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  1. <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
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  3. <head>
  4. <title>GPLv3 - Transcript of Ciaran O'Riordan from the fifth
  5. international GPLv3 conference, Tokyo, Japan; 2006-11-22</title>
  6. </head>
  7. <body>
  8. <div class="image right">
  9. <a href="gplv3.html"><img SRC="/graphics/gplv3-logo-red.png"
  10. ALT="GPLv3 logo" /></a>
  11. </div>
  12. <h1>Transcript of Ciarán O'Riordan at the 5th international
  13. GPLv3 conference; 22nd November 2006</h1>
  14. <p>
  15. See our <a href="gplv3.html">GPLv3 project</a> page for information
  16. on <a href="gplv3#participate">how to participate</a>. And you may
  17. be interested in
  18. our <a href="">list of
  19. transcripts on GPLv3 and free software licences</a>.
  20. </p>
  21. <p>
  22. The following is a transcript of Ciarán O'Riordan's presentation
  23. made at the <a href="">fifth international
  24. GPLv3 conference</a>, organised by FSIJ and AIST in Tokyo, Japan.
  25. From the same event, there is also
  26. a <a href="tokyo-rms-transcript">transcript Richard Stallman's
  27. talk</a>.
  28. </p>
  29. <!-- <p>Video and audio recordings are available:</p> -->
  30. <!-- <ul> -->
  31. <!-- <li>Audio: <a href=""></a></li> -->
  32. <!-- <li>Video: <a href=""></a></li> -->
  33. <!-- </ul> -->
  34. <p>Transcription of this presentation was undertaken
  35. by Ciarán O'Riordan.
  36. Please support work such as this by <a href="/help/donate">donating
  37. to FSFE</a>, joining <a href="">the Fellowship
  38. of FSFE</a>, and by encouraging others to do so.</p>
  39. <p>The speech was made in English. See also:</p>
  40. <ul>
  41. <li><a
  42. href=""></a>
  43. - all recordings from the event</li>
  44. <li><a
  45. href="">The
  46. recording of Ciaran O'Riordan's talk</a></li>
  47. </ul>
  48. <h2>Presentation sections</h2>
  49. <ol>
  50. <li><a href="#introductory-remarks">Introductory remarks</a></li>
  51. <li><a href="#non-lawyer">Why non-lawyer comments are sought</a></li>
  52. <li><a href="#tivoisation-and-freedom">Why tivoisation must be prevented: freedom</a></li>
  53. <li><a href="#tivoisation-and-catastrophe">Why tivoisation must be prevented: preventing a catastrophe</a></li>
  54. <li><a href="#market-pressure">Could we use market pressure instead?</a></li>
  55. <li><a href="#lobbying">Comparing licence improvement with legislative lobbying</a></li>
  56. <li><a href="#legal-maintainability">Legal maintainability - can the Linux kernel relicense?</a></li>
  57. <li><a href="#fsfe">FSFE's contribution to the process</a></li>
  58. <li><a href="#closing-remarks">Closing remarks</a></li>
  59. <li><a href="#conclusion">Conclusion</a></li>
  60. </ol>
  61. <ul>
  62. <li><a href="#q1">Q1: What about governments and voting machines?</a></li>
  63. <li><a href="#q2">Q2: Won't passwords be public if a company
  64. distributes to the government?</a></li>
  65. <li><a href="#q3">Q3: Why was the current patent licence written that way?</a></li>
  66. <li><a href="#q4">Q4: Will GPLv3 address web services?</a></li>
  67. <li><a href="#q5">Q5: For example, online role-playing games?</a></li>
  68. <li><a href="#q5b">Q5b: Is it too late for more changes? No.</a></li>
  69. </ul>
  70. <h2>The Presentation</h2>
  71. <p>
  72. <span id="introductory-remarks">(<a href="#menu">go to menu</a>) [Section: Introductory remarks]</span>
  73. </p>
  74. <p class="indent">
  75. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Ciarán O'Riordan</span>: Good
  76. morning. I want to talk about the Linux kernel, GPLv3, and Digital
  77. Restrictions Management. This is an issue that has gotten a lot of
  78. attention in the press. The Linux kernel developers have a very loud
  79. voice. One of the reasons is that for most people, the operating
  80. system made by combining GNU and the Linux kernel is called &quot;Linux&quot;.
  81. So, often, the work of the GNU project is attributed to the Linux
  82. developers. This is one of the reasons we ask for the operating
  83. system to be called &quot;GNU+Linux&quot;.
  84. </p>
  85. <p class="indent">
  86. They have a loud voice, but the process has been designed to make sure
  87. that everyone has an equal voice in the process. So although we hear
  88. more from some developers than others, they all get treated the same.
