Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 2nd Jan 2012 19:12 UTC
GNU, GPL, Open Source Late last year, president Obama signed a law that makes it possible to indefinitely detain terrorist suspects without any form of trial or due process. Peaceful protesters in Occupy movements all over the world have been labelled as terrorists by the authorities. Initiatives like SOPA promote diligent monitoring of communication channels. Thirty years ago, when Richard Stallman launched the GNU project, and during the three decades that followed, his sometimes extreme views and peculiar antics were ridiculed and disregarded as paranoia - but here we are, 2012, and his once paranoid what-ifs have become reality.
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Brendan
Member since:
2005-11-16

Hi,

"Someone who advocates freedom would not attempt to deny other people's freedom to choose

freedom is relative to a subject. It makes no sense in your sentence. When used as an empty word like in your sentence, it is just a propaganda tool that rings a bell in some weak people minds.
Some people want to be free to preach their religion. Some other people want to be free from religious propaganda.
Abortionists want the freedom to kill their fetus. Anti abortionist want their fetus to have the freedom to live.
"

Don't be silly - the freedom to choose to buy something with DRM (with full knowledge of the restrictions) vs. the freedom to prevent other people from making informed choices?

I don't like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Does that give me the right to prevent anyone else from making, buying, eating or enjoying peanut butter and jelly sandwiches? Definitely not - there's no harm in allowing people to make their own choice (and living with the consequences of their choice).

Microsoft probably doesn't like open source software. Does that give Microsoft the right to prevent anyone else from making, buying, using or enjoying open source software? Definitely not - there's no harm in allowing people to make their own choice (and living with the consequences of their choice).

Richard Stallman doesn't like DRM. Does that give Richard Stallman the right to prevent anyone else from making, buying, using or enjoying content with DRM? Definitely not - there's no harm in allowing people to make their own choice (and living with the consequences of their choice).

Your entire argument is "I don't want anybody to be able to do something just because I don't want to do it myself".

If a large company creates a movie and lets people buy the movie for $40 with no DRM, but also allows people to buy the movie for $20 with DRM; is the company evil or good? Would the company be less evil if they didn't give people a choice and forced everyone that wanted the movie to pay $40?

Now, how about the opposite: Should you be able to protect yourself from identity theft by using DRM to prevent strangers from opening your resume without your permission? Should you be able to use DRM to prevent other people (except your current Doctor) from accessing your medical records? If you take a photo of yourself naked and give it to your spouse, should you be able to make sure that the photo can't be uploaded to Facebook? It's your resume, your medical records and your photo - surely you have the right to do whatever you want with them.

- Brendan

Reply Parent Score: 2

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Brendan,

I think I understand your argument that someone who believes in freedom shouldn't restrict others from using DRM. However I think there are some practical limits as well. There are other perspectives which aren't all-together unreasonable. Should I respect the freedom of others to restrict my own freedoms? This is after all what DRM does.


DRM is factually being used today in the US (and maybe elsewhere) to prohibit consumers from excersizing their explicit fair use rights, should content distributors be free to do that in the name of freedom?

DRM is often imposed in monopoly form where there are no other legal alternatives and no choices.

All the recent laws around copyright have been drafted and passed behind closed doors without so much as consulting public interests. Should the public tolerate such undemocratic processes in the name of freedom?

Obviously the question at hand is who's freedom should be respected? That's really the heart of the problem.


Ultimately, my own belief is that governments (should) exist to serve the public alone. Under a genuine democracy, such anti-consumer laws would probably never have come to be. Corporations should have absolutely zero sway in government, and their shareholders should have the same voting privileges as everyone else and nothing more. What we have now is one of the most corrupted democracies in the world(*).

* Not intended to be a factual statement ;)
http://100gf.wordpress.com/2011/04/09/republican-jon-kyl-abortion-s...

Edited 2012-01-05 04:05 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

Brendan Member since:
2005-11-16

Hi,

I think I understand your argument that someone who believes in freedom shouldn't restrict others from using DRM. However I think there are some practical limits as well. There are other perspectives which aren't all-together unreasonable. Should I respect the freedom of others to restrict my own freedoms? This is after all what DRM does.


Well no, it isn't what DRM does.

If someone owns some media, you have no inherent rights (except "fair use") to that media whatsoever. If someone who owns the media decides to grant you permission to use that media (for a fee or for free, with or without certain restrictions), then you're receiving rights that you otherwise wouldn't have. The only thing DRM does is make it hard for you to take rights that you were never granted.

Unfortunately some people don't understand the difference between paying for the rights to use something, and paying for ownership of something. For example, if you buy the latest Justin Bieber CD, you're only buying the right to play that CD. You do not own the music on the CD (and you can't do things that an owner can, like redistribute it, change the copyright to "public domain", etc).

DRM is factually being used today in the US (and maybe elsewhere) to prohibit consumers from excersizing their explicit fair use rights, should content distributors be free to do that in the name of freedom?


Just because you have a "fair use" right to use something, does not mean that the owner has to give you that thing in a usable form. Try phoning the local newspaper and telling them you're writing a parody of tomorrow's main story, and that therefore they should email you a copy of tomorrows main story. Yes you have a fair use right, but the newspaper can happily hang up on you while laughing their asses off because they are under no obligation to provide you with their content at all, in any form, despite your legitimate "fair use" right.

Obviously the question at hand is who's freedom should be respected? That's really the heart of the problem.


I'm creating a parody of your private photo album (pictures of your family on holiday, etc). Please upload your private photos to imgur.com. Thanks you for respecting my freedom to take things that are yours without your permission.

Obviously the owner of the content should be able to do whatever they like with their content, in the same way that you should be able to refuse to upload your private photos to imgur.com.

Ultimately, my own belief is that governments (should) exist to serve the public alone.


I agree (governments should exist to serve the public alone). However, the public are people who want jobs, that are hoping their superannuation is going to be enough for their retirement (which depends a lot on the share market). The public aren't just greedy little snots that think the world owes them everything, who throw a little tantrum on their birthday because daddy didn't buy them a new sports car, and whine about not being given permission to give their friends a copy the latest Justin Bieber songs that they "bought" for their iPhone.

- Brendan

Reply Parent Score: 2

spiderman Member since:
2008-10-23

Brendan,

I understand where you coming from but I believe you are in the wrong. DRM is not bad when looked at from the angle you look at it. The error you make is believing that the media corporations deserve freedom, just as any other human being. Using DRM is not bad for personal data. The fact is that media corporations are not human. The media corporations have a social responsibility. They only exist in order to serve us. You have every right to demand that the corporations be forced to act in your interest or be killed.

If you allow corporations to use DRM, then you give them the power to lock down a huge part of human culture forever. Even after the copyright has expired, the corporation will still retain the lock.

Reply Parent Score: 3