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TiVo Says It Could Suffer Under GPLv3

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the no-prevention-of-hacking dept.

Television 710

Preedit writes to tell us that those busy folks over at InformationWeek have been scrutinizing yet more SEC filings, and Novell and Microsoft aren't the only ones concerned about certain provisions in the final draft of GPLv3. TiVo worries too. The problem is that TiVo boxes are Linux-based. They're also designed to shut down if the software is hacked by users trying to circumvent DRM features. But GPLv3 would prohibit TiVo's no-tamper setup. "If the currently proposed version of GPLv3 is widely adopted, we may be unable to incorporate future enhancements to the GNU/Linux operating system into our software, which could adversely affect our business," TiVo warns in a regulatory filing cited by InformationWeek."

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Huh? (3, Informative)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368863)

Whatever happens with everything else, I thought Linus said Linux wouldn't be distributed under GPLv3

Re:Huh? (5, Informative)

LocalH (28506) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368893)

Notice they specifically said "GNU/Linux".

Just a kernel doesn't do much for you (3, Interesting)

Rix (54095) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368903)

Even if Linux doesn't go GPL3, presumably they're using a lot of GNU userspace stuff, like glibc.

Could be good news for BSD projects (1, Troll)

TodMinuit (1026042) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368965)

This may finally be the motivation the BSD world needs to replace GNU software, like the C library and compilers, with truly free alternatives. Here's hoping.

Re:Could be good news for BSD projects (5, Insightful)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368999)

By this logic a dictatorship is the only free system, because it includes the freedom to take away yours. And the system lives with that "freedom".

Re:Could be good news for BSD projects (5, Insightful)

ricree (969643) | more than 7 years ago | (#19369027)

Agreed. GPL may be more restrictive than the BSD license, but it certainly is more conducive to creating a community of free software.

Re:Could be good news for BSD projects (-1, Flamebait)

TodMinuit (1026042) | more than 7 years ago | (#19369051)

I could easily knock down your flimsy argument, but I'm not going to turn this into yet another GPL vs BSD, true mean of freedom, debate. We both know neither of us will change our mind.

Re:Could be good news for BSD projects (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19369191)

I could easily knock down your flimsy argument No. You couldn't. :-P

Re:Could be good news for BSD projects (1)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 7 years ago | (#19369207)

I could easily knock down your flimsy argument
Then do.

but I'm not going to turn this into yet another GPL vs BSD, true mean of freedom, debate.
Don't you think it is a bit hypocritical saying this, since you were the one who started the debate in the first place?

We both know neither of us will change our mind.
Speak for yourself. I can always be convinced, given solid, reasonably articulated arguments. So, knock down my flimsy argument and convince me.

Re:Could be good news for BSD projects (4, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | more than 7 years ago | (#19369173)

Anarchy is the only free system, but most freedom lovers aren't all that keen on that as a concept. The GPL is free in most respects except that you are not free to make in non-free. Some people see this as a price worth paying.

Re:Could be good news for BSD projects (1)

dvNull (235982) | more than 7 years ago | (#19369297)

Well said.

Re:Could be good news for BSD projects (4, Insightful)

Eric Smith (4379) | more than 7 years ago | (#19369019)

This may finally be the motivation the BSD world needs to replace GNU software, like the C library and compilers, with truly free alternatives.
The problem with "truly free software" is that companies/people are free to make it non-free. While that would be great for companies like Tivo, it is bad for end users, since they do NOT get the freedom to further enhance the proprietary fork of the code.

I personally don't see why the "BSD world" thinks that producing software that other people can turn proprietary is a good thing. However, if they write the software they have obviously the right to use any kind of license they want for it.

Proprietary forks not bad for end users ... (4, Interesting)

AHumbleOpinion (546848) | more than 7 years ago | (#19369169)

The problem with "truly free software" is that companies/people are free to make it non-free. While that would be great for companies like Tivo, it is bad for end users, since they do NOT get the freedom to further enhance the proprietary fork of the code.

Proprietary forks are rarely bad for end users in general. The vast majority have no interest in enhancing the code, or getting someone to enhance it for them. However end users in general benefit from the proprietary code forking off of open code. Compare Apple's Mac OS X to Microsoft's Windows. Consider Microsoft's use of the TCP/IP stack. GPL 3 type tactics merely encourage companies to reinvent the wheel, to indulge in not-invented-here tendencies. Such tactics also deter investors and make it that much more difficult from startups to form or succeed. It squeezes the middle between the hobbyists at one end and the big companies at the other. I'd argue that end users benefit when there is a healthy and vibrant startup community.

