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Nokia Urges Linux Developers To Be Cool With DRM 536

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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  • 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...
  • 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:Emotional? (Score:3, Informative)

    by dintech ( 998802 ) on Friday June 13, 2008 @09:05AM (#23776907)
    They need it to push their DRM crippled music service. No other reason. They want to do it on the cheap too.
  • Re:Say what?!? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Constantine XVI ( 880691 ) <trash.eighty+slashdot @ g m a i l . c om> 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:uh-oh (Score:5, Informative)

    by geminidomino ( 614729 ) * on Friday June 13, 2008 @09:17AM (#23777049) Journal

    If so, we could fork it (being GPL... the BSD license wouldn't allow us that freedom).
    Stop spreading FUD. If it was BSD licensed, you COULD still fork it. Take the last BSD licensed version, fork from that, poof. Same as with the GPL.

  • Jaaksi's blog (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 13, 2008 @09:23AM (#23777125)
    Ari Jaaksi blogs at, if you want to directly talk to him.
  • Re:uh-oh (Score:3, Informative)

    by Lonewolf666 ( 259450 ) on Friday June 13, 2008 @09:26AM (#23777161)

    If so, we could fork it (being GPL... the BSD license wouldn't allow us that freedom).

    Yes we could fork it. But we also could fork it under the BSD license.

    Actually the BSD license gives you more options, as you can fork something and turn it into a closed source application. The GPL does deny you that freedom to ensure that derived works stay Open source.

    But in this case it doesn't make a difference:
    The copyright owner (Trolltech) can always release new, closed-source versions. Unless they include other people's GPL software. The rest of the world can fork the last GPLed version and run with that.
  • Re:Say what?!? (Score:2, Informative)

    by cliffiecee ( 136220 ) on Friday June 13, 2008 @09:27AM (#23777163) Homepage Journal
    Actually, he has a word or two about forking as well. LOL, talk about clueless:

    "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."
  • Re:uh-oh (Score:4, Informative)

    by bigstrat2003 ( 1058574 ) * on Friday June 13, 2008 @09:27AM (#23777169)

    being GPL... the BSD license wouldn't allow us that freedom
    BSD is MORE forkable than GPL, not less. Guess you don't really know what you're talking about.
  • Re:Say what?!? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 13, 2008 @09:28AM (#23777187)

    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.

    It stands to reason that if you could fork the project then, you could fork the last available release before the project is closed. Is that not the case here, or are they talking about preventing developers access to devices like Apple? Personally, I say fork Nokia :-) I haven't touched their QT tools, but their S60 carbide.c++ is a dilapidated nightmare of perl scripts, Window's exes, and open source tools all glued together into one monolithic monstrosity. Last I checked, it still didn't support Windows Vista more than a year after release.

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

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

    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.
  • by dovgr ( 935487 ) on Friday June 13, 2008 @09:45AM (#23777381)
    The last time I got a phone I got a Nokia phone, because it seemed a reasonable combination of price performance. But look what I have to put up with:
    • Can't crank up the volume. (Appearently because it may be bad for yoour hearing.) Instead I have to regain all my podcasts before putting them on the phone.
    • The illumination turns off after about 10s. No way to increase it. It doesn't matter if you are browsing or reading an ebook... Rumours have it that it is regulations regarding driving.
    • Can't replace the music playing software (it's only a System 40 phone) so I can't get something with bookmarks, or fast forward at speeds faster than x4 (which is no fun with a large podcast).
    • Ebook reading software in J2ME needs user confirmation for every disk access. You can't give a program permanent permission, unless it is "signed", which is a process that costs several hundred dollars.
    I personally can't wait replacing the phone with something that is truly open, which does not mean putting up with arbitrary limitations. I guess it is time for Nokia to realize that the mobile world is going to change and be more like the desktop world.
  • by tepples ( 727027 ) <{tepples} {at} {}> on Friday June 13, 2008 @09:48AM (#23777411) Homepage Journal

    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 rubies ( 962985 ) on Friday June 13, 2008 @09:48AM (#23777413)
    That's what the headline should read.
  • Re:Say what?!? (Score:5, Informative)

    by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF ( 813746 ) on Friday June 13, 2008 @10:07AM (#23777611)

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

    Except people did consider this possibility and Trolltech signed an agreement specifically covering what would happen if they stopped releasing improvements to QT, specifically including cases where they had been acquired by another company. Basically they're bound to release it under the BSD license at that point, so we have a start for a fork just as good as what you mention.

