Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Linux Software

Nokia Urges Linux Developers To Be Cool With DRM 536

Posted by kdawson
from the unclear-on-the-concept dept.
superglaze writes in to note that according to Nokia's software chief, its plans for open source include getting developers to accept things like DRM, commercial IP rights, and SIM locks. "Jaaksi admitted that concepts like these 'go against the open-source philosophy,' but said they were necessary components of the current mobile industry. 'Why do we need closed vehicles? We do,' he said. 'Some of these things harm the industry but they're here [as things stand]. These are touchy, emotional issues, but this dialogue is very much needed. As an industry, we plan to use open-source technologies, but we are not yet ready to play by the rules; but this needs to work the other way round too.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Nokia Urges Linux Developers To Be Cool With DRM

Comments Filter:
  • Say what?!? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nahdude812 (88157) * on Friday June 13, 2008 @08:53AM (#23776733) Homepage

    but we are not yet ready to play by the rules; but this needs to work the other way round too
    So you're not yet ready to play by our rules, but you want us to play by your rules so that you have an opportunity to take advantage of the work we produce and provide to you for free (beer/speech); when the only stipulation we have is that you provide it back for free?

    I'm sorry, it sounds like you have your head firmly rooted somewhere dark and unnatural.

    "These things suck and hurt both you and us, and we won't bend on that. But we want you to work for us for free anyway."

    Holy cow man, listen to yourself. This is our playground and we give you an opportunity to play in it for free; in return we purchase the goods you produce as a result. You play by our rules or we take our playground and our purchasing power to someone who will.
  • by base3 (539820) on Friday June 13, 2008 @08:54AM (#23776741)
    Write your own damn code!
  • Translation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dreamchaser (49529) on Friday June 13, 2008 @08:55AM (#23776747) Homepage Journal
    "We want to ditch your rules but have you live by our rules. We know it's wrong and bad for consumers but too bad. We want to lock in our profits".

    Pretty typical attitude in the industry I'd say.
  • Emotional? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Opportunist (166417) on Friday June 13, 2008 @08:56AM (#23776771)
    Huh? A corporation talking about emotion?

    It's about money. It's about vendor lock-in, it's about customer control and about avoiding competition.

    They want cheap/free (the beer kind) software, but under their sole control, without allowing the user of the software to apply it to their needs. Sorry, OSS doesn't swing that way.
  • Re:Say what?!? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WiglyWorm (1139035) on Friday June 13, 2008 @08:56AM (#23776773) Homepage
    I wish my moderator points didn't just expire. Hit the nail on the head.
  • SIM locks?! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jez9999 (618189) on Friday June 13, 2008 @08:57AM (#23776797) Homepage Journal
    Are you shitting me? IP rights are one thing (we don't expect people not to respect IP rights, we may disagree a bit on how extensive those rights should be), but SIM locks are an anticompetitive abomination, and this guy is a moron if he expects intelligent developers ever to like them. They're all about vendor lock-in, and removal of consumer choice. I bought my phone independently of a contract. It cost more but means I just put in whatever company's SIM I want and I switch providers that easily. Nokia, if you don't like that, fuck off. (It's a Nokia phone)
  • by plover (150551) * on Friday June 13, 2008 @08:59AM (#23776819) Homepage Journal
    I RTFA, and it's actually an accurate summary of his speech. It really sounds like the guy honestly believes the crap he's spewing.
  • I'm cool with DRM (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Skapare (16644) on Friday June 13, 2008 @09:00AM (#23776827) Homepage

    ... as long as it doesn't interfere with my rights to reprogram anything using any free/libre software and doesn't intefere with my fair use rights to use the content I pay for.

  • by seanellis (302682) on Friday June 13, 2008 @09:00AM (#23776831) Homepage Journal
    "As an industry, we plan to use open-source technologies, but we are not yet ready to play by the rules."

    Sounds like they are not yet in a position to use open-source technologies.

    It would be interesting to see if turnabout is fair play. I'd love to have a free high-end smartphone, but that means taking up an expensive monthly airtime contract. Instead, I'll just declare that I am "not yet ready to play by the rules", take the benefit of the free handset now, and later on I'll sign up for a contract when I am ready to play by the rules.

    OK?
  • by Opportunist (166417) on Friday June 13, 2008 @09:01AM (#23776843)
    Educated? I'd say LARTed.

    Can you imagine what a cell could become if it is "OSS friendly"? Yes, you will most likely not lock your customers into having to use it, but here's a really novel, radical and completely unthinkable idea: They just might want to use your product because it caters to their needs.

    I know it is so last century, but how about making a product again that the customer wants to buy instead of trying to force him to buy it with vendor lock-in snares?
  • by Rinisari (521266) on Friday June 13, 2008 @09:02AM (#23776859) Homepage Journal
    If I don't control it, I don't own it.
    If I don't own it, I can't trust it.
  • by RiotingPacifist (1228016) on Friday June 13, 2008 @09:03AM (#23776865)
    1) encrypt something
    2) send encrypted data to their computer
    3) send key to their computer
    4) wait for somebody to take a memory dump
    5) NO profit

    Even if somebody was to make a binary blob to prevent memory dumps at kernel level, all you need is to run linux in a virtual machine (i hear its good at that) or use some rootkit.
  • by aleph42 (1082389) * on Friday June 13, 2008 @09:03AM (#23776879)
    Other plans include getting the open-source community to make closed source software while still working for free. And also get nokia "a pony" (*).

