06.01.09

Gemini version available ♊︎

Linux DRM Warning

Posted in DRM, GNU/Linux, Kernel, Videos, Vista, Windows at 7:46 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Ogg Theora

Direct link

Summary: Now is a crucial time to protest against DRM in Linux

WE’VE already worried that Linux had adopted the equivalent of Tivoization. Now we find the threat of DRM in the most ubiquitous kernel of free operating systems, so we wanted to alert readers.

It’s solely an issue regarding the following new article about DRM being considered for Linux. The technical chief of the Linux Foundation (and an IBM employee who downplays freedom) writes on the topic, which is covered in LWN.net:

Ts’o’s message is worth reading in its entirety, but the basic point is that TXT enables Hollywood (or another DRM-happy entity) to take away some of the basic functionality of the hardware in order to preserve their “rights”. Essentially, this takes away users’ rights to protect companies’ perceived or actual rights. The truly nightmarish scenario is one where one cannot do anything on a computer that isn’t contained in a signed (presumably proprietary and closed source) application, running on a signed operating system. TXT could enable just that kind of functionality.

But, there are some scenarios (Ts’o mentions medical record access) under which TXT could be beneficial to the user. Other devices (voting machines and ATMs are the standard example) could benefit from TXT as well. Should kernel hackers stand in the way of adding this code to the kernel simply because it can be used for ill? The consensus, from the extremely limited subset of the kernel development community participating in the discussion, seems to be “no”.

Victory is attained by GNU/Linux when users enjoy freedom on their desktop, not when market share goes a lot higher through unbounded compromise. It’s not about creating yet another OS X or another Windows. It is important to keep Linux safe and immune to user-hostile intrusions such as DRM, which is about the computer user being controlled rather than put in control.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

8 Comments

  1. Will said,

    June 1, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    Gravatar

    If I wanted to use Linux with DRM, I’d just go buy a Mac.

    Yuhong Bao Reply:

    Yep, as I said before, freedom is not generally (and should not be) used as a reason to switch to a Mac, though, yes, the core part of it is open source (yep, xnu is another free kernel). Don’t get me wrong, I like the Mac platform and Mac OS X and there are many advantages to it over Windows, but freedom is not one of them.

    Trivia: One of the parts of the xnu kernel that is designed for DRM is PT_DENY_ATTACH, which is basically a copy of Vista’s Protected Processes. Often mentioned in the context of, but not limited to, DTrace. But since xnu is open source, it can easily patched out. That made me wonder about the politics inside Apple that are going on relating to open source.

  2. notzed said,

    June 1, 2009 at 10:36 pm

    Gravatar

    There are always other kernels to use.

    Linux is becoming almost like a prorietary platform anyway. Partially because of the license, and partially because of the constantly changing apis, and the allowing of binary blobs and drivers (and particularly because the pc hardware is just so fucked to start with, and needs so much code just to talk to the hardware).

    I’ve had more problems than ever lately too – instabilities and hardware not working, so there are perhaps some issues starting to raise themselves. Rather than ‘enough eyes make any bugs shallow’, perhaps it is ‘enough eyes make even crap code work eventually’.

  3. twitter said,

    June 1, 2009 at 10:39 pm

    Gravatar

    Non free software should never be thought of as protecting privacy or security. Giving control of others to your computer only invites others to abuse you. Medical records, for example, need to be under the control of their owners and those who access them for patient care. This is a problem traditional permissions and encryption solve. No one needs TPM modules and other black boxes in their computer.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    As this person puts it, “After reading through the article it makes it even more important that the kernel be moved if only piece by piece to GPLv3. The article mentioned only corporate interests, but more importantly is the ramifications of government interests. That is where the real fight will end up being.”

  4. Needs Sunlight said,

    June 2, 2009 at 2:56 am

    Gravatar

    The tolerance of binary blobs in the kernel, or even the distros, is the enabler to the DRM travesty. Go back to disallowing blobs and you have one more barrier to DRM.

    http://kerneltrap.org/node/6497

  5. Roy Schestowitz said,

    June 2, 2009 at 3:01 am

    Gravatar

    As more users flock to GNU/Linux, a smaller proportion of them will be aware of Freedom. Let’s try to offer a solution by politely debating and educating.

  6. Yuhong Bao said,

    June 4, 2009 at 1:36 am

    Gravatar

    “Non free software should never be thought of as protecting privacy or security.”
    Yep, security by obscurity do not work.
    “There are always other kernels to use.”
    Yes, certainly they are, and in fact competition is a good thing here. In particular, I will mention GNU/Hurd, which did try to upgrade to GPLv3 but not every part can be upgraded because some of the parts have code from Linux and so cannot be upgraded:
    http://www.mail-archive.com/linux-ext4@vger.kernel.org/msg03105.html
    That leads to another quote:
    “After reading through the article it makes it even more important that the kernel be moved if only piece by piece to GPLv3. ”
    That would certainly help here. It would help with upgrading busybox as well to GPLv3, which is also important.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. IRC Proceedings: Friday, November 26, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, November 26, 2021



  2. 38+ Years of GNU and 19+ Years of FSF Associate Membership

    “On November 25, 2002,” Wikipedia notes, “the FSF launched the FSF Associate Membership program for individuals.” As the above video points out, it all started almost 40 years ago.