  89. The portal was set up to collect comments, and this has
  90. not been used by the Linux kernel developers. Instead they have
  91. mostly spoken amongst themselves and have spoken to the press. This
  92. makes it harder to respond to their concerns.
  93. </p>
  94. <p class="indent">
  95. For people who haven't seen it, I want to show
  96. the <a href=""></a> comment
  97. portal.
  98. </p>
  99. <p>
  100. [NOTE: people reading the transcript online can see that comment
  101. portal
  102. at <a
  103. href=""></a>]
  104. </p>
  105. <p class="indent">
  106. When you visit the site, you get to see a copy of the
  107. licence, and you can see the different parts of the licence have
  108. different colours. When you click on one of the coloured pieced of
  109. text, you will see, like in this example on the right hand side, you
  110. will see the comments that have been made about that part of the
  111. licence. Then, if you highlight a part of the licence, and press 'c',
  112. you will get a small box like this where you can type in your comment.
  113. So, to make a comment, you have to first identify what part of the
  114. licence you have an issue with, and then you have to attach your
  115. comment to that part of the licence.
  116. </p>
  117. <p class="indent">
  118. We can see from the first draft that the parts that have more comments
  119. get darker and darker. The Digital Restrictions Management part was
  120. the darkest in the first discussion draft. Other parts that collected
  121. a lot of comments were parts about patents.
  122. </p>
  123. <p class="indent">
  124. It was mentioned yesterday that people in Japan haven't commented so
  125. much because they were shy about commenting, so one thing I wanted to
  126. point out is that you can do this anonymously. To make a comment, you
  127. have to make an account
  128. on <a href=""></a>, but you
  129. don't have to use your real name, you can use a pseudonym.
  130. </p>
  131. <p class="indent">
  132. It was also pointed out yesterday that now is an important time to
  133. comment on GPLv3, but I don't think anyone mentioned the reason. The
  134. reason is that the third discussion draft is due to be published quite
  135. soon. It was meant to be published on November 23rd, but I think that
  136. will now be delayed because of the Microsoft/Novell deal. It should
  137. be published within the next few weeks, or few days. So if you want
  138. your comment to be considered while the third draft is being worked
  139. on, please submit it now. The third draft may be the last discussion
  140. draft before the final version is published in early 2007.
  141. </p>
  142. <p>
  143. <span id="non-lawyer">(<a href="#menu">go to menu</a>) [Section: Why non-lawyer comments are sought]</span>
  144. </p>
  145. <p class="indent">
  146. Some people have been put off from commenting because this looks like
  147. a project for lawyers. We actually have lawyers to translate normal
  148. language into legalese. So this is a process that we hope that
  149. developers, users, and distributors will take part in, and we have a
  150. team of lawyers to translate into the necessary legal language.
  151. </p>
  152. <p class="indent">
  153. The public process for commenting is the only process for commenting.
  154. This is the way that comments are collected. There is no backdoor, or
  155. secret meetings about GPLv3 besides the public process. When I want
  156. to make comments, I don't talk to Richard directly about this, I
  157. submit my comments to the website there. I think I've made five
  158. comments on the last draft, you can see them there, my user name is
  159. &quot;ciaran&quot;.
  160. </p>
  161. <p class="indent">
  162. If you find that the text is unclear, then this is also a valid
  163. comment you can make. Or if you have a comment and you're not sure if
  164. it makes sense, then it's still valuable to submit that to the site
  165. because then the people who are researching the comments can look at
  166. the parts where people are not sure if they understand the draft and
  167. they can decide that this is something that they have to make
  168. simpler.
  169. </p>
  170. <p class="indent">
  171. We would like the licence to be simpler, and be shorter as well.
  172. Before this process began, a lot of people were saying that the GPL
  173. should be a lot shorter. They wanted it to fit on one or two pages.
  174. However, when we opened up the licence and asked people what parts
  175. should be removed, nobody was able to point out the redundant parts
  176. that we didn't need.
  177. </p>
  178. <p class="indent">
  179. When you submit a comment to the website there, it gets submitted to
  180. four discussion committees. There is one committee of companies,
  181. large distributors, there is one committee of lawyers, one committee
  182. of large Free Software projects, and another committee of individuals
  183. that have shown an interest in this area.
  184. </p>
  185. <p class="indent">
  186. Each comment is discussed by these committees from their perspective
  187. and then they collect these comments into issues and pass these on to
  188. Richard. The four committees, combined, have approximately one
  189. hundred and thirty people in them, so there is enough people to deal
  190. with all the comments.
