[cc-licenses] Parallel Distribution Statement
james at grimmelmann.net
Tue Nov 28 19:26:36 EST 2006
drew Roberts wrote:
> James, you seem to be continually missing the point. I for instance, in the
> case under discussion have a problem if I cannot put the DRM on, not if I
> cannot take it off.
> I take the part about you missing hte point back. I leave it in to illustrate
> my won point with myself as an example. It is very easy to read what other
> write and mix what is written with what is in our heads and what has gone
> before and get things wrong.
I say that I am fine with my works being ported to DRM-only plaforms
because I do not care whether it is I or someone else who puts the DRM
on. I don't want someone else to have to ask permission from me to put
the DRM on. That interferes with their freedom to reuse the work. I
want to provide a Creative Commons license to obviate the need for them
to ask me.
I should have been clearer that I don't regard my inability to apply the
DRM myself as a harm. My apologies.
> Still, to be clear, parallel distribution works fine for me on platforms where
> I can apply DRM for myself even if no one can then take it off.
I would be curious then how you would feel about an anti-DRM clause that
required parallel distribution and did not apply to DRM that was
available for all to use under a small-f free license (not necessarily
to modify, let us say, but available for anyone who wished to wrap works
> I have an issue where I cannot apply the DRM for myself. Freely.
I do not have this issue. That someone else can apply DRM and I can't
-- so nu?
I care that those who encounter my work be able to enjoy the same
freedoms that those who wrapped the work in DRM enjoy. A parallel
distribution clause answers this concern for me. I do not as much care
about my own freedom to apply DRM; most of the time, I don't want to. I
view "applying DRM" as something of a tree falling in a forest. Unless
some other person's freedom is inhibited, it is not much of a harm.
> The fear I have is that in ten or fifty there will be no readers available
> that can work with clear files and can only work with DRM encumbered files.
> What will our plain text copies do for us then. If a body of work grows that
> is not legal to use with DRM platforms and proves valuable enough to society.
> It may in some small way help to ensure the continued availability of
> platforms that can work with non-encumbered content.
I fear this scenario, too. I want to prevent it by keeping the legal
system from favoring DRM-based media over open media. I want to prevent
it by encouraging the widespread use of open formats and frequent
archiving and copying. I want to prevent it by explaining to those who
would use DRM that it won't work, won't serve their goals, and will hurt
I don't, however, want to take this stance in the Creative Commons
license for the same reason that I prefer the GPL to the Hacktivismo
license. As admirable as the political conditions involved may be, they
sacrifice specific freedom in relation to the works under license for
the promotion of freedom (or freedom-enhancing technologies) in general.
The gains from pulling on this particular policy lever don't outweigh
the likely costs in inhibiting the growth and spread of free-to-reuse works.
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