    Oh wait. They want DRM, which needs the software to be closed source. So I guess that's already what they are asking for.

    And the "we need closed vehicles" bit? Worst car analogy ever. If you want to "close" your music, you encrypt it. What nokia wants are cars that locks from the outside when you get in, so you can't escape from them. Not sure that we really need those.

    (*)fake quote. Keep the pony if you've already bought it.
  • Re:Say what?!? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mdmkolbe (944892) on Friday June 13, 2008 @09:07AM (#23776931)
    If that is their plan, they must not realize the low value of QT (we have plenty of alternatives) compared to the high value of the no-DRM ideals in the F/OSS community. They really aren't in a bargaining position.
  • Re:SIM locks?! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MoonBuggy (611105) on Friday June 13, 2008 @09:09AM (#23776959) Journal
    I'm particularly surprised to hear this from Nokia, actually. It's been a few years since I was working with mobile phones, so maybe they've changed since then, but their SIM locks seemed like pretty much token efforts to appease the networks. Back then, at least, a lot of Motorola and Sony Ericsson phones were only unlockable with a full flash of the phone's OS while Nokias just needed a code that could be easily calculated from the phone's serial number. I always got the impression that Nokia wanted their phones to be unlocked - they don't make any money from the network contract anyway, so it was in their interests to have the handset itself as useful as possible to the customer.
  • Re:Emotional? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Opportunist (166417) on Friday June 13, 2008 @09:12AM (#23776999)
    The problem they are facing is that DRM and OSS don't mix easily. If at all. How do you want to enforce any kind of DRM when you open your source code?

    My guess is that he fell for the fallacy of considering the "free" in OSS as "doesn't cost anything". OSS can actually cost something. Nowhere does it say you can't ask for money to write it. The "free" part means that it is released openly. And that's something he appearantly simply doesn't get.
  • Re:Say what?!? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ShieldW0lf (601553) on Friday June 13, 2008 @09:14AM (#23777021) Journal
    This is the lesson here. Don't contribute to projects that claim ownership of your code as a condition of contributing. Fork the project first.

    Project Mayo used this model. Then they took the contributers code, closed it, and started DivX Networks.

    MySQL used this model. The only reason they haven't closed the code and started selling it was because Sun bought them to prevent it, and it's only by the good graces of Sun that the situation persists.

    QT used this model. Then they sold all the code they collected over the years to Nokia. And here we are.

    The moral of the story is, don't make compromises with these assholes. Don't put them in a position where they can screw you, because they can't be trusted, or they wouldn't have made the arrangement that set you up to be screwed in the first place.
  • Re:Say what?!? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by qortra (591818) on Friday June 13, 2008 @09:15AM (#23777031)
    I agree that the cost of QT is minor compared to our ideals, but it would be an unfortunate loss. QT is a great toolkit, and there are many projects that absorbed the regular updates that Trolltech issued.
  • Re:Say what?!? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by qortra (591818) on Friday June 13, 2008 @09:20AM (#23777077)
    Absolutely, and given the choice, I would choose a forked community QT over compromising our values concerning DRM. However, it would be unfortunate to lose the support of a larger organization dedicated exclusively to improving QT. Do you remember the recent article on the the stalled XOrg development? People don't like doing low level, thankless, GUI stuff. They like making interfaces, not improving the speed of existing widgets. It would be difficult to get a sufficient number of people to work on the project reliably, IMHO.
  • by Idaho (12907) on Friday June 13, 2008 @09:20AM (#23777079)
    "These are touchy, emotional issues"

    No, they are not. There are very rational and well-explained reasons for being against DRM, closed platforms, vendor lock-in and the like.

    I'm not even going to repeat them here, because I assume them to be well-known (certainly to the Slashdot audience).

    So that's some nice bullshitting and spin doctoring going on there, but no. Really, no.
  • by TheGreatOrangePeel (618581) on Friday June 13, 2008 @09:24AM (#23777135) Homepage

    this sounds rather like a declaration of war.

    Interesting you say that. My thoughts were more along the lines of Open Source is to the Native Americans as Nokia is to the U.S. Government. That is to say there's many Open Source organizations and no single collective leader over all of them, making it very difficult to negotiate a, to resume the metaphor, peace treaty.

    The fortunate thing is that I don't believe there is anything to be the proverbial bison that can be killed off to, in turn, wipe out Open Source.

  • by illumastorm (172101) on Friday June 13, 2008 @09:24AM (#23777137)
    No. They are worried that the ones who want the DRM, the carriers, will not buy the phones.
  • by varcher (156670) on Friday June 13, 2008 @09:25AM (#23777155)

    I think they are the ones that need to be "educated".

    In many ways. The article notes that "because the industry has not yet moved beyond old business models.", "they (drm/simlock/subsidisies) were necessary components of the current mobile industry", and "Some of these things harm the industry but they're here".

    The conclusion: Instead of the industry evolving, the programmers (namely, the Open Source crowd) need to go back to the old outdated model.
     
    When you recognise yourself that your business model is flawed and doesn't work, the LAST thing you want is to attempt to perpetuate it. You can hold on it by brute force for a while, but you'll lose your short-term gains in the long term.
     