  191. </p>
  192. <p class="indent">
  193. This is one of the reasons why we are now updating the GNU GPL. Ten
  194. years ago, we could not have organised a process like this because ten
  195. years ago there were not that many Free Software users and Free
  196. Software wasn't as global. Now we can do this with a global Free
  197. Software community and access to tens of lawyers or hundreds of
  198. lawyers, it's quite beneficial for us to ask them for their comments.
  199. </p>
  200. <p class="indent">
  201. One complaint from the Linux kernel developers, or one Linux kernel
  202. developer in particular, was that the committees were not being
  203. listened to. A journalist from Newsforge contacted the committees and
  204. they were quite enthusiastic, saying that they were being listened to.
  205. (<a
  206. href="">LINK</a>)
  207. </p>
  208. <p class="indent">
  209. I discussed the comment system there because one of the problems that
  210. we've had is that the press have not reported the existence of the
  211. comment system. They have explained the controversies, and the hype
  212. and the disagreements, but they rarely mention when they explain these
  213. things that if people have an opinion or if people disagree with what
  214. is being done, they can use a comment to voice their disagreement.
  215. This is something that I wanted to highlight, and I hope that you will
  216. highlight, because there are many people who know about, for example,
  217. DRM being handled by the Linux kernel, but they don't know that they
  218. can make their voice heard, that they can make a comment.
  219. </p>
  220. <p class="indent">
  221. Another mistake that has been made often in the press is to talk about
  222. the DRM issue as if it's a binary issue, a Yes or a No issue. One
  223. clarification that has to be made about this is that GPLv3 does not
  224. regulate DRM, it only regulates tivoisation, which is a specific case,
  225. which Richard explained yesterday
  226. (<a
  227. href="">LINK</a>),
  228. of DRM. This is also a mistake that myself and others have made when
  229. explaining this. We often talk about DRM, when we should be talking
  230. only about tivoisation.
  231. </p>
  232. <p>
  233. <span id="tivoisation-and-freedom">(<a href="#menu">go to menu</a>) [Section: Why tivoisation must be prevented: freedom]</span>
  234. </p>
  235. <p class="indent">
  236. Tivoisation has been tackled by the two drafts of GPLv3, and there has
  237. been no discussion about not tackling it. Some people have wondered
  238. if the process is unresponsive because they are asked for comments,
  239. but not tackling DRM is not an option. There are two reasons why
  240. GPLv3 will certainly tackle DRM or tivoisation.
  241. </p>
  242. <p class="indent">
  243. The first is that Free Software is designed to give you freedom to
  244. adapt the software to your needs. People have pointed out that when
  245. Tivo distribute their computer, they give you a copy of the source
  246. code, and although you can't run modified versions on the Tivo, you
  247. can run modified versions on another computer. The reason this is
  248. insufficient is because Tivo contains spyware. If you receive the
  249. Tivo, and you want to remove the spyware, it's pointless to do this on
  250. another computer because what you want to do is you want to remove the
  251. spyware from your Tivo so that when you use your Tivo, it doesn't spy
  252. on you.
  253. </p>
  254. <p>
  255. <span id="tivoisation-and-catastrophe">(<a href="#menu">go to menu</a>) [Section: Why tivoisation must be prevented: preventing a catastrophe]</span>
  256. </p>
  257. <p class="indent">
  258. The second reason why GPLv3 will tackle tivoisation is to prevent a
  259. potential catastrophe. For Free Software to resist and continue being
  260. developed, the World has to have programmable computers. Free
  261. Software has evolved in an environment where people can reprogram
  262. their computers. If computers were mostly replaced by
  263. non-programmable computers, this would make it difficult or impossible
  264. for people to develop Free Software. This sounds hard to imagine, but
  265. it is currently happening with television. Television is being phased
  266. out and is being replaced by digital television which cannot receive
  267. analogue signals or have analogue output. Another example is the DVD
  268. consortium. This is where a group of companies have made an agreement
  269. to restrict the use of a certain type of computer. This is one way
  270. that a cartel or a consortium could effectively replace the
  271. programmable computers of the World with non-programmable computers.
  272. </p>
  273. <p class="indent">
  274. A second way that this catastrophe could happen is if the Tivo model,
  275. which has proved financially sustainable by the Tivo company, is
  276. copied by other companies. It could happen that one by one, companies
  277. move to a Tivo style model.
