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Torvalds Describes DRM and GPLv3 as 'Hot Air' 420

An anonymous reader writes "In Sydney this week for the annual Linux conference, Linus Torvalds has described DRM and the GPL as 'hot air' and 'no big deal'. From the interview: 'I suspect — and I may not be right — but when it comes to things like DRM or licensing, people get really very excited about them. People have very strong opinions. I have very strong opinions and they happen to be for different reasons than many other people. It ends up in a situation where people really like to argue — and that very much includes me... I expect this to raise a lot of bad blood but at the same time, at the end of the day, I don't think it really matters that much.'"
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Torvalds Describes DRM and GPLv3 as 'Hot Air'

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  • Re:Shows it... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jackharrer ( 972403 ) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @12:06PM (#17629654)
    Don't forget that States are not the whole world. There's also Europe. There's Asia with South Korea, Japan and CHINA. Guess which of those countries are in favour of DRM? I think that RIAA/MPIA will try to enforce DRM as widely as possible but they are already failing. Take a look at South Korea. It's DRM free. You can download as many songs as you like for flat fee starting $5 per month.

    Another one is China: they don't even care about DRM. But who produces most of electronics? Who sets the prices?

    IMHO there are more factors that US Congress. It's an important factor, but not everything. Canada still didn't ratify anti-piracy laws. And they're just over the border.

    Plus there's a Linux that is gaining very strong foothold especially in Europe.
  • by btarval ( 874919 ) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @12:09PM (#17629710)
    I'm sorry, but Linus is absolutely dead wrong when he says:

    "both DRM technology and GPLv3 will cause "lots of arguments" but in the bigger scheme of things, neither will stop good technology from prevailing."

    He doesn't seem to be aware of the current actions to limit his options here.

    The problem is that IBM appears to be trying to take control of Linux via software patents. Specifically, censoring it when a Linux solution gives them competition that they don't like.

    And they are doing this in the fashion of a Patent Troll, with some rather questionable software patents.

    I've mentioned this before; here's the link again. "IBM's decision to sue Platform Solutions is another indication that the company is becoming more aggressive about defending its intellectual property in an effort to extract more revenue from its extensive patent trove." [informationweek.com]

    What is especially disconcerting is that if IBM wins this lawsuit, it means they will have extreme influence (if not effective control) over most (if not all) Linux products out there, given IBM's vast Patent trove.

    Note very well that this is what people were worried about with Microsoft and Novell. The sad news here is that this may have already arrived, via IBM. Which is probably why IBM wants to keep this quiet.

    Hello - where's the Linux community on this one? People (myself included) were up in arms when Microsoft and Novell tried to skirt the GPL. IBM's approach strikes me as much worse. It's here. Now.

    While Linus would like to keep adding good technology to the kernel, if IBM's lawsuit is allowed to stand, Linus doesn't seem to recognize that his options may be taken away from him. He will no longer be able to publish software without IBM's blessing.

    What's next? Is he going to need Microsoft/Novell approval after that?

    The only option that I can see is the GPL v3 license approach. One wonders how long Linus can keep ignoring this issue. It would be much better if he were taking a proactive approach here, because simply ignoring the issue doesn't seem to be working.

  • Re:*Not* pragmatic (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @12:56PM (#17630590)

    What embarrassing debacle?

    You don't think Linus Torvalds being on record as saying that reverse-engineering a protocol to provide interoperable software is wrong [theregister.co.uk] is downright shameful and hyprocritical? Don't you realise that if he took that attitude with software that wasn't written by personal friends of his that the Linux kernel would be missing a few things? Take, for example, SMBFS. You think all of that was written from spec without any reverse-engineering? Oh, I forgot, Bill Gates isn't Linus' friend like McVoy is, so I guess he's fair game.

    I'm an avid Linux user, read news sites constantly, and only heard that they were switching to git from BitKeeper. If it was a "debacle", I'm 100% sure it would have been more newsworthy than it was.

    There were multiple stories on Slashdot, the Register, LWN and other news sites. It was hard to miss.

    Stallman is a moron and always has been. Just because he happened to be right about BitKeeper...

    ...and lots of other things. That was my main point. You'd have to be a moron to miss it.

    If someone wants to write DRM stuff for Linux, so be it.

    It's got nothing to do with wanting to write DRM stuff for Linux. It's to do with people who don't want to write DRM stuff. They now have a license suitable for their purposes.

  • Re:Where? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dmitrygr ( 736758 ) <dmitrygr@gmail.com> on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @01:16PM (#17630998) Homepage
    allOfMp3.com is my favorite place to buy music. You get non-DRMed mp3s. While they are not allowed to accept Visa or MC payments, you can use their other site to pay, and then transfer the funds
  • by ubuwalker31 ( 1009137 ) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @01:21PM (#17631076)
    I think that the AD&D analogy is warranted here. Torvalds admits that he dislikes DRM, but doesn't want anyone else to be stopped from using it. He likes the idea of the GPL, but he thinks that all of the broo-haha over v3 is a sideshow and that its just a load of hot air. Torvalds is on the side of Linux, and Linux only. Sort of how druids love nature. They hate fire, but they must also embrace it so that the forest can grow. Torvalds likes opensource, but will be satisfied with any license that protects Linux. Druids hate orcs, but they are also forest creatures...Torvalds dislikes huge businesses, but he needs them for linux to expand. Its a delicate balancing act that he's trying to pull off here.

Someone is unenthusiastic about your work.