Linux and DRM

Linux and DRM

Summary: The recent hiring of a former Microsoft executive, Nat Brown, by Linux developer CAC Media of New York leads me to our question of the day.Can the open source community live with Digital Rights Management (DRM)?

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TOPICS: Open Source
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The recent hiring of a former Microsoft executive, Nat Brown, by Linux developer CAC Media of New York leads me to our question of the day.

Can the open source community live with Digital Rights Management (DRM)?

Technically, there is no question about it. Linux Torvalds didn't write his kernel just for GNU's Richard Stallman, the way God gave life to Adam. (You were wondering about the picture, a detail from the Sistine Chapel.) Torvalds let his kernel be licensed in many ways, and he has said it's quite compatible with DRM.

This isn't a technical argument. It's more about the attitudes of the open source community. With devices like the TiVo and iPod being "downgraded" with DRM-driven "upgrades," which satisfy copyright owners but keep users from re-using their stuff as they want, it's really a philosophical question, an ethical and moral question.

So let me put it to you. If CAC Media (to cite an example) puts out a Linux media player with strong DRM inside it, will you accept it, refuse to buy it, or try and hack it apart?

Topic: Open Source

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