    Of course, very few companies really think long term. The tyranny of publically owned companies and their stock.
  • Re:Say what?!? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by erudified (958273) <alex@erudified.com> on Friday June 13, 2008 @09:31AM (#23777223) Homepage

    "Jaaksi admitted that concepts like these 'go against the open-source philosophy,' but said they were necessary components of the current mobile industry. 'Why do we need closed vehicles? We do,'

    I read this, and interpret it as this:

    "Jaaksi admitted that going 140mph in a 55mph zone 'goes against the public safety philosophy,' but said it was a necessary component of his fast-paced business lifestyle. 'Why do I need to do 140mph? I do,'

    I love this guy.

  • by nahdude812 (88157) * on Friday June 13, 2008 @09:35AM (#23777263) Homepage
    DRM is 100% Security Through Obscurity. They give you everything you need to produce an unencrypted version of something, and hope to high heaven that the only time it ever exists in unencrypted form is some place you don't think to look for it.

    An open source DRM module couldn't possibly work. Well, it could, but it would be very easily crackable - instead of sending the unencrypted stream to the screen and speakers, send it instead to ff4mpeg or to a disk and have it re-encoded.

    Every major DRM scheme has been broken to date, and that's without having the source code available. Having the source means you just redirect the output to some place you can capture it, and you're done.
  • Re:Say what?!? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Spy der Mann (805235) <spydermann.slash ... m ['ail' in gap]> on Friday June 13, 2008 @09:35AM (#23777265) Homepage Journal

    This is the lesson here. Don't contribute to projects that claim ownership of your code as a condition of contributing. Fork the project first.

    Project Mayo used this model...
    MySQL used this model...
    QT used this model...

    And here we are.
    ...complaining about their greedy license change decisions. Changing mySQL from LGPL to GPL and then making small businesses pay several thousands of dollars to be able to use even the mySQL client? COME ON!

    MySQL, QT and DivX networks are *NO* better than Nokia. I don't care if MySQL never went commercial, it was much better as LGPL. Now everybody else is considering going to PostgreSQL.

    Compare with wxWidgets. It may not be as popular in the Linux area, but a lot of Windows developers use it.
  • Re:Translation (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MindKata (957167) on Friday June 13, 2008 @09:36AM (#23777275) Journal
    "Pretty typical attitude in the industry I'd say."

    Its unfortunately typical of a lot of bosses, regardless of the industry. Many bosses will arragantly use others, but don't want to give anything back (for fear of giving others a helping hand, as they may well end up being a competitor. So in their mind, its better to keep others down. They take, but don't give back. Its why they don't like open source, (when they have to compete with it), as its a threat to their way of treating others, as much as a threat to their products).

    From the summary, "Why do we need closed vehicles? We do"
    Yeah they do, as they want to control whats on their products, so they can charge whatever they like for them and if we don't like it, tough, as we will not get a choice, as they will prevent us having a choice, as they control whats on their products. ... Great, typical arragant control of others. Yet again they show their need to control others, is at the centre of how they think. Without control, people will not accept being treated like this and they know it. The world would be so much better, without this minority of arragant control freaks seeking to control where ever they can. Yet they want us to just accept it? ... yeah right. The more open, the better.
  • Re:Say what?!? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Friday June 13, 2008 @09:38AM (#23777313)

    Do you remember the recent article on the the stalled XOrg development? People don't like doing low level, thankless, GUI stuff. They like making interfaces, not improving the speed of existing widgets.

    Actually, I think most Linux developers don't really enjoy the bit they are working on. They do it because they are being paid by a company who needs that part improved. With X.org, for the most part, it was not a problem for what companies want to use it for (mostly as a server). As companies start to use Linux for more applications (to sell consumer laptops, for example) they will invest more in areas like improving X.org in ways that will facilitate those uses.

    It would be difficult to get a sufficient number of people to work on the project reliably, IMHO.

    Nokia could get out of developing QT, but someone else would move into the niche and undercut the prices of their proprietary replacement. It is simply too hot of a business opportunity to be ignored right now. Maybe the companies dumping money into QT development would go down for a while without Nokia's support, or maybe they would go up because people see an opportunity to make money. Either way, Nokia trying to use it as leverage is not going to get them too far.

  • Poor Ari (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 13, 2008 @09:39AM (#23777323)
    Poor guy, he has been the head and lead promoter of the Open Source group inside Nokia. He has convinced large parts of the upper management that Linux and Free Software are the way to go.. He's heavily invested not only millions and millions of Nokia's euros, but also most of his own credibility.

    And now he's stuck with the GPLv3 and the whole lock-the-phone/DRM/etc business model becomes very hard to do. Now that major parts of the infrastructure (think glibc) are turning LGPLv3, he's stuck between a rock (freedom) and a hard place (loosing face/being stuck with Symbian)...
  • Re:SIM locks?! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nahdude812 (88157) * on Friday June 13, 2008 @09:41AM (#23777337) Homepage
    Make no mistake, phone manufacturers benefit from SIM locks just like carriers do. After all, they're the one selling you the new phone each time you switch carriers.
  • not having SIM locks would be in Nokia's best interest
    Unless it means that no North American provider will buy phones in bulk from Nokia.
  • by Skapare (16644) on Friday June 13, 2008 @09:43AM (#23777365) Homepage

    Carriers? You mean those companies who don't want to allow consumers the freedom of choice? The companies that want to prevent you from playing any music you have legally obtained from somewhere else (whether it was paid for, or given away for free) and want to force us to buy everything from them?

