Torvalds: 'Hot air' in debates on GPL, content control

A CNET News.com article by Munir Kotadia and Chris Duckett joins many other media outlets reporting on how Linus Torvalds, the historical originator of the Linux kernel, is saying that discussions of "DRM" and the upgrade to the GPL is all a bunch of "hot air".

Torvalds said that despite all the arguments about which technology or software development methodology is better, "good technology" will win in the end.

As someone who has dedicated much of his recent life to trying to educate people about technology and the law, I couldn't disagree with Linus more. It is the attitude that he is showing that has caused so few technical people to involve themselves in technology law, and why we have such nonsense coming out of governments, international organizations creating treaties, and the courts.

This "technological determinism" is dangerous, and should be rejected. No matter how much Torvalds wants to believe it, the law (and the power of the state to cause economic ruin and put people in jail) trumps digital technology. It is our duty as informed technologists to be involved in helping to create sane public policy regulating technology.

I have commented elsewhere that I am contemplating moving from Linux to OpenSolaris if Sun decides to use the GPLv3 and a developer and competitive support marketplace forms around it. It is largely the political views expressed in the software license that drew me to the Linux kernel in the first place (over the BSD licensed BSD kernel - I never considered Microsoft Windows when upgrading from AmigaDOS in the early 1990's), and it may be the attitude of some developers and an outdated GPLv2 license that is why I move onward.

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I couldn't agree more.

I feel that torvalds may had slipped out, otherwise, that sounds like pure stupidity. Its dangerous to toss an idea like its just random words floating around. I agree with the fact that eventually we (our governments) will have to choose, that if its ment to happen, it will, and we will have to accept it. But this points out an important issue that our government and industries and people can't actually agree on something, that affects all of us equally (to a degree that is).

Artists will always make music, they enjoy it, they will always find a way to make money.

Producers will always distribute media, wether its conventional, or propritary in the future, and will make a lot of money in the process.

The Media, being bottom feeding scum suckers that they are, will always make money, from its consumers.

The law will introduce limitations or straight out obligations to its citizens to follow, in order to live in its "free society".

And we as people will always fight the iron fist that feeds us!