License? GPL vs LGPL.

Daniel Carrera dcarrera at
Sun Nov 9 16:03:16 CET 2003

On Sun, Nov 09, 2003 at 06:06:07PM +0100, Marcus Brinkmann wrote:

> On Sun, Nov 09, 2003 at 11:10:00AM -0500, Daniel Carrera wrote:
> > I occurred to me that we could mitigate this problem somewhat if 
> > OpenOffice could address some of the problems that DRM is supposed to 
> > solve, but without trapping people.
> > 
> > Some of the features that DRM is meant to bring is authentication, and the 
> > ability to select exactly who can read the document.  These are things 
> > that GPG can do far more securely than anything MS is likely to cookup.
> I don't want to open up a can of worms here, but I think that this is
> probably not what the intention behind DRM is.  DRM is supposed to do
> authentication, but the kind that allows one central power to decide who can
> read a document, listen to a music file, watch a movie etc.  DRM is not
> forced upon the users of MS Windows because it solves problems for the
> users, but because it solves problems for content distributors in
> restricting access to the digital information.

Yes, all the DRM features that get press are like that.  But AFAIK, MS Office 2003 
is offering a different set of DRM features, whereby a document author can control 
who reads it.  This is a DRM feature for MS Office document authors, not Holywood.

MS Office 2003 also offers self-updating documents, and documents that can be read 
but not copied or emailed.  The first feature is something I'm not sure I'd be 
willing to include in OpenOffice, and the latter is not really possible as long as 
people can carry photographic cameras.

Am I wrong?

> There is about zero need for DRM within the users of a computer, in fact, it
> causes great inconveniences to them.  It does however give a lot of power on
> who is allowed to do what with his computer into the hands of those content
> distributors, which will then be able to charge for this "service".

Exactly.  MS Office 2003 has features for MSO users who are content distributors.

> And because of that, unless you are entering that arena, I don't think that any 
> feature you can add to OpenOffice will rival or have an affect on what's going 
> on in the DRM world.

Well, I was thinking that in some cases PGP might solve some of the problems that 
MS claims will be solved by DRM.  For instance, authenticity of the document.  
Authenticity has little to do with the usual connotation of the term "DRM", but it 
is (AFAIK) something that MS claims will be a feature of DRM.

> Now, MS and others probably claim that DRM is meant to bring authentication
> to the user for the users advantage - that would just be part of the normal
> propaganda in order to sweet the poison that the user is supposed to
> swallow.

So you are saying that MS Office 2003 does NOT have any authentication features 
that the user can make user of?

> You might be able to make points in the propaganda battle by being
> able to provide a solution for users that does the part of DRM that actually
> gives advantage to users: Protecting the privacy of the content they write

Exactly.  That's my line of thinking.

> This is not meant to stop you from developing new features to good free
> software, especially features that improve the privacy and integrity
> of the user's data!  It just seemed to me that your perspective on DRM
> is a bit at odd with what I consider DRM to be about, so here are my 2cent.

I am not knowledgeable of DRM.  I just read the article I pointed out.

I just conversed with the OOo people and it turns out that authenticatin is planned 
for version 2.0 (due in a year or so):|outline

Nothing has been written yet.  I will push for GnuPG compatibility if such a thing 
is possible.  I could be that the simplest way to provide authenticatin is to just 
write a regular .sxw file and run gpg on it.  It sure sounds simpler to me.

Thank you for the responses.

Daniel Carrera |   Aleph-0 bottles of beer on the wall, Aleph-0 bottles
PhD student.   |   of beer.  Take one down, pass it around, Aleph-0
Math Dept.     |   bottles of beer on he wall...
UMD,           |

More information about the Gcrypt-devel mailing list