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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.'"
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Nokia Urges Linux Developers To Be Cool With DRM

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  • 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.
    • 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.
    • Re:Say what?!? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by qortra (591818) on Friday June 13, 2008 @09:01AM (#23776837)
      Interesting. I read it as more of a ransom note:

      "We have QT, and unless you give us DRM software in 6 months, you can kiss future GPL releases goodbye!"
      • Re:Say what?!? (Score:5, Informative)

        by kipman725 (1248126) on Friday June 13, 2008 @09:03AM (#23776883)
        well thats the wonder of the GPL, we can just take the most current version of QT and FORK.
        • 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.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by 3p1ph4ny (835701)
            I'm going to be a senior in college this fall, in Computer Engineering. I've never contributed to an OSS project before (although I've been hacking kde4 for a few weeks), but I would love to start and learn how.

            I love KDE very much, and if Nokia starts to hold QT hostage, I'd very happily donate a large chunk of my free time to QT development. In fact, it would be just the opportunity I'm looking for to get started contributing to OSS.

            So, your sentiment may be true overall, but there are probably a few woul
          • 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.

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

            by sgt scrub (869860) <saintium@@@yahoo...com> 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:5, Informative)

            by Seahawk (70898) <tts&image,dk> on Friday June 13, 2008 @10:20AM (#23777761)
            Without having worked on either X or QT, I would guess that QT is ALOT more accessible to get into than X. Look at the amount of different UI toolkits is around. Sure, most of them is far from the quality of QT but it's a sign that doing work on the level of QT seems to appeal to quite a lot of people.

            But software that is comparable to X is very scarce, which indicates that THAT kind of software just isn't "funny" to do.

            If Nokia ever would try to play hardball, I think a community supported version of QT would do just fine - KDE developers would most likely just pick it up, and if noone really wanted to maintain QT, it would simply die and we'd all use GTK instead.

            So - I really don't see the same problem as with X.org here.
          • 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?
            • 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 edmicman (830206) on Friday June 13, 2008 @12:34PM (#23780313) Homepage Journal

                The question you should be asking: "why would an OSS developer donate his time to make his and everybody else's life harder?".
                Sociopathic spite? I dunno....now I could see doing it just to piss people off.... :-)
              • Re:Say what?!? (Score:5, Interesting)

                by scamper_22 (1073470) on Friday June 13, 2008 @01:42PM (#23781755)
                "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?"."

                no, that's not the question should be asking. I don't think any sane mind OSS developer would put their time to write DRM applications.

                HOWEVER, would a company like Nokia have a reason to write open source DRM applications? Absolutely.
                That said, they'd have to provide the source code which would then make circumventing their DRM trivial. So the only way this could work is if they got governments (looking at you Canada) to go along with criminal offences with respect to software that breaks locking mechanisms. They seem to be having success in certain countries.

                So it's not unthinkable for Nokia to have a linux based mobile OS, with an open source DRM package that they use for media content (which means it can ported and the media can remain fully compatible). The only thing protecting the open source DRM from being hacked as the laws against it (as above). If this became the norm, I'm pretty sure you would see other develops using the nokia package to allow other applications to access the media. Maybe a plugin for media players... Or maybe nokia would develop those too.

                I must claim ignorance as to whether or not the GPL would legally prevent open source DRM from being implemented.
            • 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:5, Interesting)

              by Stradivarius (7490) on Friday June 13, 2008 @12:44PM (#23780481)
              Nobody disputes your right to enter into whatever purchasing agreement you desire, to include DRM or not. (Some may dispute whether you really have much choice, given that the music market is controlled by a small cartel, but let's assume for the sake of argument you both had the choice and chose DRM).

              Now suppose you want to want to play that music on your open-source device - say a Linux-based mp3 player. Since open source software guarantees you the freedom to modify the source code, there is nothing to prevent you from modifying the operating system or other open source code on the device to circumvent whatever DRM measure the vendor put in place.

