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    Is that blog satire? The author links in his second paragraph to articles he wrote praising DRM and dismissing all criticism[1], to articles claiming that repairability or the ability to replace firmware is unnecessary, as you can always throw a device away and buy a new one[2], and he’s arguing that modifying the way a website is displayed in your own browser – e.g. by restricting the JS, or modifying it – violates the site owners’ rights, and is wrong[3].

    I absolutely can’t tell.

    [1] http://www.technologicallyadvancedhuman.uk/why_eme_is_great.html

    If someone wants to sell a movie but they don’t want it pirated or modified without their permission, that’s fair-enough. It’s their content and it took them a lot of effort to make it. I don’t see why you would think you have the right to take someone elses work and do what you want with it without permission.

    [2] http://www.technologicallyadvancedhuman.uk/the_freedom_to_destroy.html

    The type of freedom we need over these practically immutable hardware components is what I call “The Freedom to Destroy”. This means that we can throw it away and replace it with something else if we need to. So if it malfunctions, whether due to a bad microcode or a dead transistor, we can simply destroy it.

    [3] http://www.naughtycomputer.uk/a_response_to_the_javascript_trap.html

    Also consider if it’s polite to run your modified JavaScript on someone else’s website. Imagine if you maintain and distribute a modified JavaScript to use with e.g. eBay. And imagine it malfunctions causing a DDOS on eBay or people to have their financial details stolen. Who’s fault is it?

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      I read the DRM and firmware blogs, and was like “he can’t be serious”. I just closed the tab and went to check here if people understood the blogs haha. I guess not looking at your reply.

      In addition it’s also written rather simplistic/shallow. But the thought of satire didn’t cross my mind, but you might be right! Also because of the banner.

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        The weird part is, the author’s posts have been previously tagged as satire on lobste.rs, or marked as April Fools joke, and he’s protested that they’re not. All of his websites have similar content as well.

        I’m super confused.

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        So I think these positions are a bit different than what you summarised on those blog posts (and I agree w/ the finer points)

        • “EME is great” post:

          • The writer doesn’t like piracy
          • => DRM helps prevent that
          • existing DRM schemes, however, are messy and rely on stuff like Flash
          • EME allows for a “minimal” amount of obfuscation in order to prevent privacy. A solution that is cleaner than others, while preventing privacy
          • basically, if DRM is non-negotiable, EME is a good implementation of such
        • “Freedom to destroy” post:

          • IME lead to comments as CPU as a service
          • but even non-IME CPUs are basically a service (magic circuits, impossible to grasp)
          • Linux is built off of a lot of small software, where each component can be easily replaced (you can rewrite cd and put it into your own version)
          • “Freedom to destroy” = “Freedom to remove a part and put in a new part”. Basically you can replace things with “nicer” things that meet your objectives
          • CPUs aren’t really this yet (gotta replace whole motherboards) but… maybe one day
        • “Javascript Trap” post:

          • Javascript is running on you computer, but not easy to modify
          • Javascript’s “user” is the server runner, as they can modify it easily
          • (aside: running modified JS on someone else’s site could cause problems. For example a site extension could add way too many API calls bringing the site down. It’s not super nice to the site runner)
          • Free software helps to fight stuff like Google Maps, where we don’t have a real copy of the software (because JS isn’t usable in a real sense as a piece of free software)

        If this is satire, they unintentionally fell into real points. Don’t agree with everything, but this stuff has some basis in reality.

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          The problem is that half of their points are completely irrational.

          For example, his EME post’s arguments rely on “I don’t see why you would think you have the right to take someone elses work and do what you want with it without permission.”, which assumes that the fair use doctrine isn’t a thing. If you assume the fair use doctrine exists, then EME removes a right that you otherwise would’ve had.

          The freedom to destroy post also applies to other hardware, not just CPUs, and assumes that users manually repairing devices isn’t a thing. I’ve just replaced some parts of one of my monitors, and had to modify the firmware afterwards. The freedom to destroy post assumes no user is ever going to modify or repair such devices. The same issue applies to flashing the firmware of routers. Even the EU considered the right of people to flash the firmware of devices they buy as so essential that they required that no router manufacturer may prevent users from flashing custom firmware.

          Regarding the Javascript Trap, his argument would declare Ad Blockers as problematic – every browser extension you use to modify a site, be it Reddit Enhancement Suite or uBlock Origin, modifies the JS of the original page, or runs its own. This even came to court in Germany, where the courts ruled that it’s an essential right of a user to run ad blockers and that whoever runs the browser is the user and can modify the document requested in whatever way they wish to display it.

          In general, each of the post has some points – but only under assumptions that require removing many legal rights that users have.

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            Poe’s law applies here at some level.

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              Or the turing test. If it’s indistinguishable from satire/trolling…

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        Let us not forget that the Open Source definition is stewarded by the Open Source Initiative.