Re:Could be good news for BSD projects (1, Insightful)

The Bungi (221687) | more than 7 years ago | (#19369229)

People who release software under BSD- or MIT-type licenses are mostly grownups who know exactly what they're doing and generally don't mind the TERRIBLE side effect of using a truly free license that's supposed to give you all the freedom in the world except under certain cases. We don't need to hear the "zOMFG SOMEONE IS GOING TO TAKE YOUR SOFTWARES AND MAKE THEM NON FREE" argument again. We get it. No one can make my code "unfree". It's mine, and everyone else's to do whatever they want with it as long as they don't blame me if they fuck something up. Short of the public domain, that's the definition of "free" as far as I'm concerned. The GPL is a social agenda instrument, not a software license.

Developers who use the BSD licenses believe in true freedom, even if someone claims it comes at the expense of theirs. They don't want you to join a club or learn a secret handshake or pray to a little idol. They want you to have the code and get on with it. You can even give back if you want, but that's your choice.

Some people claim that the GPL is much more effective at creating and fostering community. I disagree. It's just that the communities that form around BSD code bases are far less radical, divisive and paranoid. We just want to write some possibly useful code and give it away to anyone that might find it so. We don't want to spend half our time trying to figure out who is "infringing" some endless, obscure legal minefield most educated people wouldn't understand after reading three times.

Re:Could be good news for BSD projects (4, Interesting)

evanbd (210358) | more than 7 years ago | (#19369253)

I tend to be a GPL fan. For stuff I write, it's my preferred license. However, there are a few cases where I think BSD type licenses are superior. The major one is where you're trying to create a standard. For example, Ogg Vorbis -- it is far more valuable to the community if it *does* get included in proprietary places, because promoting the *format* is a good thing. BSD promotes exactly that. There are plenty of similar examples.

Re:Could be good news for BSD projects (2, Insightful)

Brotherred (1015243) | more than 7 years ago | (#19369277)

Yeah just like Windows Server 2003. Thanx for that shaft BSD. Hey I look at it this way. If Tivo and Novel are not happy with the license that goes with our code then they are FREE to write their own to go with their own code built in house!!!

Re:Just a kernel doesn't do much for you (2, Informative)

eldepeche (854916) | more than 7 years ago | (#19369177)

FYI, glibc is under the LGPL.

Good (5, Insightful)

Protonk (599901) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368869)

Gpl3 is divisive, but correct in this case. Companies like Tivo benefit from the OSS model of tinker/hack/remake and still restrict users in doing the same. The same privileges that are extended to end users with the source code should be established with the freedom to tinker.

If Tivo feels that DRM is worth more than continued use of GPL software, so be it.

Re:Good (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19369061)

That's exactly what I was thinking. I don't really have anything to add though...

Re:Good (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19369147)

Moreover, the article summary is misleading. GPL3 is not going to affect their business. But if they decide to *not* go with GPL3, *that* will affect their business much more than the alternative.

And so what (4, Insightful)

Zebai (979227) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368875)

I'm a fan of tivo, I have one myself but this particular problem I dont see as a problem. The DRM is already cracked and it requires little to no effort to extract tivo video files to DRM free files. I don't see a problem with them biting the dust on this one, its a feature designed to limit us and thats something I dont want. I got my tivo long before they did trash like this and I'm disappointed that tivo is catering to the DRM crowd now a days. Next thing you know they'll be dropping the hidden 30-second skip which shouldnt be hidden in the first place.

Re:And so what (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 7 years ago | (#19369259)

The DRM is already cracked

Really? Where?

Of course, this would be a problem then because it would prevent them from implementing more effective DRM.

Really ? (3, Insightful)

jalet (36114) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368881)

Too bad !

Just use older code? (4, Insightful)

mrbill1234 (715607) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368887)

Mhh, why don't they just continue using GPLv2 linux code. Ok, they won't have new fixes - but this is an embedded device - do they need them?

Re:Just use older code? (2, Informative)

laffer1 (701823) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368909)

Or they could switch to BSD or some other system under another license. Isn't open source great?

Re:Just use older code? (5, Insightful)

pornflakes (945228) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368973)

Or they could stop restricting their customers. Isn't freedom great?

Maybe, maybe not (-1)

TodMinuit (1026042) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368977)

The BSD projects still use gcc and GNU C library, among other GPL'd software that would likely be licensed under the GPLv3. This means that either the BSD projects will have to fork GPLv2 versions of affected software or (hopefully) re-implement said software.

Re:Maybe, maybe not (1)

Eric Smith (4379) | more than 7 years ago | (#19369031)

I know that many of the BSD'ers don't like the GPL, but why should the GPLv3 be any more of a problem for them than GPLv2 was?

Re:Maybe, maybe not (3, Informative)

The Finn (1547) | more than 7 years ago | (#19369053)

I don't follow how BSD will be affected by GPLv3. neither NetBSD, FreeBSD, and OpenBSD use the GNU C library. code generated by gcc isn't covered under the GPL.