              This situation is of great concern to the DRM-using vendor. They wish to enforce your agreement by technical means (rather than legal means), in part because it avoids them having to know whether you're breaking the agreement you made, and in part because it's a lot cheaper for them than suing you for copyright infringement or breach of contract in the event you violate your agreement.

              Thus the vendors start playing tricks like building hardware that will only run software that the vendor themselves digitally signed. This includes the GPL operating system and other GPL software on the device. This allows them to enforce their DRM, but also prevents you from exercising your freedoms under the GPL to run your modified software, even when your modifications are unrelated to the DRM you agreed to.

              The free software community views this tactic as an attack on the whole point of the GPL. The DRM-using vendors simply don't care about the collateral damage their attempts at technical enforcement of DRM impose. But the free software community cares a lot about those freedoms.

              That is why GPLv3 has explicit provisions against this sort of practice - if vendors want to use technology to restrict your freedoms, they can write their own software to do it. If they want to use GPLed software, they need to honor its terms (and hopefully the spirit too). What they can't do is have it both ways.

              So to summarize - open source software gives you the freedoms that DRM companies aren't willing to let you keep, and gives them cost savings they aren't willing to give up. So instead they try to circumvent the GPL, creating the current conflict.
            • 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.)

        • by Bastard of Subhumani (827601) on Friday June 13, 2008 @10:20AM (#23777757) Journal

          we can just take the most current version of QT and FORK.
          Nokia can go and fork themselves!
      • 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: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: (Score:3, Insightful)

          Low value is a relative thing - that's a lot of work to rewrite KDE3 and 4 without it.
      • Re:Say what?!? (Score:5, Informative)

        by Constantine XVI (880691) <trash...eighty+slashdot@@@gmail...com> on Friday June 13, 2008 @09:14AM (#23777017)
        They're still held by the Free Qt deal. If they stop releasing OSS versions of Qt, it's forcefully taken from them.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by geminidomino (614729) *
          [citation needed]

          Mostly because I'm curious.
          • Re:Say what?!? (Score:5, Informative)

            by PurpleBob (63566) on Friday June 13, 2008 @09:38AM (#23777299)
            Google knows all. KDE Free Qt Foundation [kde.org]

            I hadn't heard of it before, either. Now I'm wondering: what additional power does this agreement give them? Presumably everyone already has the right to fork Qt.
            • Re:Say what?!? (Score:4, Informative)

              by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 13, 2008 @10:28AM (#23777883)
              It's a licensing thing, mostly.

              Under the agreement, if Trolltech (now Nokia) stop releasing GPL-licensed versions of the Qt library for a period of time, for any reason, the last GPL-licensed release is to be relicensed under a BSD-style license.

              In other words, the last GPL-licensed release of Qt will become free for any use, including use in commercial, closed-source software.

              With the current GPL / QPL / commercial licensing arrangement, any software developed with Qt either has to be free and open source, or you're required to pay for a commercial license. A fork based on the current Qt would still have that restriction.
          • 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: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:5, Interesting)

      by paroneayea (642895) on Friday June 13, 2008 @09:02AM (#23776853) Homepage

      Hopefully at some point soon OpenMoko [openmoko.com] will become good enough for normal phone usage. Now there's a company that, from the very beginning, has wanted to play by our rules.

      Want to get the linux community's support? Asus did it, even though I'm not entirely sure they realized it when they began doing so. By releasing a machine that's linux friendly and not locked down, you're sure to get a community surrounding you that will help even improve the usefulness of your product.

      • by morgan_greywolf (835522) * on Friday June 13, 2008 @09:51AM (#23777445) Homepage Journal
        Could this be the year of OpenMoko on the smartphone? :)
      • Re:Say what?!? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Znork (31774) on Friday June 13, 2008 @01:13PM (#23781157)
        The Freerunner looks good enough for geek use, so I'm certainly going to order one. It's the first phone I've actually wanted.

        I doubt opensource developers need any 'education' from Nokia; most understand those 'business rules'. And reject them. Nokia on the other hand, have been fairly consistently in favour of proprietary approaches, from support for software patents to DRM, etc.

