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SubjectRe: Why DRM exists [was Re: Flame Linus to a crisp!]
Scott Robert Ladd wrote:
> Dax Kelson wrote:
> >What exactly are you trying to say about an Open Source relation to
> >software theft (warezing), Audio/Video theft, high asian piracy rates
> >and DRM? These are all things you brought up, but I couldn't
> >recognize any coherent statement here.
>
> The coherency you seek lies in seeing a common thread of wanting
> something for nothing. Free software developers often clone products
> developed by commercial companies; this is taking a free ride (something
> for nothing) on the R&D budget of the corporation.

Who, exactly, do you think creates resources in the first place which
form the basis of commercial software which is eventually cloned?

A significant portion is from tax-funded univerities and research labs.

> The effort that goes into designing quality software isn't just
> coding -- it's also research, design, focus groups, testing, and QA.

You think people writing Free Software don't do these things? You
think that billions of dollars worth of activity isn't spend on
developing Free Software?

> I think it is quite reasonable for commercial entities to protect
> their investment in time, effort, and personnel.

Likewise people who put enormous effort into developing free software,
whether they are commercial entities or not - it is reasonable for
them to protect their investment.

Unfortunately some other entities want to deprive free software
authors of the fruits of their work. Think about it. It cuts both ways.

> Understanding your opponent is the first step to converting an enemy to
> a friend. As it stands now, the confrontational attitude of many free
> software advocates is counterproductive. The more adversarial "free"
> software advocates act, the more companies will use money and law to
> protect themselves.

This is true, but it is true both ways. The more companies are
adversarial by using money and law to protect themselves, the more
free software advocates feel the need to have a confrontational
attitude.

I'm not advocating confrontational - just pointing out that the
natural consequences we observe apply to _both_ sides of the debate.

There's a lesson in this for smart commercial entities: don't
antagonise open source folks, cooperate with them, and they will give
back to you.

> This isn't about right-and-wrong, it's about power. That, perhaps, is
> the most painful lesson I learned in my years as an activist.
> [snipped]

My sympathies to all activists everywhere. I have a Jewish friend who
is a peace activist in Palestine right now, and two of her
co-activists were recently killed there. Kinda puts things into
perspective.

> If "right" wants to win out over "wrong", it must find power. If you
> don't have money or political clout, you need to find power elsewhere.
> But simply claiming "I'm right" -- even if you are -- isn't going to
> stop the corporate steamroller from flattening your band wagon.

Actually, it just might. Free Software / Open Source is such a
tremendous force for good - because it speaks to basic human desires
for freedom to do our own thing - that it is a source of power unto itself :)

Not because it claims to be right. But because it _is_ right :)

-- Jamie
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