Re:Maybe, maybe not (3, Informative)

pchan- (118053) | more than 7 years ago | (#19369101)

The BSD projects still use gcc and GNU C library

The BSDs most certainly do not use the GNU libc. While it is true that you cannot compile the system without gcc, you can definitely have a running BSD system with no GNU tools installed. It would be fairly bare bones (back to csh), but it's possible.

Here's a link to the OpenBSD libc [openbsd.org] for your browsing pleasure.

Re:Maybe, maybe not (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19369131)

It may surprise you to know that code compiled with GCC is not required to be distributed under the GPL. In fact, quite a few commercial binaries are compiled using GCC.

How much longer... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19369231)

...until that 'loophole' is closed as well? GPLv4, perhaps?

Re:How much longer... (1)

fyrewulff (702920) | more than 7 years ago | (#19369299)

The day they do that is the day everyone jumps ship from the GPL.

Re:Just use older code? (1)

shaitand (626655) | more than 7 years ago | (#19369189)

Or... they could just drop the pointless anti-user DRM.

Nice working with you Tivo (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19368891)

Dear Tivo,

      There are many good commercial operating systems, use one of those. Using Linux has been a good choice up till now but things have changed and now it is incompatible with what you want to do. It is no big deal, you will survive.

Re:Nice working with you Tivo (4, Funny)

megaditto (982598) | more than 7 years ago | (#19369269)

Dear Linus,

We want our money back.

Yours truly,

Tivo

Re:Nice working with you Tivo (4, Funny)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 7 years ago | (#19369315)

Dear Tivo,

After considering your request, we agree. Enclosed is a refund check for the full amount of $0.00.

Solution to tivo's dilemma (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19368895)

"If the currently proposed version of GPLv3 is widely adopted, we may be unable to incorporate future enhancements to the GNU/Linux operating system into our software,"

You are not 'unable' to do anything. You are unwilling. Easy solution: release your code under the GPLv3. Keep with the spirit of the community which gave you a whole operating system for FREE.

p.s. FP!

Re:Solution to tivo's dilemma (2, Insightful)

Richard W.M. Jones (591125) | more than 7 years ago | (#19369257)

You are not 'unable' to do anything. You are unwilling. Easy solution: release your code under the GPLv3. Keep with the spirit of the community which gave you a whole operating system for FREE.

You are absolutely right. Honestly I don't know why these companies that want to just rip off the hard work of others don't just use BSD.

Rich.

About Time (4, Insightful)

wasabii (693236) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368897)

I think this is great. I'm sorry they built their work on the backs of other people who have always clearly stated their intentions with regards to the use of their software. The lack of this in GPLv2 is a HOLE. A HOLE which, of course, should be fixed.

If they disagree with the fundamental goal of the GPL, to free software so people CAN tinker with it, then they should have chosen a different set of software to build their product on.

Welcome to the Brave New World -- You Got Bit !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19368899)



Welcome to the Brave New World -- You Got Bit !! Even free beer will come back in the end and bite you in the ass !! Never, ever, let some one eles determine your destiny !!

Cry me a river. (5, Insightful)

MadTinfoilHatter (940931) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368917)

Stallman and the FSF have always been perfectly open about what the GNU project and the GPL are about. They're about "The four freedoms of the user". This means that when TiVO decided to use GPL-licenced software, yet lock their hardware in a manner that denied the user some of these freedoms, they knew they were using a loophole, and thus acting in bad faith. They can try to play the victim all they want now that the loophole is being closed, but informed people will have no sympathy for them. They should have seen this coming from day 1.

Re:Cry me a river. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19368993)

And what about the liability TIVO would have exposed themselves to without DRM (ineffectual as it might ultimately be)? What about the other software devices which they must license but don't have the rights to contribute back to the GPL? GPL is anti-freedom, and TIVO should suffer the mercurial nature of the Stallman wind. What they really want is a legistlative solution from various bodies around the world, but instead they'll just content themselves with punishing consumers by denying them devices they want, and the community isn't interested in providing. Eventually, all this does is suck money, and time out of the achievable end of better software.

Who doing whom a favor? (2, Interesting)

Tharkban (877186) | more than 7 years ago | (#19369127)

First, there is MythTV which does what a TiVo does, I think (I haven't used either). Second, we don't need TiVo, the free software community is doing them a favor by letting them have the software, not the other way around. I'm happy if they use free software, it grows the community, assuming they want to be a part of it. However, they have shown that they do not want to be part of the community, they want to lock the community out of their own work. Sorry, but I just can't agree with that. If TiVo continues acting the way it has then I say "Give me back my code, you don't get to play with it." I completely agree with the GPLv3 on this one.

Re:Cry me a river. (1)

The Bungi (221687) | more than 7 years ago | (#19369145)

They're about "The four freedoms of the user".

Only one of those "freedoms" applies to users (the first one). The others apply only to developers.

Re:Cry me a river. (2, Insightful)

bheer (633842) | more than 7 years ago | (#19369201)

So, basically, Microsoft was right when it called the GPL viral (in the sense of its negative connotation)?