  3. Gemini as a Platform for Gamers

    Contrary to what people often assume (or are led to assume), even without client-side scripting Gemini can accomplish a great deal; early adopters, many of whom are technical, test the limits of the very minimalistic (by design and intention) specification



  4. Improved Workflows: Achievement Unlocked

    Today we've completed a bunch of small projects that can make us more efficient (e.g. more Daily Links per day, more articles); the above video was recorded many hours ago to accompany the outline below



  5. Links 26/11/2021: New Complaint About Microsoft Competition Crimes in Europe, EuroLinux 8.5, GhostBSD 21.11.24, and Kiwi TCMS 10.5 Released

    Links for the day



  6. Links 26/11/2021: F35 Elections, Whonix 16.0.3.7, OSMC's November Refresh With Kodi 19.3

    Links for the day



  7. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, November 25, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, November 25, 2021



  8. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, November 24, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, November 24, 2021



  9. Links 25/11/2021: PHP 8.1.0 Released and Linux 5.15.5

    Links for the day



  10. IBM as Master of Hypocrisy

    Free software projects and Free software developers have long been humiliated by corporations of Western misogynists, falsely claiming that the Free software community isn’t inclusive enough (these are shameless projection tactics; as a matter of public record, the exact opposite is true) and even the eradication of supposedly offensive language isn’t something IBM takes seriously



  11. Links 25/11/2021: LibreOffice 7.2.3 and Mesa 21.2.6 Released

    Links for the day



  12. [Meme] So Desperate That Edge Cannot Even Exceed 4% That They Block Rival Web Browsers

    Linux/Android/Free Software/GNU (they go by very many names/brands) may continue to grow to the point where Windows is as irrelevant as Blackberry; this means that Microsoft’s grip on the Web too has slipped — to the point where Microsoft frantically uses 'bailout' money to hijack LinkedIn, GitHub, etc. (it also rebrands almost everything as "Azure" or clown to fake a perception of growth)



  13. Windows Vista Service Pack 11 (Vista 11) Has Failed to Curb the Growth of GNU/Linux

    Windows market share continues to decrease in spite of billions of dollars spent bribing the media for fake hype, especially in light of a new Windows Service Pack (SP), Vista SP 11



  14. Links 25/11/2021: Proton 6.3-8 and Linux Mint Compared to Ubuntu

    Links for the day



  15. 3.5 Years Later the 'Master' of Fedora is Still Microsoft and IBM Cannot Be Bothered to Alter Git Branch Names (Refuting or Ignoring Its Very Own Directive About Supposedly Racially-Insensitive Terms)

    Today we demonstrate the hypocrisy of IBM; years after telling us that we should shun the term "master" and repeatedly insisting it had a racist connotation at least 65 Fedora repositories, still controlled by Microsoft, still use "master"



  16. Changing the Arrangement While News is a Bit Slow(er)

    I've made it easier for myself to keep abreast of things like IRC channels and networks (incidentally, a day ago Freenode reopened to anonymous logins) and I've improved monitoring of the Web sites, Gemini capsule etc. (this video is unplanned and improvised)



  17. Links 24/11/2021: Alpine Linux 3.15 and Endless OS 4.0 Released

    Links for the day



  18. [Meme] Jimmy Zemlin Loves Microsoft

    It’s funny, isn’t it? Lying for a living and sucking up to the liars pays off; you get to plunder actual Linux users while leaving Linux morally and financially bankrupt



  19. Links 24/11/2021: PHP Foundation and Flatpak Criticisms

    Links for the day



  20. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, November 23, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, November 23, 2021



  21. Links 24/11/2021: Rust Crisis and Team UPC Still Faking 'Progress'

    Links for the day



  22. Links 23/11/2021: New GNU Parallel and Memories of David H. Adler (Perl, Raku)

    Links for the day



  23. In Light of Fast-Accelerating Deterioration -- Sometimes Weaponisation -- Getting Off the World Wide Web (to the Extent Feasible) Makes You Saner and Less Susceptible to Manipulation, Lies

    Almost no sites are speaking about it (probably because they have no presence on the Internet except on the Web), but it's time to motivate more people to get off the Web, for their own good and for society's sake...



  24. Black Friday SPAM on the World Wide Web: A Reminder That the Web is a Dying Platform, Languishing Due to Marketing and Misinformation

    The junk that overruns the Web this 'Black Friday' week (consumerism 'on steroids') is a good reminder that the Web isn't healthy for the mind anymore; it's mostly spying on people, trying to compel them to buy particular things or vote a certain way



  25. Microsoft-Led Misinformation Campaign About Germany and Munich Reminds Us That Microsoft Hates and Actively Undermines GNU/Linux Adoption

    Regarding the latest moves to GNU/Linux in Germany we have 3 points to make



  26. Links 23/11/2021: Libreboot 20211122, Deepin Linux 20.3, Amazon Linux 2022, and Mabox Linux 21.11 Released

    Links for the day



  27. IRC Proceedings: Monday, November 22, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, November 22, 2021



  28. Links 22/11/2021: EasyOS Dunfell 3.1.11, Microsoft 'Extends' Mesa for Windows

    Links for the day



  29. Microsoft's GitHub is Hugely Toxic and It Censors Critics of Corporations or People Sceptical of Those in Power

    Sociopaths have taken over GitHub and control over GitHub (by Microsoft) is being shamelessly misused, just as we’ve warned all along; GitHub is social control media/network for code, asserting control over projects and developers by means of censorship and other sanctions



  30. EPO Staff Engagement Survey Predates the Pandemic and Provides False Assumptions for EPO Policies or Policy-Setting

    The EPO ticks a box for "surveying the staff", but is it actually listening? Is that done often enough? It was last done almost 3 years ago...


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

Recent Posts