  • by digitalchinky ( 650880 ) on Friday June 13, 2008 @10:09AM (#23777633)
    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.
  • Re:Say what?!? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Seahawk ( 70898 ) <.kd.egami. .ta. .stt.> 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 here.
  • Re:Say what?!? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 13, 2008 @10:27AM (#23777871)

    Your complaint doesn't make any sense. Trolltech, the company that created Qt, is already dedicated exclusively to improving Qt. Qt is their flagship product, they're not going to let it suffer. They've created an awesome product without any help from Nokia, and that's not going to change just because Nokia chooses some other GUI toolkit..
    You didn't RTFA did you? Nokia owns Trolltech [].
  • 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 hummassa ( 157160 ) on Friday June 13, 2008 @10:38AM (#23778065) Homepage Journal
    First, DRM does not exist. Content that can be viewed or listened to can be copied.
    Second, attempts at implementing DRM are a _terrible_ thing -- because they are just attempts to prevent honest people from exercising their fair use rights, and lock people on carriers, distributors, or platforms. Nothing else. Forget the 'piracy!' screams, it just translates to 'the consumer wants to buy a CD and listen to the same music on his iPod without paying another fee for it' or 'the consumer wants to watch the movie on this DVD... but after, he wants to lend it to a friend, that will watch it and we will not receive any money for it'.

    Why can't I use DRM to protect and maintain a durable finely gained control of how my data is used and by whom?
    Answer: because it's mathematically impossible.

    What's the end you want? One that draws your foes into a collabrative fold, or one that keeps you unnecessarily at odds depriving everyone of more choice, more ability?
    I, personally, don't care if they try to implement DRM schemes... as long as the Free Software they are using to leverage their problem remains Free. The case, here, is that they want to use software developed by thousands of people against the license that those same people freed their software. The issue is the same: DRMers want to be in control of what people do with their own things.
  • by Panaflex ( 13191 ) <> on Friday June 13, 2008 @10:41AM (#23778135)
    Blog is HERE []

  • by quantumphaze ( 1245466 ) on Friday June 13, 2008 @10:51AM (#23778295)
    I put a camera in front of the screen...

    All DRM is easily circumvented. You just loose the HD quality but the pirates still get to see the movie.
  • by plasmacutter ( 901737 ) on Friday June 13, 2008 @04:25PM (#23784221)

    Mathmatically impossible isn't the same thing as mathmatically convienent. Not to mention at the extremes it's not cheap either. You might as well be arguing against ACL's, logons or some other facet of security or access control.
    what a crock. Those access controls are there to keep an unrelated second party from accessing your data. DRM's purpose is to keep YOU from accessing your data.

    More to the point DRM doesn't need to lock out fair use.
    whatever youre smoking I want some. Format shifting involves copying, and because DRM involves the inclusion of at least minimal bits to tag a file as protected shifting to another format will break the DRM. It follows that DRM by nature denies someone the ability to format shift.

    Better yet, because of the possible durability of an Open Source solution
    there is no feasible open source DRM. DRM involves handing someone a lock and a key, and trying to keep the person from FINDING the key to use it. If the code is open to scrutiny and modification this obfuscation isn't possible.

    There is good in DRM done well (extraordinarily difficult). .
    Impossible you mean.

    Allow me to dispel your delusions here. The purpose of DRM is to take away rights we the public should have and then sell them back to us.

    It's no different than circuit city hiring people to break into our homes and steal buttons and remotes for electronic devices we just bought, then call us and offer us these "features" for a price.

    hard disk encryption and various other means of protecting your data and system from intruders are NOT drm, they are encryption, the key difference being encryption is used to protect your data from someone else, while DRM is used to protect your data from YOU.
  • by plasmacutter ( 901737 ) on Friday June 13, 2008 @04:52PM (#23784629)
    It's already been broken numerous times. I distinctly remember one person who worked for a TPM firm which was going down the tubes because their chips were being cracked before they reached the market, forcing them to scrap run after run, redesign the chips, retool the fabs, and remake the chips only to repeat the whole process ad nauseam.
  • Re:Jaaksi's blog (Score:3, Informative)

    by grammar fascist ( 239789 ) on Friday June 13, 2008 @05:34PM (#23785187) Homepage
    Yes, and you'll actually get his own account of the main thrust of his speech. Turns out it's not as silly and demanding as the reports of it make it out to be.

    He's suggesting business and open-source learn each other's way of doing things and meet in the middle. There are competing interests, yes. There always will be.

    He's telling us what difficulties business has with open-source and vice-versa from the perspective of a previously all-closed business that wants badly for everyone to work together. This is valuable information, whether we agree with him or not.
  • Re:Say what?!? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Dionysus ( 12737 ) on Saturday June 14, 2008 @04:16AM (#23789931) Homepage
    I guess you're not aware of the agreement [] between Trolltech and KDE.

1 Mole = 007 Secret Agents