Way to shaft all the people who bet their business on your software, bub, by changing the license terms. And the /. crowd complain about Microsoft licensing practices.

Of course, in reality it won't come to that. Prediction: if the GPL3 comes out the way RMS has been saying it will, Ubuntu, IBM and others will fork the GNU system in a heartbeat (the kernel will remain GPL2, of course). It will be XEmacs vs GNU Emacs all over again, proving RMS learnt nothing from that fiasco.

Re:Cry me a river. (1)

SpinyNorman (33776) | more than 7 years ago | (#19369321)

AFAIK there's nothing to stop Tivo or anyone else continuing to use their current GPLv2 software (for which they have full source of course) after new stuff starts coming out under GPLv3. All it means is that Tivo doesn't get any *more* free software written for them unless they're willing/able to comply with GPLv3.

It seems the only problem Tivo may have is if they want to add new features/fixes to the Linux portions of their product that become GPLv3'd and are unable to do it themselves. Sounds like some GPLv2 authors may have found themselves a nice consulting gig.

Potentially important legal battle? (0)

Grave (8234) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368919)

If I am understanding this correctly (and IANAL, so maybe I'm completely wrong), does this mean GPLv3 circumvents the DMCA? If that's true, and TiVo continues to use GPLv3 software, would the content producers actually risk taking anyone to court who modified (or provided instructions to do so) a TiVo in order to circumvent DRM? Afterall, if such a case went to court, the end result would be either the GPL is invalidated (rather unlikely) or the DMCA is struck down.

Again, I'm not a lawyer, so please correct me if I have this all wrong.

Re:Potentially important legal battle? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19368945)

Yes, you have your head up your ass.

Re:Potentially important legal battle? (1)

Eric Smith (4379) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368981)

No, the GPL (v3 or otherwise) doesn't circumvent anything. What gave you the idea that it did? That's like trying to argue that an EPROM programmer is a circumvention device.

Re:Potentially important legal battle? (1)

servognome (738846) | more than 7 years ago | (#19369005)

No, the GPL (v3 or otherwise) doesn't circumvent anything. What gave you the idea that it did?
Sadly, That won't stop some lawyer to sue under DMCA. Remember there's a case where Media Rights Technology is suing companies under DMCA for not using DRM.

Re:Potentially important legal battle? (1)

Grave (8234) | more than 7 years ago | (#19369011)

Well, the DMCA states that you can't remove/disable DRM. The GPLv3 "allows" users to remove DRM.

Re:Potentially important legal battle? (2, Insightful)

Eric Smith (4379) | more than 7 years ago | (#19369057)

The GPLv3 doesn't grant anyone permission to break the law. Obviously it cannot.

The point of the anti-DRM provisions of GPLv3 isn't that if someone uses GPLv3 code for DRM, the users get any legal right to circumvent it. The point is to prevent GPLv3 code from being used for DRM in the first place.

In other words, if I release FooSoft 1.8 under the GPLv3, and SomeRandomCompany uses it in their product with DRM, then tries to sue people that modify SRC's version of FooSoft to circumvent the DRM, it will be a reasonable defense to point out that SomeRandomCompany knew (or should have known) before they started using FooSoft 1.8 that its license (GPLv3) precluded its use for DRM.

Re:Potentially important legal battle? (1)

ShatteredMind (1109153) | more than 7 years ago | (#19369087)

The point of the DMCA is to prevent illegal circumvention of DRM. So, by putting code under the GPLv3 (or deriving your code from it) you are giving the user the right to remove the DRM modifications, thus there is no illegal circumvention. This is just making sure that Tivo allows modification of code (even DRM code) that they modified, just as they were allowed to modify it.

Re:Potentially important legal battle? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19369199)

No, that is idiotic.

Tivo: uses loophole in GPLv2 to use DRM to restrict user modifications to software.

DMCA: you can't circumvent copy protection

GPLv3: you can't use DRM to restrict user modifications.

Tivo has a choice: use old versions of software that lets them restrict user modifications, or drop the restrictions and use newer GPLv3 versions.

This has nothing to do with DMCA, as it has nothing to do with circumvention. The owners of the GPL software in question are updating the licence to close the hole.

The DRM would not be circumvented, it would be legally prevented by license.

Tivo <3 GNU, really! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19368923)

Note how Tivo said "GNU/Linux", hoping that RMS will take note, pardon them, and grant Tivo an exemption in GPLv3.

Well, duh! (5, Informative)

jpetts (208163) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368927)

TiVo operates on a business model that GPL3 is **expressly** designed to eliminate.

See this essay [fsf.org] by RMS and search for "tivoization".

Nothing in the least bit surprising here...

Re:Well, duh! (1)

Ash Vince (602485) | more than 7 years ago | (#19369119)

Don't Google search boxes operate on a similar business model?