  • by unity100 (970058) on Friday June 13, 2008 @09:44AM (#23777371) Homepage Journal
    In open source, its the community that dictates the terms. Not individuals.
  • Re:Say what?!? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sgt scrub (869860) <saintium@yaho[ ]om ['o.c' in gap]> on Friday June 13, 2008 @09:45AM (#23777389)
    It would be difficult to get a sufficient number of people to work on the project reliably
    See. That is the reason for my comment on the Xorg article to the fact of "if someone insists on something being in your code tell them to pay you or f'off". Projects shouldn't be a matter of "getting enough people together to produce something". FOSS projects should be love'm or leave'm.

    QT isn't exactly the only game in town for foss_gui. If QT fell off the map the underlying technology that lets QT draw the pretty pictures will continue to work fine.

    I'm right there with you as far as principles go. Which brings it back to "pay or f'off". If someone wants something from you that is in addition to what you were planning or had time to do they should pay you. If these guys want QT to have BSware in it then they should pay someone to write it then ask for hooks to implement it within QT. If they kill QT over it then it is the original developers that get screwed. And trust me, if you screw the original developers on a project you will already have your "enough people" to fork the project.
  • Re:Say what?!? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) <marc...paradise@@@gmail...com> on Friday June 13, 2008 @09:50AM (#23777435) Homepage Journal
    Low value is a relative thing - that's a lot of work to rewrite KDE3 and 4 without it.
  • Re:Emotional? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Randall311 (866824) on Friday June 13, 2008 @09:50AM (#23777437) Homepage
    OSS with DRM would be hilarious. You could actually break it in real time with each new release. Just look at the code... I can't believe these companies continue to embrace DRM. It hurts their customers, it is against fair use, and it is a pain in the ass to implement, and an inconvenience for us to have to work around it. It's not a deterrent to pirates at all, and it's a flawed model. You can't give someone the lock and the key and say "don't break in." This has all been said before ad-nausea. It boggles my mind to think that DRM is still being embraced by these nitwits. Then they have the gall to ask us to provide DRM. Forget these profiteering assholes.
  • Re:Say what?!? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by clang_jangle (975789) on Friday June 13, 2008 @09:53AM (#23777465) Journal
    I read it as a ransom note too, but I don't think the hostage is qt -- it's freedom to run our code on a phone, period. It isn't too hard to envision a time when hacking a device connected to a proprietary network becomes a criminal offense.
  • Re:Say what?!? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by uuxququex (1175981) on Friday June 13, 2008 @09:55AM (#23777479)
    Now everybody else is considering going to PostgreSQL.

    Which is a better outcome than one could have hoped for. Postgresql is so unbelievably more stable and robust it isn't even funny anymore. MySQL might have been OK for read-only web backends, but let's not pretend it is a real RDBMS.

    Postgresql, however, is technologically better and has a better license. What's not to love?

  • Re:Say what?!? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Penguinisto (415985) on Friday June 13, 2008 @09:57AM (#23777507) Journal

    that's a lot of work to rewrite KDE3 and 4 without it.



    Wouldn't have to - IIRC it uses the GPL version(s) - Can't close what's already open, y'know? The only real effort would be in forking what you've already got.


    (besides, GNOME is the default in many distros these days anyhoo, even the newbie-friendly ones. It is very, very capable of taking KDE's place).

  • by segedunum (883035) on Friday June 13, 2008 @10:00AM (#23777535)

    "We want to educate open-source developers. There are certain business rules [developers] need to obey, such as DRM, IPR [intellectual property rights], SIM locks and subsidised business models."
    Educate them of what? Lock-ins are totally and fundamentally incompatible with open source software, and the natural reaction is to free up or move on to something you can actually develop software freely for. The notion of open source software means that nothing can be kept secret. That's the direction that things head in, and I would have thought that Nokia would have been all for it as it helps them sell more phones.

    As an industry, we plan to use open-source technologies but we are not yet ready to play by the rules; but this needs to work the other way round too.
    You either play by the rules or there is no dialogue, and it ultimately harms you as well. I've never seen a successful 'mixed source' software company.

    Don't make your own version. The original mistake we made was to take the code to our labs, change it and then release it at the last minute. The community had already gone in a different direction than [us], and no-one was pushing it other than [us].
    Tough luck. If people want things like ogg support then they'll go and get it. Forking is a fundamental freedom, and it will happen more often unless you play by the rules more.

    "a huge responsibility from a desktop and user interface point of view to see how we play our cards"
    Rrrrrrrrright. What does that mean?

    and expressed a keenness to see KDE and Gnome brought "closer".
    Do some Googling on the last ten years. They are divergent codebases, and while they share lots of libraries like X, I don't know what he means by 'closer'. It's as good as it gets.

