[cc-licenses] CC 3 and Circumvention [Was Re: Version 3.0 - Public Discussion]

Peter Brink peter.brink at brinkdata.se
Tue Aug 15 17:14:57 EDT 2006

tisdagen den 15 augusti 2006 19.22 skrev Greg London:
> On 8/15/06, Peter Brink <peter.brink at brinkdata.se> wrote:
> > Such a provision already exist, in the new Generic 3.0 license it is
> > expressed as "[y]ou may not impose any technological measures on the
> > Work that restrict the ability of a recipient of the Work from You to
> > exercise their rights granted under the License."
> But that doesn't authorize circumvention,
> it says you can use DRM, but only if you
> use a "dummy" DRM that doesn't actually
> restrict any rights. And I think that only works
> if you take a broad interpretaion of that clause.
> I mentioned earlier that a narrow interpretation
> might be "We've created a DRM version of the file
> that doesn't allow you to copy or distribute, but
> that doesn't prohibite you from exercising the rights
> of the work on the original work."

It does, IMO, indirectly allow circumvention of a DRM that has been 
implemented by an down-the-chain licensee. The expression "a recipient of the 
Work from You to exercise their rights granted under the License", to me 
implies that a down-the-chain licensee who implements DRM, cannot prevent the 
users of _his_ version of the work from circumventing the DRM. He has 
violated the terms of the license by implementing the DRM. But that does not 
terminate license further down the chain. Those further down the chain can 
point to the locution mentioned above and use that as an excuse for 
circumventing the DRM implemented further up in the chain. The original 
source of the rights exercised under the license has expressedly forbidden 
any licensee from imposing DRM restrictions (which would interfere with the 
use of the work under the terms of the license) on their copies, versions or 
adaptions of his work. The license explicity disallows the use of DRM to 
prevent downstream users from exercising their rights - that there might 
exist other versions of the same work that are not protected by any DRM does 
not matter. 

As a side note: in the EC directive, that I mentioned in an earlier post, 
"technological measures" is defined as "...any technology, device or 
component that, in the normal course of its operation, is designed to prevent 
or restrict acts, in respect of works or other subject-matter, which are not 
authorised by the rightholder of any copyright or any right related to 
copyright as provided for by law...". A "dummy" DRM is thus hardly any kind 
of "technological measures" at all.

/Peter Brink

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