They sell / rent these very expensive boxes that you put on your corporate intranet and then get a local google search that you can alloy to spider your very sensitive documents without fearing they end up one a public web. I believe google prohibit you from messing with them at all in case you were able to extract too much infomation about googles proprietary search algorithms and figure out how they work. I mention this because I believe that google uses linux as a base for these boxes but then build alot on top of it.

I think the GPL3 is an interesting idea but I am worried it may force a huge amount of companies to stop using linux altogether.

Re:Well, duh! (2, Interesting)

RobNich (85522) | more than 7 years ago | (#19369323)

They're using RedHat 7.x for the boxes I work with (according to the software updates they provide). I don't think they would need to provide source for their components, as it all runs within Tomcat, etc.

Re:Well, duh! (2, Interesting)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 7 years ago | (#19369139)

Therefore, poor TiVo can bitch and moan that Stallman & Co. are out to get them.

Which is what they're doing.

Surprise, surprise.

Re:Well, duh! (0)

sjf (3790) | more than 7 years ago | (#19369217)

From the end of Stallmans essay:

Copyright 2007 Richard Stallman
Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article are permitted worldwide without royalty in any medium provided this notice is preserved.

Funny, isn't this the BSD license in a nutshell ?

Not really... (1)

XanC (644172) | more than 7 years ago | (#19369319)

Note the word "verbatim". The ability to make modifications is a pretty big part of BSD.

Re:Well, duh! (1)

cybereal (621599) | more than 7 years ago | (#19369327)

No, common mistake. The notice is that one line, if it was the old BSD thing, it would require you to recite every author along the hierarchy of change in every revision.

If 10 people made changes, the final version would have 10 author names listed.

The notice in this case is just like the one required explicitly by the GPL actually :)

Possible FUD and/or chilling effect on F/OSS? (1)

Null Nihils (965047) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368967)

I've already heard a lot about how the legal dept's of companies discourage the use of GPL'ed and Open Source software. Corporations fear any form of risk, however remote. (Unlike a government, they'd never install a thermal exhaust port that could be used to blow up their space station.) Corporations want to have total control over everything they are involved with. This has, from what I've heard, slowed FOSS adoption significantly.

If more fears of the GPLv3 affecting business models are heard, could the coming of the GPLv3 cause a chilling effect on FOSS adoption in the commercial sector? Or worse, could opponents of FOSS twist concerns about the GPLv3 into a FUD campaign? Perhaps they have even started already...

Re:Possible FUD and/or chilling effect on F/OSS? (1)

joe 155 (937621) | more than 7 years ago | (#19369181)

The FUD has already started... like the comment you just posted.

For pretty much any company the new GPL will work pretty much like the old one. If you've never used the GPL in bad faith then there will almost certainly be benefits for you (or at least no draw-backs). This will only have an effect on those who used the GPL in bad faith (like Tivo), who we should hope we can either make put up (ie. do something good for the community) or shut up (stop using our work in a way we didn't want).

James: GPL gooood, Tivo baaad

Boo hoo! (4, Insightful)

Eric Smith (4379) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368971)

They've gotten a free ride for a long time, and not contributed anything back, and now they might not get to use some of the free stuff that comes out in the future.

It must really suck to be them.

Re:Boo hoo! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19369069)

Shut the fuck up, bitch.

Go make me dinner.

So... (1)

kinocho (978177) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368975)

So fuck them. Yeah, fuck them. Does the customers need the DRM in their lives? I thought so...

Unfortunately, they still have two other ways to take:
-Ignore completely the different upgrades to come to the software and keep maintaining the dammned DRM.
-Change everything to... let's say BSD? Last time I checked they were not forcing anything in the license.

Why they just not drop the drm and put the functionalities the customer wants? I will never understand bussiness choices...

I pray every day for every DRM abusing bussines to DIE.

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19369117)

TIVO doesn't have non-tamper software so DRM can be implemented. It has always been there to force you to get a subscription from TIVO to get the channel schedules, and more recently, to fuck with your ability to skip commercials.

If they don't like it (4, Insightful)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368987)

If they don't like it, then don't use.

If using freely obtained software (with the associated licenses) is hurting their business, then they should just start spending some money hiring developers and making their own fully proprietary software. You can't have your free beer and drink it too.

Just drop the DRM (1)

jonwil (467024) | more than 7 years ago | (#19369009)

Is there any actual law that requires Tivo to implement DRM on its PVRs? Would not doing so break any laws? (I am referring to a normal Tivo, not one with CableCard or other pay TV stuff in there)

How is Tivo different from a VCR? (which, IIRC, is legal under the Betamax decision)

Re:Just drop the DRM (1)

Eric Smith (4379) | more than 7 years ago | (#19369063)

VCRs are required by US law to include/support DRM (Macrovision). If you make the argument that a Tivo is a VCR, then yes, the Tivo would have to support DRM as well.

