Re: [SLUG] Novell's CTO Blog - new entry

From: Levi Bard (
Date: Wed Apr 26 2006 - 12:29:11 EDT

> People always say that Linux is about CHOICE, the freedom of choosing from
> some 20 different window managers word processing application etc. But
> apparently CHOICE goes out the window if I want to choose to buy music
> legally. So what everyone here is saying is this . I can have all these
> CHOICES but it is blasphamy to choose to want a drm capable application on
> linux. So is it really more like Linux is about the CHOICE but only if it
> agreeable to the Linux Elitist. I never said I like drm. I dont believe
> that it is the solution to the riaa problems. But I do take offense to this
> thread bashing the idea of me having the choice to install an application
> that uses drm to protect copyrighted material. I am not forcing my choice
> on you or any one else on this list. But I do feel that there should be a
> way to legally buy RIAA controlled drm crippled music legally on linux.

I do believe that one of the things GNU/Linux is about (although not
the primary thing) is CHOICE. However, the GNU/Linux community are
not the ones CHOOSING to attempt to use proprietary technology to
limit consumers' fair use. Yet somehow those of us who don't like
these attempts, and disapprove of this kind of software targeted at
GNU/Linux, bear the burden of providing people with CHOICE? BS.

This issue is about who's going to bend. If the RIAA makes us bend,
we will be its bitch forevermore. Therefore, we must make the RIAA
bend. That includes not supporting DRM in the Linux kernel, nor in
applications, nor *anywhere*. I'm not delusional enough to think that
the free software and open-source communities have a much clout, but
that doesn't mean we should drop our pants and bend over for our new
RIAA overlords either.

> All I am asking of this list is the following:
> 1. You dont have to like drm and it may not be the solution for the record
> labels but stick to the fact the only way to buy music from the big record
> labels in the US is through some time of DRM. What illegal activities you
> like to do please keep to you self. This is not about drm but about choice.

That is not true. You can still buy CDs and vinyl without DRM. If
you CHOOSE to buy music through these DRM-infected online channels,
then you also CHOOSE to use proprietary technology and support the
RIAA's view of copyright law, so you may as well CHOOSE to use a
proprietary OS while you're at it.

> 2. This is not about the choice of having drm in yoru music or not. This is
> about have the choice to have an application that can buy and play drm based
> music. This is not about having some killer application that deletes your
> mp3 files because it does not have drm.

Of course it is. Supporting DRM formats in any way (except possibly
stripping them) is supporting DRM itself. What you're saying is
analogous to, "Buying a Big Mac is not about the choice to have
McDonalds." It's ridiculous.

> 3. This is also not a arguement over the fine ethical and legal line of
> stealing vs copy right infringement.

...although you continue to argue your position on this issue.

> 4. What this orginal idea was about and still is about Giving the people the
> choice to choose to have a legit Online music service that supported linux.
> * Unfortnatley there is no legal way of avoiding drm with online services
> that sell RIAA record label music.

Analogies are fun. I could also say, "Unfortnatley there is no way of
avoiding sexually transmitted diseases while having unprotected sex
with a prostitute." You make it sound like you've been forced into
this situation and you have no choice in the matter.

You have plenty of CHOICES:
1) Don't buy RIAA-distributed music
2) Don't buy RIAA-distributed music online; buy CDs or vinyl, then rip
those for use in GNU/Linux.
3) Use a proprietary or semi-proprietary OS to buy your RIAADRM (Windows, OSX)

Either have your cake, or eat it.

Tcsh: Now with higher FPS!

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