  278. </p>
  279. <p class="indent">
  280. Those are the two core reasons. There is also a third issue. It is
  281. not a core reason, but it is a benefit. By prohibiting tivoisation,
  282. we guarantee more contributors to our Free Software projects. We will
  283. probably lose the contributions of Tivo, but this is not a big problem
  284. because we were never dependent on Tivo. They contribute a very very
  285. small part, a minute part of the operating system. And in return, we
  286. will gain developers because the developers of Free Software are
  287. people who have computers running Free Software who make small
  288. improvements or large improvements. Currently, people who buy Tivo
  289. computers are not contributing small improvements or large
  290. improvements because they can't modify their Tivos. So by Tivo making
  291. computers non-programmable, they are making people non-programmers.
  292. </p>
  293. <p class="indent">
  294. The actual words that implement the anti-tivoisation provision are
  295. quite small. The second discussion draft says that you can distribute
  296. the software...
  297. </p>
  298. <blockquote>
  299. <p>
  300. ...provided you also distribute any encryption or authorization
  301. keys necessary to install and/or execute modified
  302. versions...<br /> (From Section 1, paragraph 4)
  303. </p>
  304. </blockquote>
  305. <p>
  306. [Time: 880 secs]
  307. </p>
  308. <p class="indent">
  309. This has a very limited scope. This will only affect people who are
  310. distributing hardware-plus-software systems, so it's probably safe to
  311. say that it will not affect anyone in this room.
  312. </p>
  313. <p>
  314. <span id="market-pressure">(<a href="#menu">go to menu</a>) [Section: Could we use market pressure instead?]</span>
  315. </p>
  316. <p class="indent">
  317. It has been suggested that we could tackle tivoisation through other
  318. channels. One suggestion was that we should fight tivoisation by
  319. market pressure: if we don't like tivoised devices, we shouldn't buy
  320. them. This is good advice, however, the Free Software community
  321. doesn't have examples of doing this successfully before. We certainly
  322. can't rely on this defeating tivoisation. If we do rely on it, we
  323. will be sure to fail. Market pressure is something that the Free
  324. Software community has to figure out how to do effectively. We now
  325. have tens or hundreds of millions of users of the GNU+Linux operating
  326. system, we could exert quite large market pressure but we are not
  327. doing it because we are not organised in this way.
  328. </p>
  329. <p class="indent">
  330. For some hardware problems, we have to use market pressure. Sometimes
  331. it's the only option we have, but in the case of the Tivo, because we
  332. developed the software running on the Tivo, we are Tivo's business
  333. partners. We don't have to stay back as a third-party, we don't have
  334. to act only as consumers, we are partners in the development of their
  335. project.
  336. </p>
  337. <p>
  338. <span id="lobbying">(<a href="#menu">go to menu</a>) [Section: Comparing licence improvement with legislative lobbying]</span>
  339. </p>
  340. <p class="indent">
  341. Licences can only do so much. Our licences can only place
  342. requirements on people who distribute our software. We should do what
  343. we can with our licences, because there is also one benefit in that
  344. licences are in a way easier to improve. They're easier to improve
  345. than market pressure is, and they're also easier than lobbying for
  346. legislation. For this I'll use the example of software patents.
  347. </p>
  348. <p class="indent">
  349. In Europe, there was a directive, a proposal to change the law, to
  350. make software patents exist for all the EU member states. I think
  351. this proposal began in 1998, and it was worked on
  352. by <a href="">Free Software Foundation
  353. Europe</a>, and <a href="">Foundation for a Free
  354. Information Infrastructure</a>, and other groups. They worked on it
  355. from 1998 until 2005, and that proposal was rejected. There were many
  356. nights that we slept inside the parliament on the floor, and there
  357. were many weekends that we worked, and this happened for seven years.
  358. Although we got a significant result, we haven't finished the problem.
  359. There
  360. is <a
  361. href="">a
  362. new proposal now</a> to introduce software patents into the EU.
  363. </p>
  364. <p class="indent">
  365. I'm just giving that example to show the scale of effort needed to
  366. tackle software patents by lobbying. Our licence cannot make that
  367. problem go away, we have to continue lobbying, however, when we can
  368. make life a little bit easier for ourselves without a seven year
  369. struggle, then we should try that.
  370. </p>
  371. <p class="indent">
  372. Because the GNU GPL has been so successful, we haven't changed it in
  373. fifteen years. This is because of a combination of genius and pure
  374. good luck. Updating our licences is not something we think about very
  375. much, but we should start thinking of it in the same category as using
  376. market pressure or lobbying for legislation change.
  377. </p>
  378. <p class="indent">
  379. The legal environment that Free Software exists in is not very helpful
  380. for us. It was not designed in a way to help us. One of the few
  381. benefits that it gives us is that we can determine the terms for
  382. distributing our software. After developing this software, which we
  383. spent twenty-five years doing, what we get in return is that we can
  384. set the terms for distribution. This is one way we can help
  385. ourselves, and it's something we should use.
