Digital rights management and the General Public License cause a lot of “hot air” to be exchanged, but they are not a “big deal”, according to the creator of Linux, Linus Torvalds.
January 17, 2007
January 16, 2007
Just because KDE has been designed to be portable across Linux, FreeBSD and other UNIX/X11 environments for an age now, doesn’t mean we aren’t up for the occasional challenge. With version 4, Trolltech released Qt for the Mac, Windows and now even embedded environments under the GPL. Since Qt is the base upon which KDE is developed, KDE is now free to offer native support for these platforms. Today I am focusing on the KDE/Mac developments for KDE 4. Read on for the details…….
Digital rights management and the General Public License cause a lot of ‘hot air’ to be exchanged but they are not a ‘big deal’, according to the creator of Linux, Linus Torvalds.
DRM is a technology used to control the copying and distribution of content such as music and films while GPLv3 is a software licence drafted by the Free Software Foundation (FSF) and intended to be used to govern how free and open source software can be copied and changed.
According to Torvalds, both DRM technology and GPLv3 will cause “lots of arguments” but in the bigger scheme of things, neither will stop good technology from prevailing.
“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.
“I think it is going to cause a lot of hot air, it’s going to cause a lot of hurt feelings, there is going to be a lot of arguments about it. But in practice will it be a big deal? I suspect it is not going to be that big. But time will tell,” Torvalds said during an interview at linux.conf.au in Sydney today.
Torvalds admitted he has a particular dislike for DRM technology because it makes life more difficult for users.
“One reason I really dislike DRM is that it is technologically an inferior solution to not doing DRM. It actually makes it harder for people to do what they want to do. It makes it harder to do things that you really should be able to do,” said Torvalds.
Although Torvalds admits he is “very much down on DRM”, he is tolerant of other people using the technology.
“At the same time, on a completely different tangent — forget about technology — I am a big believer in letting people do what they want to do. If somebody wants to do DRM it is their problem. I don’t want anything to do with it.
“It is something that sometimes puts me at odds with people in the technical area who have an agenda that they want to drive,’ he said.
GPLv3 just another licence
When asked about GPLv3, which is due for release in the first quarter of this year, Torvalds said it was ‘interesting’ but also not a big deal.
“It is certainly interesting since the GPLv2 has been a defacto standard in the open source free software group for 16 years — or something like that. It’s a long time and in that sense it is a watershed event.
“At the same time, if you look at the number of licenses that people have been using over the years, it is just another licence. It is not that big a deal. It depends on how you look at it,” he added.
The current version of the GPL (v2) was published in 1991 and applies to around two thirds of free and open source software.
The best technology will win, eventually
Torvalds believes that despite all the arguments about which technology or software development methodology is better, ‘good technology’ will win in the end.
“One of the issues I have is that the most important thing is good technology. It’s not about being commercial or non-commercial, open source or closed source. To me, the reason I do open source is, it is fun. That is the most basic thing.
“I also happen to believe that it is the best way to, eventually, get the best end result. Part of that is the ‘eventually’. At any particular point in time, it may not always be the best thing right then,” he said.
VirtualBox is a virtual PC environment not unlike VMWare. It runs on Windows and Linux and supports a wide range of guest operating system. And the best, it’s just been released under the GPL. There’s no need to run non-free VMWare anymore.
January 15, 2007
InnoTek VirtualBox is a family of powerful x86 virtualization products for enterprise as well as home use. Not only is VirtualBox an extremely feature rich, high performance product for enterprise customers, it is also the only professional solution that is freely available as Open Source Software under the terms of the GNU Public License (GPL). See “About VirtualBox” for an introduction; see “InnoTek” for more about our company.
January 12, 2007
Tivoization is a real threat to users freedom, but only when you consider the appropriate context. Its not just a question of controlling hardware, more importantly its about controlling data. This issue becomes clearer when you consider health software instead of television software
January 10, 2007
He explains why free software is defined the way it is, how the GNU design was chosen, what problems we face, and what’s coming, etc.
January 9, 2007
OpenMoko’s project is the most open and the most consumer-friendly. OpenMoko is a spin-off of Taiwanese computer giant First International Computer (FIC), though OpenMoko head Sean Moss-Pultz said the project will be a “neutral, nonthreatening base” for phone manufacturers to get GPLed code which can be freely shared and re-used.
OpenMoko starts with a Linux 2.6 kernel, on top of which OpenMoko has layered an application framework, interface layer, and a few basic programs, including a dialer, address book, and SMS/MMS message application. OpenMoko’s application framework and application manager are the key: they let developers design for a mobile-phone platform and let users easily find and download new applications for their phone.
One of the classic quotes to emerge from of the tech industry in recent times has come from Maarten Koster, the newly-appointed president of Novell Asia-Pacific. Related stories * Nokia launches 3 phones… er… multimedia computers at CES * Gates’ CES 2007 speech: why do we put up with it? * Microsoft’s Patch Tues(half)day * New Seamless S-XGen UMPC is not a UMPC at all, but a major disappointment * Microsoft and Ford bring the ‘Sync’ to the car Just as a momentous year was drawing to a close, Koster, in an interview with ZDNet, described Novell as a “mixed-source” company. Not a commercial or license-based company – Koster used Microsoft as an example of that breed. Not an open source company – no, Red Hat was that kind of beast, said Koster.
“After three years of owning a GNU/Linux company, where has Novell taken it? Nowhere, it would appear. If anything, judging by where it sits in the community, it has gone backwards.”
January 5, 2007
MySQL AG is changing its approach to GPL licensing so that the company isn’t required to upgrade its popular open-source database to GPL 3 when it becomes available later this year.
Kaj Arno, MySQL’s VP of community relations, said in a posting on his blog in late December that the copyright notice in the MySQL source code will change from stating the code is covered by “either GPL Version 2 or later” licenses to “GPL Version 2 only.”