    Jaaksi added that he believed Symbian, the proprietary operating system in which Nokia has a major share, would still "in years to come [be] the best platform on which to create smart phones".
    So we get to what the problem really is, and why he's being defensive about LiMo. As time moved on the odds are that the platform of choice will be Linux and an open source GUI because of the very advantages from the very freedoms and rules that he derides. Manufacturers can pick up the code, not have to worry about NDAs, IP and exorbitant fees, and get on with it. Qt will probably lead the way with Qtopia and GUI toolkits on Linux based phones. It's about cost cutting and economies of scale. Nokia will either join the wagon or fall off it, and being defensive with Symbian is a bad idea.
  • Re:Say what?!? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MBGMorden (803437) on Friday June 13, 2008 @10:01AM (#23777539)

    MySQL, QT and DivX networks are *NO* better than Nokia. I don't care if MySQL never went commercial, it was much better as LGPL. Now everybody else is considering going to PostgreSQL.
    That might be better in the long run. PostgreSQL in most people's opinions is a far better database for just about anything. As a former MySQL user, I've been attempting to switch over all my existing stuff from MySQL to PostegreSQL if the app supports it. So far, everything has been working nicely (MySQL on the other hand, has corrupted at least 1 database beyond repair for me before).

    Divx networks? We made Xvid.

    If QT goes that route then we do have wxWidgets as you mentioned (which is a toolkit that I REALLY like - you mentioned Linux and Windows but the code also ports over to MacOS as well), or the obvious choice of GTK.

    We will suh-vive.
  • by SgtChaireBourne (457691) on Friday June 13, 2008 @10:08AM (#23777619) Homepage

    Here it is: the KDE Free Qt Foundation [kde.org].

    If Nokia screws up and stops releasing FOSS versions of Qt or otherwise messes with it, Qt's forcefully taken from them. The Foundation is there to ensure that Qt remains available. In a lot of ways, it would make more sense to do this now before Nokia starts using it as a hammer to pound DRM where it doesn't belong. Further, Nokia's competitors would be stupid to use it while Nokia controls it. Tools like Qt belong under an independent company or foundation. Jaaksi is just making that very clear.

    What Jaaksi seems to be saying on behalf of his employer, Nokia, is that the company is unwilling to abide by the license (the GPL) under which their new business model is founded upon. That's not a way to appear clever. Though it's good of them to put the cards on the table so early after acquisition, it's still rather shameful of Nokia to try to bullshit us like that. Probably time to check the resume's of Nokia execs and dismiss any moles from Redmond.

    I'm not planning on giving up on Qt anytime soon, but I do resent the increased level of alertness required by these probes.

  • Re:Emotional? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by sobachatina (635055) on Friday June 13, 2008 @10:10AM (#23777645)
    And a huge step backward for humanity.
  • Moderate TFA funny (Score:3, Insightful)

    by hoppy (21392) on Friday June 13, 2008 @10:18AM (#23777723) Homepage
    Thank you Mr Jaaski, you made my day. I did not laugh so loud from corporate speech for long.

    I really appreciate the : "We want to educate open-source developers. There are certain business rules [developers] need to obey, such as DRM, IPR [intellectual property rights], SIM locks and subsidised business models."

    Who educates who ? You simply did not grasp the inner meaning of Open Source. You seem confused the world does not work as you want it to be. Your solution is then to "Educate", to teach reality to all this dreamers because you know the true. It's so pathetic that it's funny. You do not understand your model is obsolete, people do not want DRM, they do not want SIM lock.

    You present these "technologies" as natural, but they are not. Coalition of network operators, manufacturers, and content providers want to impose it to the users. It's nothing natural, it's just the easiest way to keep high margin business. Or so you think, because users will not keep buying this s**t if they have choice. And FLOSS gives this choice.
  • by hummassa (157160) on Friday June 13, 2008 @10:25AM (#23777847) Homepage Journal
    (as a contributor). Qt is GPL'd, and a fork is available at all times. Lots of good, GPL'd Qt software can only work with the fork if Nokia chooses to close it up. The loss are the good brains at Trolltech.
  • Re:Say what?!? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Goaway (82658) on Friday June 13, 2008 @10:27AM (#23777879) Homepage
    "Clueless"? He is pretty much spot on. Clueless to try and fork in the first place, perhaps?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 13, 2008 @10:31AM (#23777941)
    I'm not techie, so lemme rephrase what ur saying: "If you can see/hear it, you can copy it!"
    Isn't that the gist?

    Is it some kinda law named after some guy (Moore, Murphy...) or something?
  • Open-source developers targeting the mobile space need to learn business rules including digital rights management, Nokia's software chief has claimed.

    "In this industry, we don't care about our customers. If you want to work with us, you'll have to respect that."

    Speaking at the Handsets World conference in Berlin on Tuesday, Dr Ari Jaaksi told delegates that the open-source community needed to be 'educated' in the way the mobile industry currently works, because the industry has not yet moved beyond old business models.

    "Our business models are very fragile. Please don't break them."

    Jaaksi, Nokia's vice president of software and head of the Finnish handset manufacturer's open-source operations, said: "We want to educate open-source developers. There are certain business rules [developers] need to obey, such as DRM, IPR [intellectual property rights], SIM locks and subsidised business models."

    "Our business is based on customer lock-in, rather than customer satisfaction. Don't interfere."

    Jaaksi admitted that concepts like these "go against the open-source philosophy", but said they were necessary components of the current mobile industry. "Why do we need closed vehicles? We do," he said. "Some of these things harm the industry but they're here [as things stand]. These are touchy, emotional issues but this dialogue is very much needed. As an industry, we plan to use open-source technologies but we are not yet ready to play by the rules; but this needs to work the other way round too."

    "We accept that we have problems, and that if we followed your rules we wouldn't have these problems. But instead, we want you to follow our rules and enjoy our problems with us."

