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Re: DRM in debian?

On Wed, 9 Mar 2005 01:29:21 -0800, Seeker5528 <seeker5528@comcast.net> wrote:
> On Mon, 07 Mar 2005 20:52:17 +1100
> Darryl Luff <darryl@snakegully.nu> wrote:
> > Isn't DRM only relevant in the US? And Australia which seems to have
> > become a US state as far as DRM and software patents are concerned.
> >
> > Other countries have no requirement to honour any DRM rules. So
> wouldn't
> > the best solution be to have a version that ignores DRM restrictions
> in
> > "non-US"?
> DRM is relevant everywhere, it has it's good uses as well as it's bad.
> Whether the US legal issues are relevant to the individual developers
> and site operators who would develop and host the software in question
> would depend on not only where those individuals live, but where they
> think they might want to travel in the future.
> Also there may be legal issues for Debian to include software that does
> something questionable related to DRM, even if it is hosted on a site
> outside of the US, because the legalese is different than you had with
> encryption where the restrictions existed on the export from the US, but
> not the import into the US.
> If it was clear sailing libdvdcss would be included in non-US instead of
> leaving it to the user to take the necessary steps to acquire it.

The real problem with DRM is that it's mostly incompatible with free
software. The moment that a program decodes something with DRM, the
only way the distributors can rely that it does not get copied is by
making sure nobody can change the program to,for instance, write the
DRM'ed work to disk instead of displaying it (on screen or playing a

So basically DRM almost completely relies on the notion of propietary
software, and you cannot implement a reasonable solution in free
software that would retain the same "protections". Protections that
are in fact not really there since they rely completely on locking the
end user out of their own computer.


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