DRM in openmoko kernel

Harald Welte laforge at openmoko.org
Thu Mar 29 20:50:16 CEST 2007

On Thu, Mar 29, 2007 at 10:30:22AM +0200, Ralf Ewers wrote:
> Hi,
> Does anybody know if there are any plans to implement DRM in the Openmoko Kernel? 

Sorry, but can you please re-phrase your question more technically?

This question is on the same level as: "Does the OpenMoko Kernel support
Networking?"  Without stating which kind of networking, using what
hardware, which kinds of protocols, etc. the question is difficult to
respond to.

DRM is a concept that can be implemented in dozens of different ways,
using a variety of technical choices, protocols, designs, etc. 

I do not believe that
1) there is any DRM implementation that is part of an operating system
2) that having a DRM implementation as part of the kernel would make
   sense from a technology point of view.

Some DRM technologies, or rather "technologies that amongst other uses
also can be used for DRM" require support by hardware and operating
systm kernel, yes.  But then, this is only one small item in the long
chain (see: chain of trust in trusted/treacherous computing).

> As far as I know this should be possible but not very supported by the
> open souce community because of its closed source nature. 

AFAIK there are open source implementations of DRM concepts, so I don't
neccessarily buy the idea that any implementation of DRM has to be
closed source.

> I think that DRM in a device like the Neo1973 will have an impact on
> the sales of the phone.

And why do you think that the particular implementation of DRM ideas
that you are referring to needs to be inside the kernel?  Motorola's EZX
smartphones have their kernel source code available to the public -
still there are no DRM related bits in the kernel that I can see.

To summarize: OpenMoko has no intention to actively support any kind of
DRM technology.  But it's free software.  If you (or anyone else) want
to add such technology, we do not prevent this from being implemented.
You have a unique ID (IMEI of the device), you have the full source code
to kernel, bootloader and the userspace environment.

- Harald Welte <laforge at openmoko.org>          	        http://openmoko.org/
Software for the world's first truly open Free Software mobile phone

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