  386. </p>
  387. <p>
  388. <span id="legal-maintainability">(<a href="#menu">go to menu</a>) [Section: Legal maintainability - can the Linux kernel relicense?]</span>
  389. </p>
  390. <p class="indent">
  391. During the debate over should the Linux kernel use the GPLv3, one side
  392. question that people raised was: can the Linux kernel change its
  393. licence?
  394. </p>
  395. <p class="indent">
  396. The answer is that it's going to be very difficult. The Linux kernel
  397. has hundreds of copyright holders, and to relicense, all the copyright
  398. holders are going to have to either give permission or have their part
  399. of the kernel removed. This is quite difficult but it is possible.
  400. It is possible because most of the kernel developers are still
  401. contactable, and if they give their consent, they can change the
  402. licence for their parts of the kernel.
  403. </p>
  404. <p class="indent">
  405. For some of the kernel developers who are not contactable, their
  406. software may have to be removed, but this does not have to happen
  407. immediately. By changing the licensing policy of the kernel, and then
  408. by waiting one year or two years, a lot of the old software that was
  409. in the kernel, which has the licensing problem, will be removed
  410. because code is often rewritten in the Linux kernel.
  411. </p>
  412. <p class="indent">
  413. After waiting one year or two years, it will probably be found that
  414. very little code has to be removed. This process is similar for all
  415. Free Software projects that have a similar licensing situation to
  416. Linux. Linux is a good example because it's probably the messiest
  417. example, it's the example with the most difficulty.
  418. </p>
  419. <p class="indent">
  420. Should the Linux kernel developers go to this amount of effort to move
  421. to GPL version 3? One answer is that we hope that they will like the
  422. GPLv3 so much that they will decide it is worth this effort, but even
  423. if they don't like GPLv3, they should improve the legal situation so
  424. they can change to another licence. It doesn't have to be GPLv3, but
  425. they should get the project into a state where the licence can be
  426. updated. The reason for this is that we never know what a court will
  427. say about the GPL. It has been enforced in the USA and in Germany in
  428. courts, but we don't know what will happen in other countries. If
  429. tomorrow there was an absurd court ruling, or a court ruling which the
  430. Linux kernel developers disagreed with, they would have to have a way
  431. to fix the licence.
  432. </p>
  433. <p class="indent">
  434. So whether they want to move to GPLv3 or not, I think it would be
  435. good if they got to a state where the have legal maintainability, so
  436. that they can move to another licence and then our job is to make
  437. GPLv3 as good as we can make it and hope they choose that licence.
  438. </p>
  439. <p>
  440. <span id="fsfe">(<a href="#menu">go to menu</a>) [Section: FSFE's contribution to the process]</span>
  441. </p>
  442. <p class="indent">
  443. In the process, the work that FSF Europe has been doing has been
  444. largely about documenting. Documenting, and spreading awareness, and
  445. participating in community discussions. This is quite important
  446. because updating our licence is a completely new project for the Free
  447. Software community. We have never done this together on a global
  448. scale before, and that puts us in the disadvantage that we have very
  449. little experience, we have few experts, and we don't have a body of
  450. discussion that people can read to become experts or to read the
  451. arguments, for and against, about this issue.
  452. </p>
  453. <p class="indent">
  454. So one thing that FSF Europe has been doing is to make transcripts of
  455. the events like this event. The four previous events, all have
  456. transcripts made from them
  457. (<a href="/campaigns/gplv3/#transcripts">LINK</a>), at least of
  458. Richard's talk. Sometimes we have transcripts of Eben Moglen's talks,
  459. and we have transcripts of Richard's talks from other events.
  460. </p>
  461. <p class="indent">
  462. We have also undertaken writing articles about GPLv3, and trying to
  463. constantly document the current state of the discussion so that anyone
  464. can join the discussion without having to start at the start. We want
  465. to document the current state and the current arguments so that people
  466. can see what is being discussed and what progress has been made so
  467. that people can start at the state-of-the-art, people can start with
  468. the current status of the debate and try and progress the debate.