        The phone industry and its 'business rules' has brought us things like short text messages with profit margins in the range of thousands of percent of the cost, 'ringtones', drm'ed throwaway music, etc. I understand exactly how it works, as does anyone who hasn't had a rectal anesthetic for the last decade.

        Over the longer term, open handsets stand to revolutionize portable computing. Unless the company changes philosophy at some fundamental level, I doubt Nokia will be part of that.
    • 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.

    • 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

  • by base3 (539820) on Friday June 13, 2008 @08:54AM (#23776741)
    Write your own damn code!
    • by plover (150551) * on Friday June 13, 2008 @09:01AM (#23776845) Homepage Journal
      Well, I suppose someone could write an open source DRM module for mplayer. Would that work for you?
      • by inasity_rules (1110095) on Friday June 13, 2008 @09:11AM (#23776975) Journal
        Funny, but why not? Optionally installed of course.... Trying to mandatorily include DRM in all opensource media players would be a very strange and ludicrous idea. But if someone wants to hang themselves, give them some more rope and fetch the popcorn.
      • by gnasher719 (869701) on Friday June 13, 2008 @09:23AM (#23777113)

        Well, I suppose someone could write an open source DRM module for mplayer. Would that work for you?
        First, this could be done even using GPL v. 3 (the GPL would require that the DRM module can be modified by users and that a modified module can be installed; the GPL doesn't care what the module actually does). And it would most likely be the most unbreakable DRM in existence: If you write a DRM module that cannot be circumvented even with the possibility of modifying the code and installing a modified module, then what on earth is a hacker to do to get around this?
        • 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: (Score:3, Informative)

            by digitalchinky (650880)
            Not only has DRM been broken, so has Symbian's S60V3, in several different ways. For Nokia phones this means any file with DRM is easily copied straight off the phone minus the DRM. Drag and drop.

            It is now simplistic in the extreme to bypass the whole signed application requirement. No more caged directory structure, no more annoying prompts, as a result it's now easy to pull out the hex editor and tweak things around, recalculate the hashes, UID's, and SID, then enjoy the goodness that is symbian exposed.
      • by dk.r*nger (460754) on Friday June 13, 2008 @09:37AM (#23777289)

        Well, I suppose someone could write an open source DRM module for mplayer. Would that work for you?

        Yeah, but no:
        mplayer -vo mpegpes:grab.mpg YourDRMfile.wmv

        So, your DRM decoding module should set a flag in mplayer that forbids file-output. So I modify mpegpes module to ignore that flag, or for mplayer to lie to the DRM module about which output module is loaded. Hmm, so you require the mplayer binary to be signed by someone you trust, probably Microsoft or RedHat, and they'll charge $6000 pr release, even if it's a trivial but critical bugfix.
        OK, I don't wanna do that, so I plug in a kernel-module that will always open /usr/bin/mplayer_signed instead of /usr/bin/mplayer when the DRM module asks, so it will appear signed. So you now require the kernel to be signed. So I run the kernel in a VM, and screen-scrape from the VM-host -- so you require direct access to a cryptographic chip on the motherboard to make sure that I don't run you video in a VM.
        Then I get myself one of these videocards with a FPGA on it, and program that to dump the video-stream back into the memory, so I can copy it to disk - so you want your cryptographic chain of trust to include the videocard, and I put my FPGA in the other end of the DVI cable, and rip from there. So you demand access to a chip in the monitor, also.
        So, no, you can't put a DRM module (that's worth anything, at least) in anything opensource, without making the entire system wall-to-wall closed (AND broken, too). Microsoft, whose customers couldn't care less about closed, tries to do this, and fails. ("What, I can't put my legitimately purchased Plays for Sure! file on my fucking iPod?")
  • 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.
    • 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.
  • by OmniGeek (72743) on Friday June 13, 2008 @08:55AM (#23776751)
    this sounds rather like a declaration of war. Of course, we know how accurate Slashdot article teaser text can be...
    • 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.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      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.

