[cc-licenses] Parallel Distribution Statement

Greg London email at greglondon.com
Sat Nov 25 10:42:43 EST 2006

> James Grimmelmann and I have written and begun distributing a position
> statement in favor of parallel distribution in the CC licenses.

> Neither of us has been involved in the debate on this list so far
> In our statement, we end by encouraging affected users of CC
> licenses to write to this list. This message can act as a heads up.

You haven't been involved in the discussion on this list so far,
and your first message is to let us know that you've posted a
piece encouraging people to come to this list advocating for
parallel distribution?

Do you think maybe you could have actually engaged in the conversation
on the list first, maybe found out what the issues were, and then
at least give them reasonable representation on your position papers,
before you told everyone to swamp the list advocating parallel distribution
and they don't even know the reasons people are against it?

> Our goal is not to start up the same circular discussion among
> people who have agreed to disagree or to prolong the discussion period.
> We really want to hear from users.

You want to to hear from users who advocate parallel distribution.
Because you didn't even bother to get the anti-TPM arguments right:

> Because the issues here are complex, we will address each in turn.

> First, opponents of a parallel distribution clause have argued that
> it is unnecessary because there is no substantial, demonstrably affected
> community whom parallel distribution would assist.

> Second, opponents of a parallel distribution clause have argued that
> including one would complicate the licenses.

>The final counter-argument hints at the most important issue at stake
>in this license discussion because it implies that the role that the
>anti-DRM clause serves in the CC license is not only to keep users from
>side-stepping the terms of the license but to attack the institution of
>DRM itself.

First, folks have pointed out that some DRM-only platforms play
open format works. Second, I didn't argue that one. And third,
that's a strawman.

You fail to mention the most important issue that was presented
on this list in favor of anti-TPM. hardware platform monopolies.
Well, you do, sort of, but you present hardware platform monopolies
in your own language that certainly doesn't represent the views
of those who oppose parallel distribution.

The argument is presented here

as part of a discussion on the CC license list.
For people who oppose parallel distribution,
this is the main reason for opposing parallel distribution
and supporting anti-TPM instead. And yet you didn't
even mention it.

The best you did was mention the weakest arguments
for anti-TPM and present them as if the only reason
anyone supports anti-TPM is because they wish to
"attack the institution of DRM itself".


And I"m just a little aggravated that you put up a position
statement directing people to the CC-License list without
making any effort to understand the positions that the people
on the list had done a lot of work to finally get to.

As if none of those earlier conversations had occurred.

I don't know what you expect to happen other than to:

> start up the same circular discussion
> or to prolong the discussion period.

You've ignored any and all progress made at least by people
discussing it on this list. You present the public with the
weakest arguments for anti-TPM and encourage peopel to come
to the CC-LIcense list and vote for parallel distirbution.

What else can happen but to start up the same discussions
and explain the exact same arguments all over again?
You certainly didn't explain them at all.

The strongest argument for anti-TPM and against parallel
distribution is made here:

It is the idea of using parallel distribution to maintain
a hardware platform monopoly, a proprietary distribution
channel where someone can distribute CC-SA works.
Parallel distribution allows this monopoly.
Anti-TPM prevents it, while allowing people to
make personal copies of TPM enabled works to play on their
platform if they wish.

People on this list who oppose parallel distribution
basically point to this argument as the strongest
reason for opposing parallel distribution and supporting
the anti-TPM clause.

Not because it makes the license more complicated,
not because we want to use a license to "attack the
institution of DRM itself", but because parallel
distribution allows a proprietary channel where
someone can fork off CC-SA works and exert proprietary
control over them as far as access on some hardware
platform is concerned.

Had you at least mentioned this argument on your
recruiting posters, people coming to this list
with no exposure would at least have some idea
of the reasons parallel distrubution is opposed.

As it is, you give the weakest arguments for anti-TPM,
and the strongest arguments for parallel distribution,
and tell everyone to come to this list and vote
in support of parallel distribution.

And I can see no outcome but a long circular discussion
that prolongs the discussion as we have to re-explain
to all the new folks you send this way the real reasons
we oppose parallel distribution.

Take the Courage Vow
Pass it on.

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