While digital rights management (DRM) technology and the upcoming GPL version 3 licence ensure a heated debate within the open source communities, they don't represent any real issues, Linux creator Linus Torvalds has warned.
While the debate rages about the best way to develop technology, users in the end will settle on the best technology, he pointed out.
In that light, the upcoming third version of the GPL will be "just another licence " between the nearly sixty other official open source licences, Torvalds said in an interview with the Australian Builder publication.
Many DRM-opponents are doing so because they want to drive an agenda against intellectual property ownership. Instead Torvalds believes that DRM should be defeated by in the market place, where consumers will purchase more digital media if its use isn't limited by DRM technology, he argued.
"I think it is going to cause a lot of hot air, it's going to cause a lot of hurt feelings, there is going to be a lot or arguments about it. But in practice will it be a big deal? I suspect that it is not that big. But time will tell."
The upcoming GPL3 requires that developers can remove DRM features from GPL code. Users and developers of GPL3 code also have to provide a default licence for any patents to all other open source users and developers.
Torvalds has previously dismissed the licence's "religious" patent and DRM provisions, which are only out to promote "extremist policies" of its authors, he wrote last July.
Torvalds cautions against DRM and GPL3 obsession
By Tom Sanders on Jan 17, 2007 3:50PM