  • I think they are the ones that need to be "educated".
    • 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?
  • 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: (Score:3, Informative)

      by dintech (998802)
      They need it to push their DRM crippled music service. No other reason. They want to do it on the cheap too.
      • 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: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by MadKeithV (102058)

          How do you want to enforce any kind of DRM when you open your source code?
          The same way good encryption is enforced - by making breaking it independent of the code. Of course, it's an order of magnitude harder with DRM, perhaps even impossible, because the client needs to have the key to decrypt. If someone finds a solution to that, it'll be a huge step forward for DRM.
    • by bug1 (96678) on Friday June 13, 2008 @09:16AM (#23777043)
      Huh? A corporation talking about emotion?

      It's about money...


      You dont think corporates get emotional about money ?

  • by mr_da3m0n (887821) on Friday June 13, 2008 @08:57AM (#23776791) Homepage
    In other news, a dictator urged the population to be cool with a totalitarian state.
  • 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)
    • 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: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by nahdude812 (88157) *
        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.
  • by geminidomino (614729) * on Friday June 13, 2008 @08:58AM (#23776801) Journal

    'Why do we need closed vehicles? We do,'


    I'm sure that will do wonders to convince all of the second-grade OSS programmers to help you out.

    Me, I'm not interested. Because you're a doody-head, because you are.
  • RE (Score:5, Funny)

    by Kroc (925275) on Friday June 13, 2008 @09:00AM (#23776823)
    Asking Linux users to accept DRM is like asking them if it's alright to take a shit in their kitchen.

    There is *no* cool way you can word it.
  • 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 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 tepples (727027)

      all you need is to run linux in a virtual machine (i hear its good at that)
      In many newer PCs, a chip on the motherboard watches the boot process, and then it digitally signs the log that it produces. Virtual machines are generally not configured to emulate this chip, and even if they did, the signature would not check out because the DRM vendor declines to sign VMware's public key.
  • 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.
  • The Answer (Score:3, Funny)

    by Yaa 101 (664725) on Friday June 13, 2008 @09:04AM (#23776903) Journal
    The answer is NO!!!! Jaaksi, you idiot...
  • Funny guy (Score:4, Funny)

    by loconet (415875) on Friday June 13, 2008 @09:06AM (#23776915) Homepage
    I'm not sure how accurate the article summary, it's a little hard to believe. Judging from it my reaction would be: What funny guy this Jaaksi character is!. I wonder if he would also like us to do his dishes, take his dog out for walks, and wash his car .. all this while hacking away at code he can use for free which then he can lock us out of as well. Would he like a foot massage too?
  • by Lumpy (12016) on Friday June 13, 2008 @09:11AM (#23776987) Homepage
    Nokia, we just dropped in a new kernel module that makes DRM and SIM locking 100% transparent. you do not have to do anything it uses a 1024bit RSA encryption and has bypass detection as well as a system to fight off anyone trying to break DRM. you don't have to do anything it's all in there for you. It's even TRANSPARENT to you and the users.

    Dont worry nokia, we got your back, it's there believe us. and it's Un-Crackable. We wouldn't lie to you.

  • by oldspewey (1303305) on Friday June 13, 2008 @09:13AM (#23777009)
    Go ahead Nokia and write the code that forces open-source software to respect DRM and content locks ... just make sure your code is well-commented. Thanks!
  • 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.
  • Jaaksi's blog (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 13, 2008 @09:23AM (#23777125)
    Ari Jaaksi blogs at jaaksi.blogspot.com, if you want to directly talk to him.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Hey Ari, (Score:4, Funny)

    by clickety6 (141178) on Friday June 13, 2008 @10:02AM (#23777559)

    Stick it up your Jaaksi!
  • by clickety6 (141178) on Friday June 13, 2008 @10:05AM (#23777589)


    c'mon guys! really!

    Inflammatory comments from a guy called Ari Jaaksi?

    Ari Jaaksi - Hairy Jacksy (*)

    Can't you even recognise a troll these days?

    (*)Hairy Ass for non-Brits
  • 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.

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