux through graphics drivers

Protest against ATI
Source: Protest against ATI nearly led to the arrest of RMS (2006)

Summary: The battle for digital freedom has long been lost in kernel space; earlier this year Techrights analysed the complete source code of Linux to find DRM already well entrenched inside the kernel and it keeps spreading further (Linux is becoming the very thing the FSF objected to in Windows Vista; it is “Open Source Proprietary Software”)

THE technical limits of removal of blobs from Linux had been reached long before DRM landed inside Linux. For instance, linux-libre issues were already mentioned the other day; blobs are "bugs". What does that mean? In simple terms it means that ‘fixing’ Linux by removing bad stuff from it (not the same as a fork) would produce an unsatisfactory outcome. Moreover, it gets worse over time. It’s not only “subpar” or “not ideal”; it can be very messy. Ask people who use linux-libre in their distro.

“In simple terms it means that ‘fixing’ Linux by removing bad stuff from it (not the same as a fork) would produce an unsatisfactory outcome.”Some months ago Phoronix mentioned in passing that AMD was putting DRM in Linux (the evil DRM, not Direct Rendering). So did Intel along with Google. Yesterday Phoronix posted this update to say: “The recent work over the past few months on HDCP support for Raven Ridge and newer. Granted, many open-source fans won’t be happy to hear about High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) support coming to the AMD Linux driver but it’s already been supported by the open-source Intel driver and NVIDIA’s proprietary driver. The HDCP support is actually good news in one respect as it’s likely at the behest of Google with AMD APUs now appearing in Chromebooks, similar to Google having pushed along Intel’s Linux HDCP support. This HDCP support could lead to enabling AMD to compete with other design wins for other Linux-powered devices. If you don’t want AMD HDCP support, at least for now they have it exposed as a Kconfig option so you can disable building the support via DRM_AMD_DC_HDCP.”

“What happened to “Bad Vista” and “Defective by Design”? We don’t suppose that a Stallman-less FSF would do any better against such threats to our freedom.”What’s most curious here isn’t that AMD follows Intel’s footsteps (that’s typical) but the lack of statement or complete silence from the EFF, the FSF, the FSFE…

All those who claim to have opposed DRM didn’t keep their eyes on this ball. Had they done so, maybe AMD would at least have second thoughts about it. But no… and so Linux gradually gets ruined in the same way the WWW was ruined, owing to inaction on EME (DRM inside the ‘standards’). The FSF did speak about it and organised against it. Why not HDCP? What happened to “Bad Vista” and “Defective by Design”? We don’t suppose that a Stallman-less FSF would do any better against such threats to our freedom.

As a side note, Phoronix tries to remain neutral; the above oughtn’t be interpreted as Michael Larabel’s endorsement of DRM. Larabel has thankfully highlight many of these things over the years and for that he deserves our gratitude and support.

« Previous entries Next Page » Next Page »

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 Channels: Come and chat with us in real time

New to This Site? Here Are Some Introductory Resources

No

Mono

ODF

Samba logo






We support

End software patents

GPLv3

GNU project

BLAG

EFF bloggers

Comcast is Blocktastic? SavetheInternet.com



Recent Posts