Friday, January 27, 2006

Fun Before Freedom = Profit Over People

The draft release of GPLv3 has raised some interesting discussion. Like many, I'm still trying my best to make sense of the particulars and issues around DRM that this new license tackles. But putting aside particulars for the moment, there is a certain mindset that will make future adoption of such a change an uphill battle for those who value cooperation. That is, the mindset that places fun before freedom - personal pleasure before community. A mindset within all of us at various levels.

A "community response" from Tecosystems posted at Blogma caught my eye -
"Because (my TiVo) employs DRM in various forms, however, it is presumably incompatible with GPLv3 - and therefore would be unable to employ the Linux kernel it does today. That outcome, to me, is but one example of how the draft license - IMO, only - is overly aggressive in its aims."
So I surfed on over to Tecosystems and found more from Stephen O'Grady -
"[...]there are some things on iTunes I can't do without, and there's always Jon - but I loathe DRM generally speaking."
Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the pleasures that technology can bring along with many other pleasures in life. But one wonders what kind of world we'll create when we reduce arguments against licenses designed to protect users freedom to "But I love my TiVo!" and "But I need my iTunes!". Furthermore, implying that people like "DVD Jon" will always be there to fight our general "loathe" toward DRM on our behalf is apathy exemplified. Do we "loathe" DRM because it embarks on a vicious campaign against our freedom to cooperate or simply because - at times - it impedes our search for personal pleasure?

Hollywood wants individuals divided from one another. A key strategy is to keep them in a persistent state of seeking and placing their own pleasure above cooperation. As long as Hollywood gets what it wants, freedom will be kept at bay. For those who can't live without their entertainment - or more accurately, who can't put it aside until we get our priorities straight - fun trumps freedom. For the major entertainment industries, it's profit over people.


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