Why is Fedora not a Free GNU/Linux distributions?

Alexandre Oliva aoliva at redhat.com
Fri Jul 25 20:50:27 UTC 2008

On Jul 24, 2008, Alan Cox <alan at lxorguk.ukuu.org.uk> wrote:

> The GPLv3 is slanted against certain uses.

You haven't provided any evidence of that, in spite of my request.  So
I'll go ahead and provide a rebuttal for both cases you alluded to
with an ambiguous term that was used by GPLv3 opponents to attack it
based on false premises and misunderstandings.

  3. Protecting Users' Legal Rights From Anti-Circumvention Law.

Nothing against implementing DRM and releasing it under the GPL, just
against preventing users from enjoying freedoms #1 (adapting the
software so that it does what you want) and #3 (improving the
software and distributing your modifications) by means of threats or
lawsuits involving anti-circumvention laws.

  6. Conveying Non-Source Forms.

The requirement on providing installation information along with user
products containing GPLed software ensures users can enjoy freedom #1
(adapting the software so that it does what you want) and #0 (run the
software for any purpose), without being blocked by artificial
technical measures intended to stop them from running the software for
different purposes, that require adaptation to suit the user's needs,
on the product where it is included.

Yeah, these two, together, counter the interests of DRM, but they
don't prohibit anyone from implementing DRM, or from trying to come up
with other means to impose DRM on users.

To the best of our knowledge, they do make any implementation of DRM
under GPLv3 too weak to be useful.  Tough luck for DRM proponents.
Too bad that they've been trying to do this by not respecting users' 4
essential software freedoms.

Not respecting users' essential freedoms is evil, but taking away the
freedoms of DRM proponents would be fair, but also evil.

So the GPL doesn't take freedom away, it just neutralizes some of the
power they depended on to make their technical measures effective.
They still have the four freedoms respected, and GPLv3 doesn't
conflict with any provision in the FSD or the OSD.

In fact, I've been known to claim that Tivoization conflicts not only
with the FSD, but also with the OSD, and for several reasons.
Unfortunately, I never got an official response from OSI.

Alexandre Oliva         http://www.lsd.ic.unicamp.br/~oliva/
Free Software Evangelist  oliva@{lsd.ic.unicamp.br, gnu.org}
FSFLA Board Member       ¡Sé Libre! => http://www.fsfla.org/
Red Hat Compiler Engineer   aoliva@{redhat.com, gcc.gnu.org}

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