*countable infinities only

Andrew Haley aph at redhat.com
Tue Jun 19 16:12:06 UTC 2012


On 06/19/2012 04:50 PM, Eric Smith wrote:
> I wrote:
> 
>> I would claim that the moral right to run whatever software we wish on
>> hardware we own is a negative right; it doesn't put any obligation on
>> another party to help you do it.  If you can hack up Fedora to run on a
>> Nokia Windows phone, more power to you, but Nokia and Microsoft aren't
>> obligated to help you do it, and aren't legally prohibited from doing
>> things that make it difficult for you to exercise your moral right.
> 
> Andrew Haley wrote:
>> I think I'd disagree with you there. I don't think it's any different 
>> from someone using extensive technical measures to prevent anyone 
>> other than the authorized dealers of a particular car from servicing 
>> it. Such a move would be treated as anti-competitive in many 
>> countries, and IMO software should be treated in the same way. 
> 
> If the things that make it difficult to run software of your choosing on 
> a device can be proven to serve no purpose but to stifle competition, 
> then yes.  But often those things have other purposes as well.  For 
> example, requiring firmware updates to be signed has a demonstrable 
> purpose in preventing certain types of malware from infecting a product, 
> so that feature cannot be said to serve no purpose other but to stifle 
> competition.

That's true, but couldn't you argue something similar thing for a car?
As in, "Unauthorized shops may install inferior copied parts."  We've
all heard this kind of thing before, and treat it with the contempt it
deserves.

Andrew.


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