Sunday, March 05, 2006

imho DRM1


Found content:,aid,124527,00.asp

My take:

DRM is another name for content, culture, and commerce coursing the crazy channels of cash and control in this the extremely early third millennium.

Nobody’s purely on one side or the other in the commerce/content/culture craze that’s consuming our every waking moment. Everybody’s a potential publisher who wants, rightfully, to maintain perpetual control over their creations. And everybody’s a potential consumer who wants free, unfettered access to the whole cornucopic world of overflowing code and content largesse.

Anybody who takes a purely ideological stand against DRM should heed the words of somebody whose commitment to open code/content is unimpeachable: Linux kernel developer Linus Torvalds. In January, Torvalds went on record as opposing the anti-DRM restrictions that have been proposed for GNU General Public License v3, which is used in many open-source projects. Some had proposed that GPLv3 prevent GPL-licensed open-source software from being used in DRM copy-protection software.

Fundamentally, Torvalds—being a software developer—is essentially a publisher. A publisher’s primary interest is in ensuring that their consumers can verify the authenticity and integrity of their published works. That, of course, depends on a crypto feature called “digital signatures.” So the following statement from Torvalds, from his newsgroup, makes perfect sense:
  • "I think it's insane to require people to make their private signing keys available, for example. I wouldn't do it," he wrote. "So I don't think the GPL v3 conversion is going to happen for the kernel."

DRM will soon be everywhere, especially on open-source platforms. And much of the technology we use to control access to our published contents will issue from open-source DRM projects. The “committers” on open-source projects will be the number one proponents of DRM safeguards to ensure that their licenses (however structured—and open-source licenses are among the most complex and byzantine in existence) are enforced everywhere and anywhere their software components roam in cyberspace. And that their authorship of these components is always and everywhere visible, even if they never make a dime from their work. Because creators always insist on due credit being paid for their precious creations.

As creators have done since time immemorial.