[cc-licenses] Version 3.0 - Public Discussion

rob at robmyers.org rob at robmyers.org
Fri Aug 11 12:02:48 EDT 2006


I'm arguing for something stronger than dual distribution for both 
companies and
end users. The right to rip CC content to DRM *storage*, and the right to
*receive* content un DRM-ed in order to do so. What I find a bit 
upside-down is
pleading for distributors to be able to lock consumers in to DRM in the 
name of
end-users freedom.

Quoting Evan Prodromou <evan at prodromou.name>:

>        Alice records a spoken-word piece and releases the work as
>        by-sa-2.5. Bob mixes Alice's recording with a beat and a guitar
>        background and makes the resulting song available as an MP3 and
>        an Ogg Vorbis file, also licensed under by-sa-2.5. Charlie has
>        an iSuck music player that only plays iSuck DRM-mandatory files.
>        Charlie asks Bob to make an iSuck version available, but Bob
>        can't because of the anti-DRM provisions in the 2.5 licenses. So
>        Charlie can't listen to the song.

My point is that Charlie doesn't need for Bob to be able to make an iSuck
version. He only needs to be able to make it himself.

We do not need to provide for DRM distribution lockdown in order for 
individuals
to listen to music on their iPods.

Any system where Charlie cannot make an iSuck version himself is not 
free, so it
is unlikely that Bob can make a version for Charlie anyway.

>        Alice records a spoken-word piece and releases the work as
>        by-sa-X, which allows parallel distribution. Bob mixes Alice's
>        recording with a beat and a guitar background and makes the
>        resulting song available as an MP3 and an Ogg Vorbis file, also
>        licensed under by-sa-X. Charlie has an iSuck music player that
>        only plays iSuck DRM-mandatory files. Charlie asks Bob to make
>        an iSuck version available, and Bob does it. He already has
>        unencumbered versions available, so under the principle of
>        parallel distribution it's OK to make an encumbered version,
>        too.
>
>        Charlie is a filmmaker, and he likes Alice and Bob's song so
>        much that he wants to put it in the score of his next movie. His
>        video program can't import the iSuck format (and it may be
>        illegal to do so in some jurisdictions), but he downloads the
>        Ogg Vorbis version that Bob made available in parallel, and he
>        uses that version instead.
>
> In the second scenario, Charlie and Bob can do more things (distribute a
> work in whatever format, listen to the work on their chosen piece of
> hardware) than they could in the first scenario. Being allowed to do
> more things is good. These freedoms are additive -- Charlie playing the
> iSuck-format song on his iSuck player doesn't make it more or less
> difficult for Diana to play the Ogg version on her Linux desktop.
>
> Now, if you're going to be absolutist about it, people like Charlie
> don't DESERVE freedom, because they bought the wrong music player.
> People like Bob don't DESERVE to share with others, because they'd even
> consider distributing music in a DRM'd format. These are BAD PEOPLE and
> they don't deserve rights. Shame on them for even asking!

The problem is that you are placing the choke point of "freedom" at the
purchasing of an MP3 player, not the use of work. Is the iSuck player the only
way Charlie can experience music? If so he is in more trouble than his DRM
provider not being allowed to use CC licenced music.

And by trouble I don't mean in an abstract ideological sense. I mean that
monetarily and in terms of his exercising of his rights over cultural work he
stands to suffer a quantifiable loss. The harm of not having a CC song under
DRM does not compare to the harm of having all "your" songs under DRM.

> Maybe you need to step back a bit and think about what
> the proposed change says.
>
> Parallel distribution doesn't restrict freedom. It gives *at least* the
> same freedoms as distributing in an unencumbered format, *plus* the
> freedom to run on a DRM-only platform. That's more freedom, not less.

As long as people can get access to the other format version, they  can 
recover
their freedom, this is true. But this supports DRM, pushes access to freedom
away from the very devices we're pleading for DRM in the name of, and we'd
better hope that archive.org doesn't run out of money any time soon.

- Rob.




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