    Nokia's primary play in the open-source sphere thus far has been Maemo, the Linux-based operating system that runs on its N800-series tablet devices. These devices are popular among developers in the Maemo developer community but, being something of a testbed, have not yet seen much traction in the mass market.

    Ok.

    In his speech, Jaaksi detailed some of the lessons Nokia had learned in its work with the Maemo developer community, primarily the need to avoid 'forking' code. He said: "Don't make your own version. The original mistake we made was to take the code to our labs, change it and then release it at the last minute. The community had already gone in a different direction than [us], and no-one was pushing it other than [us]. Everybody wants to make their own version and keep it too close to their chest but that leads to fragmentation."

    A common fear about BSD-style licenses is that people will make closed forks. If the project is active, this fear is very likely overblown.

    The manufacturer has one other significant investment in open source, however: the software maker Trolltech, Nokia's purchase of which finally went through in the last few days. Trolltech makes Qt, a graphical toolkit that is used in the KDE Linux desktop environment and in much commercial software and is an apparently non-participatory member in the LiMo Foundation.

    Ok.

    LiMo is an industry consortium that is creating a common middleware layer to help Linux-based software make it onto handsets from a variety of manufacturers. However, neither LiMo nor Maemo use Qt or KDE, opting instead for the GTK+ toolkit and a Gnome-based desktop environment. This has led to a level of industry speculation that Nokia may withdraw Trolltech from LiMo, to use it for other purposes. Nokia statedâ"when it announced it was to buy Trolltechâ"that the purchase was to help it move into the applications market.

    Some people think that Nokia wants to go play by itself.

    Speaking to silicon.com sister site ZDNet.co.uk after his presentation, Jaaksi said Nokia was "only now" able

  • Dune (Score:2, Insightful)

    by FrozenFOXX (1048276) on Friday June 13, 2008 @10:39AM (#23778093)
    He who controls the source, controls the industry.

    In this case they don't control shit other than a phone. What an arrogant prick...and here I was actually thinking about getting a Nokia phone this year, silly me. Guess I can tell my friends and family they can cross Nokia off their lists since I won't help them with it.
  • Re:Say what?!? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by johannesg (664142) on Friday June 13, 2008 @10:47AM (#23778233)

    People don't like doing low level, thankless, GUI stuff. They like making interfaces, not improving the speed of existing widgets. It would be difficult to get a sufficient number of people to work on the project reliably, IMHO.
    Are you seriously making the point that open source developers like making interfaces? How in the name of all that is holy do you then explain the aweful mess of crappy interfaces that plagues the open source world, may I ask? That's not a labor of love, that's the work of the DEVIL! The DEVIL, I tell you! ( ;-) )

    (which is not to say that there aren't any good projects, but the ones with crappy interfaces and lacking documentation are certainly in the majority...)
  • Re:Say what?!? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sumdumass (711423) on Friday June 13, 2008 @10:48AM (#23778247) Journal
    I really don't understand what all the fuss about DRM in an open source world is. As long as it is disclosed up front and every person contemplating the purchase of something is aware of the limits, restrictions, ownership, effects and so on, and that the GPL or whatever open source license is being followed, there really shouldn't be a conflict.

    This entire no DRM stand is basically saying that I can't have the option to purchase something or enter into some agreement with a company in a fair and free society. Actually, as long as the licenses are followed and a proper disclosure is don't so someone doesn't think they are buying something just to find out later that they got a right to use it in a certain way with a certain device, the open source community should be pretty agnostic about the DRM. There really is no reason to fear it and there certainly isn't a reason to promote Microsoft's agenda by forcing companies looking for DRM to deliver some product in some way to use their crap ware. DRM and the GPL isn't incompatible is it? Certainly not that I am aware of unless it is being used to thwart the GPL terms. As long as that isn't happening, where is the beef?
  • by Deadplant (212273) on Friday June 13, 2008 @10:50AM (#23778277)

    (1) Continue to be hostile to DRM, but continue to be increasingly marginalized.
    This does not hold water... The linux community has been very hostile to DRM and has been spreading like wildfire.
    I don't see any evidence of linux being marginalized.
  • by mixmatch (957776) on Friday June 13, 2008 @10:51AM (#23778293) Homepage
    Well, for one, DRM doesn't work. There have been plenty of discussions about that on Slashdot. You cannot give out the lock and the key together and expect it to not get cracked. For a much more in-depth explanation, you can read this: http://www.markshuttleworth.com/archives/96 [markshuttleworth.com]
  • by Kumiorava (95318) on Friday June 13, 2008 @10:55AM (#23778371)
    I do think Nokia gets it. There is no other mobile phone company that does as much as Nokia does on Open Source platforms. Additionally most of Nokia phones can be purchased directly from Nokia site without SIM locks or operator limitations. Problem is that then current business models (SIM locks, DRM) are widely spread and Nokia cannot work with it's partners without having these technologies implemented.

    I'm amazed to see how hostile this reaction was towards a company that does contribute quite a lot to Open Source community and tries to work out a working solution for the conflicts that are currently present. I would imagine other companies won't dare to venture into Open Source realm because of the hostility and uncompromising attitude. Taking reality into account might help sometimes.

