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Suppressing The Concerns Over HDCP Content Protection For Intel's Linux DRM Driver

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  • Suppressing The Concerns Over HDCP Content Protection For Intel's Linux DRM Driver

    Phoronix: Suppressing The Concerns Over HDCP Content Protection For Intel's Linux DRM Driver

    Last week I wrote about a Google engineer working on HDCP content protection support for Intel's Direct Rendering Manager driver on Linux that is also obviously open-source. Understandably, that raised concerns by free software purists not wanting to potentially lock-down their system in any manner to playback protected content on their systems...

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...ncerns-Kconfig

  • #2
    I've never understood the unflinching purism people have when it comes to open source and stripping out everything not "libre in spirit". Especially some of the GNU projects that specifically build less capable packages with everything 'offending' removed. Freedom isn't freedom when you're locked into certain software, and the developers shouldn't act as your nanny. The Adélie guy just really annoyed me because his idea of 'empowerment' is philosophical - and in itself - a form of lock-in. "I am empowered over my software because it does less."

    I always appreciate that Linux has been pragmatic in this regard, I'm sure if people like the FSF were in control it would only run on one laptop from the 90s.

    Granted, if it was huge heaps of mystery binary or something like the a standard such as the html5 DRM loader I'd be less enthused, but this is a functional project where things really ought to work, and loading external modules enabling features no matter how stupid is part of that.
    Last edited by Kver; 12-04-2017, 08:15 PM.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Kver View Post
      I've never understood the unflinching purism people have when it comes to open source and stripping out everything not "libre in spirit". Especially some of the GNU projects that specifically build less capable packages with everything 'offending' removed. Freedom isn't freedom when you're locked into certain software, and the developers shouldn't act as your nanny. The Adélie guy just really annoyed me because his idea of 'empowerment' is philosophical - and in itself - a form of lock-in. "I am empowered over my software because it does less."

      I always appreciate that Linux has been pragmatic in this regard, I'm sure if people like the FSF were in control it would only run on one laptop from the 90s.

      Granted, if it was huge heaps of mystery binary or something like the a standard such as the html5 DRM loader I'd be less enthused, but this is a functional project where things really ought to work, and loading external modules enabling features no matter how stupid is part of that.
      You realize that the restrictions will be lifted when patents expire etc ? You don't have freedom if something the system allows you or your friends to do will get you/them sued or forces to pay extra royalties. The problem with DRM is that it won't expire.

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      • #4
        Kver: I think we all benefit from the purists whether we agree with them or not. They constantly fight against the creeping expansion of DRM, binary firmware blobs, binary executables, binary drivers and restrictive licenses. We all benefit from what they achieve. I think without them we'd all be living with a lot more buggy, unpatchable crap on our systems. I think we'd also have a lot more of these weird situations where we have to add extra repositories or manually enable features to unlock the software/libs/drivers which have weird non-FOSS licenses.

        I can't imagine a situation where I'd be upset my system had too much FOSS code on it, but it's easy to imagine a situation where I felt I was dealing with far too much proprietary code and blobs.

        One last thing: we all enjoy some mostly hidden benefits of the pervasive FOSS purist culture. The Linux kernel for example can undergo massive re-factoring which breaks tons of internal APIs. This refactoring can make the kernel more maintainable or enable new features, make it more secure or improve efficiency. Imagine how much harder this would be to do if there were more blobs and binary only, nvidia-style drivers used by lots of Linux users. I expect this kind of refactoring would become rare and we'd all have a less efficient, buggier systems.

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        • #5
          Here is an interesting point of view for those that don't want HDCP. HDCP is encryption.
          When it is protecting your stuff you are all for it.
          When it is protecting other peoples stuff then you act like the US Gov and don't want it.

          Please make up your minds :P

          Like all encryption HDCP is not an inherently bad idea.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by boxie View Post
            Here is an interesting point of view for those that don't want HDCP. HDCP is encryption.
            When it is protecting your stuff using your computer you are all for it.
            When it is protecting your copies of other peoples stuff from you, using your computer, then you act like the US Gov and don't want it.
            I added some words in bold to your post to hopefully portray another perspective.

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            • #7
              Michael let's not mirror the propagandist style of referring to people as "purists." Wanting free and open software and hardware is a normal desire for normal people to have. All this other shit they are trying to cram down our throats from above is the extremism.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by cybertraveler View Post

                I added some words in bold to your post to hopefully portray another perspective.
                In my work we use HDCP to display content to our customers. we own the infrastructure and we need to stop users from pirating our stuff.

                This being in mainline and not out of tree is a good thing for us

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by quaz0r View Post
                  Michael let's not mirror the propagandist style of referring to people as "purists." Wanting free and open software and hardware is a normal desire for normal people to have. All this other shit they are trying to cram down our throats from above is the extremism.
                  you know, you can always just not compile that stuff... being a purist, like being vegan just means you choose to live a certain way. choosing to be militant is another thing entirely!!

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by caligula View Post
                    You realize that the restrictions will be lifted when patents expire etc ? You don't have freedom if something the system allows you or your friends to do will get you/them sued or forces to pay extra royalties. The problem with DRM is that it won't expire.
                    I don't get your argument, this has nothing to do with patents or getting sued. Intel has an HDCP driver for Linux and the code simply loads it. This isn't illegal - it's stupid - but users should have the right to load stupid software if they want to.

                    In terms of paying royalties open source isn't all about "free as in beer", if a smart TV manufacturer wants to ship a Linux-based device with the HDCP module for 4K Netflix streaming, they/you might pay Intel a royalty for that. All the GPLv2 license gives you is access to the source code when they start selling the TV.

                    Originally posted by cybertraveler View Post
                    Kver: I think we all benefit from the purists whether we agree with them or not. They constantly fight against the creeping expansion of DRM, binary firmware blobs, binary executables, binary drivers and restrictive licenses. We all benefit from what they achieve. I think without them we'd all be living with a lot more buggy, unpatchable crap on our systems. I think we'd also have a lot more of these weird situations where we have to add extra repositories or manually enable features to unlock the software/libs/drivers which have weird non-FOSS licenses.

                    I can't imagine a situation where I'd be upset my system had too much FOSS code on it, but it's easy to imagine a situation where I felt I was dealing with far too much proprietary code and blobs.

                    One last thing: we all enjoy some mostly hidden benefits of the pervasive FOSS purist culture. The Linux kernel for example can undergo massive re-factoring which breaks tons of internal APIs. This refactoring can make the kernel more maintainable or enable new features, make it more secure or improve efficiency. Imagine how much harder this would be to do if there were more blobs and binary only, nvidia-style drivers used by lots of Linux users. I expect this kind of refactoring would become rare and we'd all have a less efficient, buggier systems.
                    I have no problem with purists when it results in development of assets. If a purist wants an open wifi driver over a binary one and they create it, I'm on that train. Like you said, there's no such thing as too much FOSS code. The competition alone when an open variant exists is invaluable. Things like the Linux internal API changing and breaking is fine too - it's very explicitly a "use at your own risk" path, it's a long-running, justified policy, and I agree it shouldn't bend to external forces.

                    My annoyance comes when people push extra work to explicitly cripple inert code simply because it may touch non-libre software... That's not freedom. When they say "My users can enable something I don't like, so in the name of freedom I will remove the possibility, and I want you to help me do it", it's pushing that mentality upstream which bothers me.
                    Last edited by Kver; 12-04-2017, 10:42 PM.

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