  469. </p>
  470. <p>
  471. [Time: 1550 secs]
  472. </p>
  473. <p>
  474. <span id="closing-remarks">(<a href="#menu">go to menu</a>) [Section: Closing remarks]</span>
  475. </p>
  476. <p class="indent">
  477. I wasn't able to check this morning but I think there are unofficial
  478. Japanese translations of the first two discussion drafts of GPLv3.
  479. And I also think there are Japanese translations of the change
  480. rationale for each - these are documents explaining the reasons for
  481. the changes. You can find those translations
  482. on <a href="">the GPLv3
  483. wiki</a>. On there is a wiki were people have collected
  484. articles and translations and transcripts, and people also use that
  485. wiki to discuss difficult situations or situations that they are not
  486. sure the GPLv3 tackles. If you have an issue with GPLv3 you can use
  487. that wiki to discuss this with other people who are considering that
  488. same problem, however, do remember to make a comment on the commenting
  489. system that I showed earlier. This is also true when the GPLv3 is
  490. discussed on discussion forums and on mailing lists. It's very useful
  491. to discuss it, but do remember to submit a comment to the web forum so
  492. that it can be reviewed and discussed and researched by the four
  493. committees with one hundred and thirty people.
  494. </p>
  495. <p class="indent">
  496. That's mostly what I wanted to say. I was quite impressed with how
  497. this conference has been, so I wanted to add a &quot;well done&quot; to Niibe
  498. and to the Free Software Initiative of Japan, and to AIST, just to say
  499. that it has been a well-organised conference.
  500. </p>
  501. <p>
  502. <span id="conclusion">(<a href="#menu">go to menu</a>) [Section: Conclusion]</span>
  503. </p>
  504. <p class="indent">
  505. To close on the important information. At the top of the screen is
  506. Free Software Foundation Europe's GPLv3 page:
  507. <a
  508. href=""></a>
  509. and that's where you can find the transcripts that we've made and
  510. links to audio and video recordings and a timeline and a general
  511. explanation of what's happening with GPLv3.
  512. </p>
  513. <p class="indent">
  514. I'd encourage you all to read draft 2 of GPLv3, and if you have a
  515. comment, submit it. When you see the commenting system, you might see
  516. that somebody else has already submitted a commented about the same
  517. issue, so it may not be necessary to make a comment.
  518. </p>
  519. <p class="indent">
  520. Also, while you participate in other mailing lists - technical mailing
  521. lists or other mailing lists that don't discuss GPLv3 - it would be
  522. quite useful if you raised the issue, just to make sure everyone is
  523. aware of what is happening. We don't want anyone to be surprised in
  524. January or when GPLv3 is released. We don't want anyone to say
  525. &quot;Oh, I wish I'd known, I wish I could have changed one
  526. part&quot;. We need your help in that way to spread awareness. As I
  527. mentioned earlier, the press are not doing a complete job on this.
  528. </p>
  529. <p class="indent">
  530. The last thing is that I would ask you to support organisations such
  531. as FSF Europe and FSIJ because these organisations exist to help you
  532. work on these issues. And they also exist to work on them directly,
  533. so if you do not want to work on these issues, you can support these
  534. organisations so that they can work on them for you or so that they
  535. can help other people to work on these issues. The important thing is
  536. to make sure that enough people are working on it.
  537. </p>
  538. <p class="indent">
  539. That's the summary of my presentation, thank you.
  540. </p>
  541. <p id="q1">
  542. (<a href="#menu">go to menu</a>)<br />
  543. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Q1</span>: If tivoisation is
  544. prohibited, what happens when firmware integrity is required?
  545. </p>
  546. <p class="indent">
  547. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Ciarán O'Riordan</span>: I think
  548. there are two issues there. One is: what would happen if someone
  549. modifies the firmware and then brakes the device because the firmware
  550. was modified. In this case, it would be reasonable for the hardware
  551. distributor to void the warranty if the software is modified. That
  552. would be ok. We don't expect hardware distributors to offer a
  553. warranty after we modify the software.
  554. </p>
  555. <p class="indent">
  556. The second issue of device integrity is regarding voting machines or
  557. medical devices or other regulated pieces of hardware.
  558. </p>
  559. <p class="indent">
  560. The issue of voting machines is not really an issue because the GPL
  561. only requires that freedom to modify is given to people after you
  562. distribute the software. However, when a government uses the software
  563. on many voting machines, this usually does not count as distribution
  564. because only one legal person, namely the government, is using the
  565. software. So the government can use ten thousand voting machines
  566. without having to give the source code or permission to modify to
  567. people working in the voting centres, or anyone actually.
  568. </p>
  569. <p class="indent">
  570. The other example there is medical devices, and this also applies to
  571. telephones and other devices that talk over radio signals. The issue
  572. is: how do you prevent the person from making the hardware do
  573. something that is not permitted by law.