Re:Just drop the DRM (1)

Mr2001 (90979) | more than 7 years ago | (#19369163)

The Macrovision requirement is in section 1201(k) of the DMCA [findlaw.com] , which specifically refers to "analog video cassette recorders". TiVo doesn't make analog recordings or use cassettes, so the Macrovision requirement doesn't apply.

Re:Just drop the DRM (1)

davmoo (63521) | more than 7 years ago | (#19369123)

Besides any direct law, there is another reason they include DRM. And that's the fact that "content providers" (read: networks and film companies) will drop large legal problems their way if they don't. Look what happens to many other products that circumvent or ignore DRM, like for instance, attempts at commercial software to copy DVDs.

And the US Congress has shown an unholy love for the studios and DRM.

Re:Just drop the DRM (1)

jonwil (467024) | more than 7 years ago | (#19369267)

Products which remove existing DRM are illegal under the DMCA. Hence, the DVDCCA can sue anyone decrypting DVDs without permission (or more to the point, making software that decrypts DVDs). However, a DRM free Tivo would not violate the DMCA unless it contained a HDMI input with HDCP (in which case decrypting the HDCP output and storing the result in an unencrypted form would be a DMCA violation) it removed/ignored Macrovision from an analog video stream (again a DMCA violation) or it contained a cable/sattelite decoder such as CableCard (in which case decrypting the encrypted signals and storing them in an unencrypted form would be a DMCA violation).

As of yet, there is nothing in US law or any of the various specifications (such as ATSC/NTSC) requiring that a video capture device store its content in an encrypted form (laws like that have been drafted before IIRC but none have actually passed through congress)

So, a Tivo that does not support HDCP, cable/sattelite TV or macrovision ignoring/removal would not be illegal under current US law. Which means the MPAA would have nothing they can sue Tivo for (note IANAL so I may be unaware of a law that DRM free Tivo would be in violation of)

Re:Just drop the DRM (1)

BluhDeBluh (805090) | more than 7 years ago | (#19369137)

The reason for "Tivoization" is to stop people buying the boxes, which are loss-leaders for TiVo, and then modifying them to do other things or bypass TiVo's mandatory subscription.

The "problem" is a deliberate corporate and marketing decision.

Good riddance (2, Insightful)

iamacat (583406) | more than 7 years ago | (#19369015)

It's one thing for companies actually selling movie downloads to use DRM since otherwise they wouldn't get any content to sell from the movie producers. But TIVO is not getting anything from the media companies. They are including DRM so that their box might get bundled by a cable provider rather than actually chosen by users on it's merit. They should have started a rebel business and sell boxes that record component HD signal from a cable box and switch channels using an IR transmitter. As it is, nobody will mourn their passing.

Re:Good riddance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19369265)

Actually it's more like good riddance to Linux as GPLv3 will just open the door for Solaris and BSD to come in. GPLv3 will further alienate companies as risk increases for those companies who may not know where they want their product to go in the future. They will err on the cautious side and base their products and code on other OS'es and even proprietary ones even if they believe that they will never infringe on v3 just to avoid any problems in the future should they decide to change directions and don't totally agree with the philosophical ideas of a hostile v3 open source community.

Re:Good riddance-Sadly, You're Wrong... (3, Insightful)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 7 years ago | (#19369279)

But TIVO is not getting anything from the media companies.

Sadly, you're wrong. TiVo is getting a lack of lawsuits from the media companies for implementing a variety of anti-consumer, anti-fair use features in their boxes.

Re:Good riddance-Sadly, You're Wrong... (1)

iamacat (583406) | more than 7 years ago | (#19369337)

What are VCR manufacturers doing to achieve lack of lawsuits for providing exactly the same features without DRM?

GNU has always made its motives clear (4, Insightful)

dircha (893383) | more than 7 years ago | (#19369035)

For crying out loud, they based their product on a system (GNU) whose founder - Stallman - openly believes that development and distribution of software that violates the so-called "4 essential freedoms of software users" are unethical and should cease. That's Tivo, that's what they do. The founder of the system they chose to base their business model on clearly and openly states that these practices are unethical and that it is the goal of the movement he founded, to eliminate them.

If they couldn't have been bothered to figure this out before they went down this road then someone in their development organization needs to be fired.

I'm trying (1)

chrispycreeme (550607) | more than 7 years ago | (#19369039)

I'm trying to feel bad for Tivo, but it isn't working for some reason. I wonder why that is... wierd.

BOO HOO!! (1)

EEPROMS (889169) | more than 7 years ago | (#19369065)

Like BOO fsking HOO!, I dont use Tivo, Tivo doesnt make my life any better and I dont see much coming out of Tivo FOSS wise that really makes me want to care either.

