[cc-licenses] TPM: please explicitly allow parallel distribution
gmaxwell at gmail.com
Fri Apr 6 15:55:55 EDT 2012
On Fri, Apr 6, 2012 at 11:14 AM, Dave Crossland <dave at lab6.com> wrote:
>> the tide is turning against DRM in publishing
> Really? Not from my perspective.
> I suggest *explicitly* prohibiting parallel distribution.
I certainly agree with keeping the license parallel-distribution-unfriendly.
(I'd have to think hard before deciding that a strengthening was good,
We already have widely distributed DRM systems that deny non-DRM usage
and which enabled selective silencing of individual publishers (and
receivers, e.g. AACS). Even in less threatening environments like PDF
distribution, often free works are distributed with DRM restrictions.
The risks of DRM impeding free culture are not merely hypothetical.
If it were really the case that parallel distribution were not harmful
it would mean that there were no cases where publishing without DRM
was impractical. Of course, if you can always easily publish without
DRM then there is no need for parallel distribution either. So— the
only case where it actually matters is where DRM-free distribution is
difficult, which is the case that also impedes the goals of being able
to freely create and share. Thus, if a prohibition on parallel
distribution does anything at all, all it does it preserves the rights
under the license. Q.E.D.
Sure, in reality, there is innocent infringement of this requirement
which arises simply because people have no idea what buttons they're
pushing. We don't want to create problems in this case— but, in
reality, the rights holders simply don't enforce in these cases.
Can anyone actually point to a case where this requirement has
previously caused trouble for someone where user's freedom wasn't
All that said, I'm not a fan of having potentially troublemaking terms
in the license and depending on non-enforcement. If not for the
desire to minimize the licenses complexity I might suggest that the
anti-drm clause be coupled with some kind of GPLv3 style
notice-then-termination to reduce the risk of unwelcome surprises.
But on the balance, since complexity is a major concern, I'd prefer
taking the risk that anti-drm may someday used in a somewhat overbroad
way over leaving user's _practical_ ability to freely engage in all
the rights granted in the license at risk by removing it.
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