[cc-licenses] Parallel Distribution Statement

Rob Myers rob at robmyers.org
Wed Nov 29 04:37:33 EST 2006

James Grimmelmann wrote:

> Speaking solely for myself as an author, I am delighted when my CC work 
> is ported to another platform, even when that platform doesn't allow 
> easy copying out. 

How about when it allows no study, modification or sharing?

> (One of my essays has been excerpted in two books, 
> which are not the easiest artifacts to copy from, even with scanning 
> technologies.) 

Does the book have a EULA or does it respect Fair Use?

> I would be similarly delighted if my work were ported to 
> DRMed platforms.

I would not.

Possibly we are viewing DRM laden devices differently. You seem to be 
viewing them as a souped up CD player. I seem to be viewing them as a 
broken general purpose computer. I have no problem with iPods as 
read-only devices any more than I think that the average home not having 
a record re-presser is a limit on freedom. But you do not need DRM for 
iPods and DRM on general purpose devices or for *distribution* is harmful.

> In my capacity as a reader, I much prefer non-DRMed versions.  With 
> parallel distribution, those versions would be available to me.

At the moment of initial distribution. The GPL requires that source be 
made available for longer (if we must use that comparison), and why.

> That some readers will not be careful about their backups and about 
> acquiring non-DRMed versions does not strike me as a good reason to 
> prevent them from being able to acquire DRMed copies at all.  GNU/Linux 
> does not force users to keep backups.  What is critical is to make sure 
> that those who wish to be responsible about their backups can be so 
> without unnecessary obstacles.

Such as DRM.

> I 
> don't think that Creative Commons licenses are a well-suited tool for 
> encouraging that adoption.

Where has anyone said that they are?

CC covers cultural works. If Free Software is a means to the end of 
cultural freedom this is good. If it does not then it is damage to be 
routed around.

You are consistently taking a read-only view of culture, an impoverished 
"use" that doesn't even encompass Stallman's freedom 0. DRM prevents the 
very "redistribution" that you mistake for freedom, and prevents freedom 
after the point of its introduction.

The CC licenses allow people to do this to themselves (if they have the 
right to anyway), they should not allow third parties to do so any more 
than the GPL 3 does.

- Rob.

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