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    SubjectRe: GPLv3 Position Statement

    On Fri, 29 Sep 2006, Helge Hafting wrote:
    > This seems silly to me. Sure, lasers and medical equipment is
    > dangerous if used wrong. When such equipment is
    > controlled by software, then changing that software brings
    > huge responsibility. But it shouldn't be made impossible.

    It may be "silly", but hey, it's often a law.

    Also, even if it wasn't about laws, there is a very valid argument that
    you should be able to be silly. There's a reason people don't get locked
    up in prisons just for being silly or crazy - sometimes something that
    seems silly may turn out to be a great idea.

    And people seem to totally ignore that there is no correct answer to "who
    may do software updates?". People rant and rave about companies that stop
    _you_ from making software updates, but then they ignore the fact that
    this also stops truly bad people from doing it behind your back.

    Quite frankly, in many situations, I'd sure as hell be sure that any
    random person with physical access to a machine (even if it was mine, and
    even if I'm _one_ of them) could not just upgrade a piece of software.

    Sometimes you can make those protections yourself (ie you add passwords,
    and lock down the hardware - think of any University student computer
    center or a library or something), but what a lot of people seem to
    totally ignore is that often it's a hell of a lot more convenient for
    _everybody_ if the vendor just does it.

    And no, the answer is not "just give the password to people who buy the
    hardware". That requires individualized passwords, probably on a
    per-machine basis. That's often simply not _practical_, or is just much
    more expensive. It's quite natural for a vendor in this kind of situation
    to just have one very secret private key per model or something like that.

    In other words, these secret keys that people rant against JUST MAKE
    SENSE. Trying to outlaw the technology is idiotic, and shortsighted.

    If you don't want a machine that is locked down, just don't buy it. It's
    that simple. But don't try to take the right away from others to buy that
    kind of convenience.

    And yes, Tivo is exactly such a situation. It's damn convenient. I've got
    two Tivo's myself (and yes - I actually paid full price for them. I was
    given one of the original ones, but that's long since scrapped, and even
    that one I paid the subscription fee myself). But you don't have to buy
    them. You can build your own at any time, and it will probably be more

    So people are trying to claim that something is "wrong", even though it
    clearly is. The people arguing for "freedom" are totally ignoring my
    freedom to buy stuff that is convenient, and ignore real concerns where
    things like TPM etc actually can make a lot of sense.

    Can it be used for bad things? Sure. Knives are dangerous too, but that
    doesn't make them "wrong" or something you shouldn't allow.

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