"GPLv3 would prohibit TiVo's no-tamper setup" (1)

dgun (1056422) | more than 7 years ago | (#19369099)

One of the basic problems here is companies like TiVo who have been sold on the idea that it is their place to enforce the law.

Gee, (1)

nagora (177841) | more than 7 years ago | (#19369151)

Maybe I was wrong. [slashdot.org]

The Real World! (0, Flamebait)

Goth Biker Babe (311502) | more than 7 years ago | (#19369165)

I know that everything I say will be considered heresy by the linux faithful so I expect to be modded down but I don't care.

The problem is that RMS is a spaced out hippy with not concept of the real world and there are an awful lot of people who think the same way. The GPL is a virus that infects any software it touches. GPLv3 is worse than GPLv2.

In my day to day work I avoid using any software that is GPLed because of commercial concerns (out side of my control) I cannot release details of software. So I have to reinvent everything and the open source community loses out on anything beneficial I may have done. A lose lose situation.

And why cannot release details of the software? Because its encryption libraries and DRM. Well don't DRM I hear you say. The real world situation is this. Media companies want DRM. I agree that its not useful and doesn't actually benefit the media companies but until their minds are changes its here to stay. Whether that's right or wrong its a fact. There's nothing we can do about that.

So using logic. The media companies want DRM. So any companies wanting to show their content have to comply with their requirements and use DRM. So don't show their content some may argue. But the providers are commercial companies. If Dish network didn't show Sci-Fi channel for example viewers may switch to DirecTV. So if providers are using DRM their software has to be proprietary which precludes GPLed code.

But what do I care. I get paid to be a consultant who works out how to get around such problems such as using publishable modifications within the GPL code which IPC to proprietary code. Or, more often, looking for the BSD equivalent which allows me to publish those bits I want to publish.

So yes, I can understand TiVo's concerns. And all that GPLv3 will achieve is forks in code (GPv3 vs GPv2 versions) or re-implementations dividing the effort and spreading the open source community thinner.

Re:The Real World! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19369239)

So what?

The purpose of the GPL is go guarantee users' rights, not developers. I say screw the developers that screw their users the rights to see what the software they run does and the ability to modify it.

One day I hope you realize the kind of ass you've been.

Re:The Real World! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19369261)

They wouldn't have DRM if people like you refused to work there and build it. But that's not the real problem. They're welcome to try it in the market so far as I'm concerned if it weren't for the bigger problem:

They wouldn't have force of law behind DRM if shills and politicians didn't make it so.

Shills and politicians rarely show signs of ethics. Engineers do. Hence the reason I have little need to listen to your argument. Yes, those people will want DRM, but without the willing help of geniuses like us, they wouldn't get it.

Stop being a pawn in their hands and go build software that actually benefits the world. No, I'm not saying don't make money. Just stop fucking over average people to benefit festering assholes and garner yourself a paycheck.

Re:The Real World! (1)

Goth Biker Babe (311502) | more than 7 years ago | (#19369333)

So what happens. I stop doing the work and someone else will do it. May be in the US or the UK, or may be in India or China. There will always be people who will do the work. At least I can try and get something useful out of the work and can at least ensure that the end product is reliable.

Re:The Real World! (1)

pavera (320634) | more than 7 years ago | (#19369275)

I really don't understand your argument, but ok.

You are saying that DRM cannot be implemented in an "open source" product because the GPL stops you. That isn't true. You can implement all the DRM you want, but if you do it on a GPLv3 code base, you can't sue under the DMCA.

Further, DRM is simply an encryption scheme with a couple bells and whistles on top (like counting how many times a thing is decrypted)... Some of the most secure and best encryption/security systems that are available are open source systems. It is entirely possible to implement a DRM system using open source code. You will argue that "the key will be available to anyone, and it won't be secure". Well, as hackers have proven, any system that is dependent on a single (or a small number) of keys is extremely susceptible. Use some PKI, give everyone their own key, don't store the keys in the software or in the system. Alternatively, letting open source guys hack on your code will probably make it the most secure DRM system in the world. Don't tell them its for DRM, just tell them you want a really secure encryption/security scheme.

Re:The Real World! (1)

evanbd (210358) | more than 7 years ago | (#19369281)

Some of us prefer to stand by our principles, even when it means making a decision that is not the easiest one, or the one that brings us the most money. You say there's nothing we can do about the fact that media companies want DRM, but there is. We can decline to implement it. Sure, one person won't make much difference. But each skilled developer who declines to work for them means they have to pay a bit more, use someone slightly less skilled. A drop in the bucket, to be sure. Far easier to throw up our hands and say 'oh well, that's what they want, they'll get someone anyway.' Sometimes doing the right thing is hard, but if enough people do, it can make a difference.

In the real world, it takes coordination to make that happen in a way that will make a difference. The GPL, and the GPLv3, is exactly that -- a set of principles to stand upon, in a coordinated fashion.

The world needs extremists. Progress rarely happens without them.