    Bottom line is that Nokia won't be using Open Source Software as much as it would like to due to these restrictions. In my opinion this is not only loss on Nokia's part but also on OSS community is losing it's breakthrough to wider market and crucial steps towards general openness. The demand to meet every and all OSS requirement is not currently possible now and OSS community alone cannot figure out steps that would bring society as a whole closer to the ultimate openness target. What Nokia (and Ari Jaaksi) in my understanding is trying to suggest here is that OSS would relax a bit on some deal breakers on manufacturers side and allow them to embrace OSS more. Alternatively we will end up completely closed source solutions and this opportunity to change society in large scale is lost for now.
  • by Vexorian (959249) on Friday June 13, 2008 @11:00AM (#23778431)
    "We like open source, as a way for us to get free cake, but please Linux devs, change your licenses and forget about all that freedom, transparency and competition stuff, let us have our free cake without having to risk our monopolies, this will allows us to be the only who profit from Linux, in exchange, I promise not to say you are not ready for business, thanks."
  • by benad (308052) * on Friday June 13, 2008 @11:13AM (#23778729) Homepage Journal

    Coming from someone that just bought a Nokia N810, that might sound biased, but... I think most posters here completely missed the point.

    Nokia sells cellphones, and most of them are sold to carriers that want to use SIM locks and DRM to lock in customers to their plans and those stupid ringtones at $1.

    Why do you think they use Linux almost only for "Internet Tablets"? No carriers would never sell a phone that's unlocked out of the box, and the vast majority of cellphones are bought with a plan, not unlocked.

    Why do you guys think the iPhone is selling so well? Because it's unlocked? Because it's Open Source? And why do you guys think the iTunes music store grew so big at first? Because it was DRM free?

    Nokia, RedHat, Sun are not making the rules. Business, cellphone carriers, and media companies are the ones lobbying governments, and until that changes there is no way Open Source software will grow unless we gradually change those rules.

  • Re:Say what?!? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 13, 2008 @11:18AM (#23778811)

    This is the lesson here. Don't contribute to projects that claim ownership of your code as a condition of contributing. Fork the project first.

    Project Mayo used this model. Then they took the contributers code, closed it, and started DivX Networks.
    Ok, and other people continued and made XviD out of it, so?

    MySQL used this model. The only reason they haven't closed the code and started selling it was because Sun bought them to prevent it, and it's only by the good graces of Sun that the situation persists.
    This is not just FUD, those are blatant lies. MySQL did not intend to close any open source code (and couldn't, due to the license). The takeover by Sun allows for more open components to be developed without having to worry about making money, that's all.

    QT used this model. Then they sold all the code they collected over the years to Nokia. And here we are.
    Here we are with a GPL version of Qt, plus the possibility of a BSD fork if Nokia stops developing the free edition.

    The moral of the story is, don't make compromises with these assholes. Don't put them in a position where they can screw you, because they can't be trusted, or they wouldn't have made the arrangement that set you up to be screwed in the first place.
    The moral of the story is, don't be a fucking moron. Actually try to understand what you are talking about instead of spreading ridiculous FUD and making an ass of yourself.
  • Re:Say what?!? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by qortra (591818) on Friday June 13, 2008 @11:27AM (#23778983)

    DRM and the GPL isn't incompatible is it?
    GPL 3 and DRM are relatively incompatible.

    I really don't understand what all the fuss about DRM in an open source world is.
    Then you don't understand the impetus for Free Software. Among the many and diverse goals of free software developers, one particularly prominent goal is to break down IP barriers that have previously obstructed use and development of software. In the case of GNU, the specific IP encumbered product that was being avoided was AT&T Unix.

    Implementing DRM in free software is in direct violation of that goal. DRM is a paradigm that, once again, is designed to build obstructions to the development and use of software and media. Asking OSS developers to build DRM solutions is like asking OSS developers to make "Linux Genuine Advantage" software to prevent Apt from working when the system is not "authorized", or activation software to brick your computer if you change the video card one too many times. Why in the world would an OSS developer do such a stupid thing? There simply isn't any utility.

    So in short, the following question is purposeless: "is DRM compatible with OSS?" The question you should be asking: "why would an OSS developer donate his time to make his and everybody else's life harder?".
  • by gsgleason (1241794) on Friday June 13, 2008 @11:39AM (#23779173)
    ..not to buy another Nokia product. I cannot fathom that someone would actually say these things in a public forum. He poses the question, "Why do we need closed vehicles?" yet doesn't answer. He pretty much says it's because the industry uses archaic business practices. I'm sorry, but that's not justification enough to try to get around the GPL.
  • Re:Say what?!? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 0xABADC0DA (867955) on Friday June 13, 2008 @11:41AM (#23779209)

    This entire no DRM stand is basically saying that I can't have the option to purchase something or enter into some agreement with a company in a fair and free society.
    Oh you have the right to purchase something that uses DRM or enter into an agreement with a company that uses DRM in their products. Also, the company has the right to reimplement every open source code they would have used in the product, and you have the right to pay the cost of that.

    The changes in GPLv3 to fight DRM are entirely about the free market: either DRM adds enough benefit that companies implement their own codes or it doesn't and they use open source codes. It's up to the market to decide whether open source or DRM can coexist or if one dies. As open source developers, we write code for free and give it away under some license. If licenses with anti-DRM in them out-compete the others like say BSD then that is the market deciding that collaboration and spirit is more valuable than DRM.