  574. </p>
  575. <p class="indent">
  576. For example, there is a regulation for what band a telephone can
  577. receive information from. If that has to be regulated, then that
  578. software can be put in ROM or other unmodifiable memory. This could
  579. be abused by other projects who might put everything in ROM, but it is
  580. unlikely. For example, the Tivo are unlikely to put an entire
  581. GNU+Linux operating system into ROM because [that's] making it
  582. impossible for them to fix bugs in the system. Companies will
  583. probably find that it is only profitable, only practical, to put the
  584. smallest amount of code necessary into ROM. So for telephones, the
  585. software which sets the signal that the telephone transmits and
  586. receives by, that part of the software could be put in ROM - Read Only
  587. Memory - a very small part of the software. And the rest of the
  588. software could be modifiable. That would be ok, that wouldn't break
  589. any regulations.
  590. </p>
  591. <p class="indent">
  592. For medical devices, where it might happen that the entire software
  593. must be unmodifiable, they can put the harddrive, or put the device,
  594. behind a locked door. The people who have been complaining about
  595. medical devices have not been manufacturers of medical devices. I
  596. think that's because manufacturers of medical devices know that this
  597. isn't a problem because usually you do not have physical access to the
  598. software on a medical device because it would be inside a metal box,
  599. or it would be inside a locked room, or it would be unmodifiable for
  600. physical reasons.
  601. </p>
  602. <p id="q2">
  603. (<a href="#menu">go to menu</a>)<br />
  604. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Q2</span>: What about when a company
  605. distributes voting machine software to the government. Distribution
  606. occurs, so aren't the passwords etc. published, thus reducing
  607. security?
  608. </p>
  609. <p>
  610. [Time: 2210 secs]
  611. </p>
  612. <p class="indent">
  613. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Ciarán O'Riordan</span>: Ah yes, this
  614. is something I should clarify. If a company distributes software to
  615. the government, the company will be obliged by the GPL to give the
  616. government source code plus any passwords or encryption keys necessary
  617. for the government to run modified versions. That's what the GPL
  618. says. The GPL does not say that the company is required to publish
  619. source code or publish passwords or encryption keys.
  620. </p>
  621. <p class="indent">
  622. So the company can give the software to the government, and the
  623. government can contract with the company to only give the [source
  624. code,] encryption keys and passwords to the government. So, the
  625. government can control of the software and the company can have
  626. control of the software. Or further, the government could enter a
  627. contract so that the government receives the source code and passwords
  628. and the government also receives the ability to change the passwords,
  629. so you can have a situation where the company complies with the GPL
  630. and gives everything necessary to the government, and the government
  631. can have exclusive control over the software because they can use
  632. [DRM] privately. They can set up the restrictions to only apply to
  633. themselves.
  634. </p>
  635. <p class="indent">
  636. If the government later wants to distribute the software to another
  637. person, then the government will be required to give the other person
  638. source code for the software and whatever passwords the other person
  639. needs for their copy of the software. The government will not be
  640. required to pass on passwords that the government needs because when
  641. you distribute the software, the requirement is that the recipient has
  642. the ability to modify [their copy], you don't have to give the
  643. recipient the ability to modify your copy. The password needed to
  644. modify your copy and the recipient's copy can be different.
  645. </p>
  646. <p id="q3">
  647. (<a href="#menu">go to menu</a>)<br />
  648. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Q3</span>: The patent licence in the
  649. current draft of GPLv3 is not written in the same way as the patent
  650. licences of other licences. Can you explain the reasons for this or
  651. say what the lawyers think about this?
  652. </p>
  653. <p class="indent">
  654. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Ciarán O'Riordan</span>: As far as I
  655. know, this was actually suggested by the lawyers. The patent
  656. provisions in the first draft were similar to the patent provisions in
  657. the Mozilla Public License, they were a patent licence. When you
  658. distribute the software, you give a patent licence for the required
  659. patents.
  660. </p>
  661. <p class="indent">
  662. In draft 2, this was changed to a covenant not to sue, which in
  663. practice is the same as a patent licence, however, the lawyers, as far
  664. as I understand, decided that this was more likely to work the same in
  665. every country because the idea of a patent licence has more precedent
  666. and has more case law which could change the meaning in different
  667. countries. This covenant not to sue should be more the same across
  668. international boundaries.
  669. </p>
  670. <p id="q4">
  671. (<a href="#menu">go to menu</a>)<br />
  672. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Q4</span>: What do you think about
  673. server-side programs, such as spreadsheets and word processors that
  674. people use through their browsers? Do you think service providers
  675. should disclose some information? Or it is outside of your interest?
