GPL v3 & DRM

From what I've seen so far, the biggest change to the upcoming version 3 of the GPL is inclusion of anti-DRM clauses. This is the thing that has so many people up in arms about what Stallman and the FSF are doing. To me, this makes no sense. The GNU GPL and LGPL are the most commonly used open source/free software licenses, but this move could change that. The way I see it is that DRM is a feature of the software, and does not belong in such a license regardless. The whole point of the GPL license is for development and to make sure everyone plays fair with their use and contributions. Something like DRM should be a decision made by the developers, not the license their software is distributed under. One of the biggest reasons people like OS/FS is because it offers them choice, and this move is restricting choice. If the Free Software Foundation feels this strongly about the issue they should offer two versions of the GPL v3, a standard GPL with no mention of the issue and then a "GPL-no-DRM" license. Since the GPL license itself is open to change as well, the clauses to prevent DRM from being used in a particular piece of software should be listed as optional, and a developer can include them if they so choose, but the standard license has no business doing this.

My final verdict on the use of DRM is still out. As while I don't usually like it and I think it can be a major pain in the ass, I still can see why content producers would want such technology. Technically the use of serial numbers, which has been done for decades now, is a form of DRM, and I never really minded it. It's just when the DRM system gets in the way of me legally using the things I've bought that it becomes a problem. And software licencing isn't going to fix this, it's going to be up to us convincing the content producers to use better practices.

I read a very interesting article today. I'm now not so sure of my prior thoughts. It seems the DRM that the FSF is worried about isn't necessarily the type placed on media files, but rather for in situations like the TiVo, where they have made it almost impossible to modify their GNU/Linux based software by use of a verification key, but are still technically legal according to the GPL v2 :(

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