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Re: Why TPM+Parallel Distribution is non-free

On Fri, Oct 06, 2006 at 10:43:31PM -0500, Terry Hancock wrote:

> Debian's determination that parallel distribution of non-TPM files 
> alongside TPM files will solve this problem is based on the FALSE idea 
> that binary/source distribution is analogous to TPM/non-TPM distribution.

> However it misses the most critical point about TPM systems, which is 
> that they acquire their force not from "technology" (despite the name), 
> but from "law".  It is not truly the fact that TPM is difficult to 
> reverse that is the problem, but rather that it is ILLEGAL to do so.  

The technical difficulty of reverse engineering isn't the issue: it's
the ability to exercise rights that is the issue.  How that's done is a
secondary consideration; it makes little practical difference why it's
not possible to exercise the rights.

This is not to say that DRM is a wonderful thing or something that
should be supported but that's a different issue to the freedom of the
work itself.

> Another assumption that is typically made about binaries is that 
> creating them from source is a complex, error-prone process that 
> requires expert skill. This is what drives the practical necessity of 
> distributing binary versions of free software packages. TPM, however, is 

That's not entirely the case: for example, with embedded devices it is
typically difficult to obtain even the binary from the device itself due
to the lack of suitable interfaces.  Distributing the source on the
device itself would be entirely unhelpful as a result, regardless of any
attempt to use TPM.  Conversely, the BSD ports collections and Gentoo
have both taken credible stabs at delivering packaged software in source

> So Dave has secured a platform monopoly on Alice's work. He is able to 

Platform monopolies are a separate issue, really.

[CC since I'm not clear if you are subscribed to this list.]

"You grabbed my hand and we fell into it, like a daydream - or a fever."

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