  676. </p>
  677. <p class="indent">
  678. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Ciarán O'Riordan</span>: This is
  679. something that we still have to wait to see how it pans out. We
  680. [speakers and attendees] were actually discussing this last night. At
  681. the moment this is not a big problem. It's similar to the web
  682. services problem in the late 90s. In the late 90s, during the
  683. boom, people were worried that Free Software might lose if Free
  684. Software was run on servers as a service instead of run on desktop
  685. machines.
  686. </p>
  687. <p class="indent">
  688. For example, if someone wanted to modify the GNU Image Manipulation
  689. Program, &quot;GIMP&quot;, to edit photographs, they might set up a
  690. website to edit photographs and in that way they could make
  691. improvements to their copy without having to distribute their
  692. improvements. During the boom, people thought this was a
  693. business model. And a few years later, they learned that it wasn't.
  694. </p>
  695. <p class="indent">
  696. In the late 90s, this looked like it might be a big problem. And then
  697. we waited a few years, and then it wasn't a big problem. The issue of
  698. server-side spreadsheets or word processors is a new issue and it
  699. might become a big problem, and maybe we'll have to do something about
  700. it, or it might stay a very small problem.
  701. </p>
  702. <p class="indent">
  703. If we have to do something about it, it may happen that we have to
  704. modify the licence, however, I can't think of something right now that
  705. would be very helpful in the licence. Maybe we will have to do
  706. something outside of the licence. Like the way we boycott DRM'd
  707. hardware, and like the way we lobby against laws that create software
  708. patents, server-side programs could be a problem that we have to fix
  709. outside of the licence. But for the moment, I think it's safe that
  710. the GPL version 3 doesn't need a provision about this right now.
  711. </p>
  712. <p class="indent">
  713. I should add: if you do think there is something that the licence
  714. could do, and that the licence should do, please make a comment to
  715. <a href=""></a>.
  716. </p>
  717. <p id="q5">
  718. (<a href="#menu">go to menu</a>)<br />
  719. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Q5</span>: A footnote to your last
  720. answer. One group that I'm aware of that is worried about this
  721. server-side closing of the sources is the Worldforge project - they're
  722. developing online role-playing games. Of course, most of the code for
  723. a game like that lives in the server. They were hoping that GPLv3
  724. would help them, but it hasn't so far.
  725. </p>
  726. <p class="indent">
  727. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Ciarán O'Riordan</span>: It could be
  728. that there is nothing that GPLv3 can do to address that, but if there
  729. is something, I'm sure we'd welcome the suggestion, but maybe we have
  730. to do it by installing or using good practices in our community.
  731. Maybe we have to teach people not to become dependent on services on a
  732. server that cannot be replicated on your own computer or on a server
  733. that you set up. That's something we have to look at from other
  734. angles as well.
  735. </p>
  736. <p id="q5b">
  737. (<a href="#menu">go to menu</a>)<br />
  738. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Q5b</span>: I agree that also, in the GPLv3 process, it's too late...
  739. </p>
  740. <p class="indent">
  741. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Ciarán O'Riordan</span>: Oh, it's not
  742. too late. The discussion drafts are still being modified. The two
  743. big issues are patents and DRM or tivoisation, and both of these are
  744. being reworked for the third discussion draft. It was planned that we
  745. would spend one year talking about GPLv3, and we're ten and a half
  746. months into that year, but things are still quite open for change.
  747. </p>
  748. <p class="indent">
  749. As Richard mentioned yesterday, the patent provisions are being
  750. rewritten in response to the Microsoft/Novell deal. The tivoisation
  751. part is being rewritten. In draft 2 it was part of the definition of
  752. source code. In draft 3, it will be part of the requirements for
  753. permission to distribute. So we are not too late at the moment.
  754. </p>
  755. <p class="indent">
  756. With the third discussion draft being worked on right now, this week
  757. or next week - probably this week - is a really important time to
  758. submit comments about that, and please do.
  759. </p>
  760. <p>
  761. [Q&amp;A session ends; applause]
  762. </p>
  763. <h2 id="further-information">Further information</h2>
  764. <ul>
  765. <li>For general information, links, and a schedule, see
  766. our <a href="gplv3.html">GPLv3 project</a> page</li>
  767. <li>Many more transcripts can be found at
  768. the <a href="gplv3.html#transcripts">transcripts section</a> of our
  769. GPLv3 project page</li>
  770. <li>You can support FSFE's work, such as our GPLv3 awareness work,
  771. by joining <a href="">the Fellowship of
  772. FSFE</a>, and by encouraging others to do so</li>
  773. <li>You can also support us by <a href="/help/donate">making a
  774. donation</a>, and by encouraging others to to so</li>
  775. </ul>
  776. </body>
  777. </html>