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Re: 'Commercial Partners'

On 4/2/06, Eric S. Raymond <esr thyrsus com> wrote:
> I think I explained this in some datail earlier.  We need market power
> in order to stave off a future where we get DRMed and EULAed to death
> because hardware manufacturers figure all they have to do is serve the
> Windows & Intel Mac markets.  Down that road lie video cards we can't
> use and on-the-mobo TPM to lock us out.

So what you are saying is that we need to endorse and distribute
(potentially illegally) technologies which reduce the users freedom
(by being obviously patent encumbered or otherwise proprietary) in
order to protect ourselves from technologies which reduce the users
freedom and which we could only use illegally?

Something just doesn't feel right about that argument.

There are already excellent open and free alternatives for the
encumbered formats, but they need wider support. Content houses don't
feel the need to support them because they aren't available out of the
box on mainstream desktop OSes, and because the production tools on
those OSes are rather rough around the corners.  This is not an
insurmountable problem.

It wasn't that long ago that the mainstream desktop OSes didn't come
with any usable players and codecs... and it's still the case that a
large amount of content is still distributed formats which require
some form of download by the user... and you're telling me that
'Linux' is in peril because Fedora is taking legally safe, a freedom
conscious path of avoiding  encumbered software? Oh please!

If half the effort that goes into whining about this were put into
educating users, improving the tools for open formats on mainstream
desktop platforms (i.e. http://www.flumotion.net/cortado/,
http://ffdshow.sourceforge.net/tikiwiki/tiki-view_articles.php), and
advocacy with content providers (for example, why the # $ is
archive.org not offering Theora as a option on all content?), then
we'd be a lot closer to a real solution.

If you think you can help out Linux by offering a distro laden with
encumbered software, then by all means.. we've given you the freedom
to do so. But please realize that just because someone else doesn't
agree with your give-up-freedom-to-protect-ourselves argument, it
doesn't mean that they are wrong.

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