[Fsfe-ie] TV talking about DRM

Shane M. Coughlan shane at shaneland.co.uk
Thu Apr 27 21:42:44 CEST 2006

Hash: SHA256

Ciaran O'Riordan wrote:
> DRM can be useful for computer users.  I could set up my kernel to only
> execute signed binaries and then I could sign all my binaries and if/when a
> virus modifies one of my binaries or installs a new binary, it won't run.
> (You probably knew this, but I thought I'd offer my quick wording in case it
> stimulates any better ideas.)

Hi Ciaran!  Thanks for the thoughts :)

You know, I've touched on the "DRM literally means the management of
digital rights, and that concept is not inherently a bad thing...it's
what some companies want to do with that concept that is the problem.
We're talking implementation excesses, and the over-extension of
concepts of management and protection into places that should be
private."  This gets a really mixed reaction.  Companies and business
people tend to nod their head and say "I see your point," while a lot of
GNU/Linux supports tend to say "Grrrrrr"

DRM in the form of 'Trusted Computing' and all other methods of allowing
third-party companies to take control of people's computers is highly
suspect.  It's really weird that people and governments even entertain
the notion.  DRM in the form of having certain administrator/user
defined process - like your signed binaries - is useful.

The problem is the fine line between user control, administrator
control, and allowing Microsoft to decide your document policy.  Perhaps
it's just too easy for companies to extend the legitimisation of copy
control into their arena because many users are under-educated regarding
computer security.  People are willing to hand over substantial control
of their information systems as long as a company looks reasonably
respectable.  There appears to be little in the way of critical analysis
on the part of the people who actually tap the keyboards and click the mice.


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