Re:The Real World! (2, Insightful)

jpetts (208163) | more than 7 years ago | (#19369283)

I was about to say that what you are saying is not at all heresy, but merely a matter of choice. But then I though of the etymology of heresy [wikipedia.org] and realised that it is heresy. A series of choices, yours and others, have led to this situation. But it is the choices that have determined the outcome, nothing else.

The problem is not that "RMS is a spaced out hippy". The problem is that he is not compromising, and others are. When the crunch comes to the crunch, other people are found wanting, not RMS. He is, and has always been consistent.

Don't like GPLvX? Don't use it. Nobody has ever forced anyone else to use any version of GPL, and nobody will. 'Nuff said...

Re:The Real World! (3, Informative)

siddesu (698447) | more than 7 years ago | (#19369285)

"In my day to day work I avoid using any software that is GPLed because of commercial concerns (out side of my control) I cannot release details of software. So I have to reinvent everything and the open source community loses out on anything beneficial I may have done. A lose lose situation."

A lose-lose situation? How? If you aren't planning on giving derivative work back to the free software community in exchange for the free use of their software, they don't benefit.

Seems to me that (just like Tivo's) your dislike for the GPL comes only because you don't really want give back where you take.

Re:The Real World! (1)

Goth Biker Babe (311502) | more than 7 years ago | (#19369345)

"A lose-lose situation? How? If you aren't planning on giving derivative work back to the free software community in exchange for the free use of their software, they don't benefit."

That's exactly what I mean. I don't get to use a developed and tested software solution and the open source community doesn't get any derived work I may have come up with based upon that solution.

Re:The Real World! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19369325)

The problem is that RMS is a spaced out hippy with not concept of the real world and there are an awful lot of people who think the same way. The GPL is a virus that infects any software it touches. GPLv3 is worse than GPLv2.

GPL is viral? What a crock. You are a thief, that's what.

No one forces you to use any GPL software.

No one forces you to disclose your changes to GPL software, except in one case. You cam modify it all you want, use it for yourself, and no one will ever force you to do any thing, except for that one case. Hundreds of companies modify linux in house for running their business, and never disclose it.

That exception is the case when you add modifications to GPL software, and try to make a profit by keeping the modifications secret, but selling the modified software.

That is the case where you take the free GPL software - the fruit of other people's labour -, modify it, sell it, and keep all the money for yourselves.

The people who made the original software want their share, and they dont want money, they want the source code of the modifications.

If you cant provide the source code for your modifications, stop stealing other people's work, and instead of using GPL software, write your own.

You think you have a right to use GPL software as you wish - you dont. The GPL software is licensed to you. If you cannot accept the GPL, dont use GPL software.

Stop whining that you cant steal. All this "viral" FUD is really whining about the fact you cant rip off GPL software.

Are you gonna add fancy lights to Brooklyn bridge, claim it as your own, and try to sell it next?

Linux shooting itself in the foot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19369183)

Is Linux and open source in general shooting itself in the foot? If a company is considering using open source and then realize that at some time in the future a revision to the license, let's call it GPL4, might come out and completely kill their business model, some will not want to take that risk. Essentially they'll be placing themselves at the whims of FSF, the open source community, and whoever else is involved in creating new versions of open source licenses.

Re:Linux shooting itself in the foot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19369243)

nope, you got it all mixed up. GPL and free software is not and never was about protecting the business model of a company. it is about protecting the right of the users to have access to the source code. as other folks have said above, if someone has found a hole, and built their business in that hole, it is their problem what happens when the hole is filled up.

other questions?

It doesn't change anything for TiVo! (3, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | more than 7 years ago | (#19369211)

It says as much in the article. GPL 3 doesn't prevent the use of DRM. It just prevents you from using legal means to prevent people from removing the DRM, which is something that there doesn't seem to be a lot of interest in anyway. The wording in GPL2 may well have been a perfectly valid defence in case of a DMCA complaint. GPL3 just makes it more explicit.

Or... (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 7 years ago | (#19369249)

If the currently proposed version of GPLv3 is widely adopted, we may be unable to incorporate future enhancements to the GNU/Linux operating system into our software, which could adversely affect our business,

Or you could remember who your true customers are and quit putting anti-consumer features (e.g. DRM, removal of the 30-second forward skip, automatically deleting recordings) into your product!

This is what they get when they use a (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19369335)

Communist Open-Sores solution. Eventually the GPL will dictate like the communist nations dictate. They need to get away from Communist Open-Sores and go closed source. Anyone who sticks by Communist Open-Sores should earn themselves a Darwin Award by finding a razor, running a hot bath, and slitting their fucking wrists. Oooh, then there would be no shitdot sheeple left to post on shitdot.

GO AHEAD FUCKING FLAME AWAY OR WASTE YOUR GODDAMNED MOD POINTS FUCKTARDED SHITDOT SHEEPLE!

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