*countable infinities only

Adam Williamson awilliam at redhat.com
Tue Jun 19 18:20:16 UTC 2012

On Tue, 2012-06-19 at 12:10 -0400, Gregory Maxwell wrote:
> On Tue, Jun 19, 2012 at 11:50 AM, Eric Smith <eric at brouhaha.com> wrote:
> > 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.
> Though it serves a genuine interest it is not, however, a least
> restrictive means.
> (at least not when it inhibits the user completely)
> It wouldn't pass the tests we'd apply if it were a state mandated restriction,
> should the fact that it's not actually a state restriction matter though when
> it has market force equal to the state's authority?  

I think you're arguing a long way in advance of your evidence here.

The Secure Boot requirements either in the UEFI spec or in the Microsoft
certification scheme for x86 certainly do not 'inhibit the user
completely'; on the contrary they leave all power in the hands of the
user, who has only to choose to exercise it. The requirements in the
Microsoft certification scheme for ARM can be somewhat more reasonably
described as 'inhibiting the user' (though only to an extent), but in
that context, they certainly do not have 'market force equal to the
state's authority', and are certainly no more restrictive than the
system already in use on equivalent devices from competing

It's a fun pastime to wave around the concept of competition and
monopoly legislation every time Microsoft coughs, but let's face it:
when Microsoft actually was guilty of blatant monopoly abuse it took
years to reach a fairly weak judgment against them which had virtually
no practical consequences. The chances of getting any kind of judicial
relief in a case like this where the situation is far less clear-cut
than a partisan interest may want it to be seem, to be, astronomical.
Adam Williamson
Fedora QA Community Monkey
IRC: adamw | Twitter: AdamW_Fedora | identi.ca: adamwfedora

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