    When companies complain 'how can we compete with andriod when most of the cost was donated free by open source developers?' they are just whining. If they can't figure out how to compete then they need to drop DRM or die in the market -- that is a free market in action.
  • Re:Say what?!? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Cyberax (705495) on Friday June 13, 2008 @11:49AM (#23779357)
    I _HOPE_ that it happens.

    Because in this case KDE agreement kicks in and the last published version of QT will be automatically relicensed under BSD license.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 13, 2008 @12:20PM (#23779999)
    Nokia is being forced by another industry (Verison, Sprunt, ATTingular, TMo, etc) to lock their cellphones and smartphones up so that the wireless giants can exhaustively control what end-customers can and can't do with them, or else Nokia devices will not be permitted on their networks and hence will be unsellable. Nokia must do this in order to survive since the Japanese, Korean, and most of all American (Motorolla) makers of the phone devices are already way to eager to do as the carriers demand. Nokia has already been completely pushed out of the CDMA phone market in the USA and the GSM market would just as soon tell them to FOAD too, unless they willing to cave in to the control-freak demands of the carriers.
  • Re:Say what?!? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Steve Max (1235710) on Friday June 13, 2008 @12:38PM (#23780373) Journal
    Exactly. He seems to be opening the door for a possibly very constructive dialog between the number one player in the mobile arena and the FLOSS world. Hopefully, both parties will come out stronger and closer in the end.

    The inflammatory, anti-corporate view may seem more interesting, but people should read it again with a cool head. "We are not yet ready to play by the [FLOSS world's] rules", and neither is the FLOSS world (yet) ready to play by the mobile industry's rules. Only by communicating those rules, expectations and prejudices can be removed so that we can all play by the same rules.

    You can't seriously expect phone manufacturers to remove the possibility of a SIM lock. You can't also seriously expect FLOSS developers not to want the modifications you made to their code to make the phone lockable. But if we want to work together (and we do), we need to find a way that makes everyone happy. This was his point, not "GIMME DRM IN LINUX OR I'LL KILL QT!!!! MWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!"
  • by indifferent children (842621) on Friday June 13, 2008 @12:41PM (#23780441)
    More to the point DRM doesn't need to lock out fair use.

    Yeah, it pretty much does. Unless your DRM system is a full-blown AI (with all the knowledge of a competent lawyer (for your jurisdiction)), how is it going to judge whether the mashup video that you want to create, using someone's DRM-encumbered audio stream, is a copyright violation or fair use? Does it depend on whether you are going to view your mashup in your own home, or send it to friends? Does it matter if you intend a commercial use for your mashup? Even an IP lawyer can't necessarily tell you how a judge is going to rule on a license violation issue (or whether the license is valid, meaningful, unconcionable, etc)

    With DRM, the answer to your request to access encumbered content can never be "maybe" or "sometimes"; it pretty much has to be "yes" or "no".

  • I love DRM (Score:1, Insightful)

    by kalbzayn (927509) on Friday June 13, 2008 @12:43PM (#23780473)
    DRM saves me so much money by telling me exactly which products I am not going to buy. It's a great system.
  • Re:Say what?!? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mrchaotica (681592) * on Friday June 13, 2008 @12:49PM (#23780589)

    I really don't understand what all the fuss about DRM in an open source world is.

    The entire point of Free Software is to allow you, the user, to have control over your device.* The entire point of DRM is to prevent you, the user, from having control over your device.

    Do you see the problem yet?

    (* Ensuring that you have both the source code to the software (what all versions of the GPL did) and the ability to install and run it (what the GPL3 does, which is why it was necessary) is merely the mechanism by which the Free Software Foundation attempts to accomplish this.)

  • Re:Say what?!? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by grammar fascist (239789) on Friday June 13, 2008 @05:17PM (#23784953) Homepage

    but we are not yet ready to play by the rules; but this needs to work the other way round too
    So you're not yet ready to play by our rules, but you want us to play by your rules so that you have an opportunity to take advantage of the work we produce and provide to you for free (beer/speech); when the only stipulation we have is that you provide it back for free?
    No, not just provide it back for free. This is the man behind the maemo platform [maemo.org], the as-open-source-as-we-could-get-it platform for Nokia's internet tablets [wikipedia.org]. By his estimation the default image is over 2/3's free software, and it's not just stuff they grabbed online and plonked into it gratis. Nokia hired open-source developers actively contribute to open-source projects. (This was before they acquired Trolltech.) They opened as much code as they could on the maemo platform without running into hardware IP issues and other things that made Jaaksi's higher-ups queasy.

    Am I saying it's perfect right now? No. But cut the guy some slack.

    Also, both reports of his talk I've seen have misrepresented what he said. He also talked about [blogspot.com] businesses needing to learn how to do things the open-source way:

    Companies like Nokia need to learn the open source way of working. This means not only fulfilling the letter of GPL, LGPL etc. but also the spirit. In my mind this means integrating the corporate work with the open source community, participating, contributing back the code, building the code in open projects and not only releasing it when mandatory, not forking, etc. Open source is a very effective way to create software together with others; together with other individuals and other companies. This is something that the corporate must learn to really benefit from open source.

    It's not just lip service. I've read elsewhere (can't remember where) that he genuinely regards the open-source development model as generally superior.

    A fairer article would have titled the article "Nokia: Business and Open-Source Should Work to Understand Each Other and Compromise". But that doesn't generate traffic, now, does it?

After an instrument has been assembled, extra components will be found on the bench.

Working...