Possibilities for commercial software?

Paul Wouters paul at xelerance.com
Sun Jan 28 19:07:03 CET 2007

On Fri, 26 Jan 2007, Simon wrote:

> > GPLv3?
> The GPLv3 does nothing to stop people from using DRM to protect
> proprietary software.

Yeah, but try writing DRM sofware without the GNU software, which
includes glibc for your proprietary software (which realisticly,
would be linked against a GPLv3 glibc in the future).

And it is not the DRM on video playing on an openmoko phone that
people would want to prevent. It is the "flash this firmware on the
phone or else the custom app won't run", where you can only decide
on an "all or nothing" approach that I think we would want to prevent.

As an example, having a commercial (protected) skype client on the
phone would be good. Having the skype client disallow sip software,
either by licence or by software enforcement, would be wrong (and violate

But on the other hand, imagine someone wanting to use openmoko to build a
"super secure phone". One of its functions would be to not allow untrusted
other binaries to run on its "secure firmware" image. Would this violate
GPLv3? Probably not, since the user "agrees" to be put under a DRM
voluntarily. But what if the (stupid) user wants to add one application to
the secure firmware, defeating the whole security of that firmware load?
Suddenly the user no longer consents to the DRM, and thus makes the "secure
firmware" a GPLv3 violation....


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