[cc-licenses] Version 3.0 - Public Discussion

Evan Prodromou evan at prodromou.name
Sun Aug 13 12:40:04 EDT 2006

On Sun, 2006-13-08 at 10:57 -0400, Greg London wrote:
> Does Debian require this vulnerability
> be in the license? Or could the vulnerabilty
> be fixed and the resulting license be
> Debian compatible?

Debian's requirements for works to be allowed into the distribution are
encoded in the Debian Free Software Guidelines (DFSG):


Conventional wisdom among Debian developers has been that anti-DRM
requirements, like the one in the CCPL, are too burdensome on downstream
developers. They prevent verbatim redistribution in particular formats,
and distribution of modified versions in particular formats, and thus
are incompatible with guidelines #1 and #3. They may do so to achieve
lofty goals, but that does not make the effect any less incompatible
with Debian's requirements.

Allowing downstream developers to redistribute in whatever format they
choose, even a DRM'd format, for whatever hardware they choose, is the
only way to be compatible with the guidelines.

For a license with an anti-DRM clause, one way to solve this is to drop
the clause altogether. Another way, which may preserve rights for
recipients of downstream works, is to allow DRM'd formats if and only if
the work is also made available in unencumbered format, too. This is
"parallel distribution".

Parallel distribution is a compromise between the needs of developers
and users who want or need to use a DRM-encumbered platform, and the
desire to ensure the rights of those downstream users to continue to be
able to edit, modify, copy, and distribute.

So: will works under a license that prevents people from distributing in
this or that format be allowed into Debian? I don't know. I'm almost
sure that the CCPL 3.0 license without those restrictions, or with a
parallel distribution proviso, would be compatible with the DFSG. But
otherwise I'm not sure.


Evan Prodromou -- http://evan.prodromou.name/

"By God! I will accept nothing which all cannot have their counterpart
of on the same terms." -- Walt Whitman, "Song of Myself"

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