[cc-licenses] Parallel Distribution Statement

rob at robmyers.org rob at robmyers.org
Wed Nov 29 10:29:17 EST 2006


Quoting drew Roberts <zotz at 100jamz.com>:

> It is claimed that the current porposed language allows personal application.
> I have no real issue with one friend putting it on and giving a copy to
> another friend who could also put it on but is in a rush.

This would be convenient, but convenience is not the same as freedom. I 
say this
as someone who has installed Debian unstable on their iBook and iPodLinux on
their iPod. ;-)

> Or two friends
> splitting a job and each applying it to half of their shared works and
> swapping.

I think that would break the license though.

> Well, it might be a matter of multiple platform ownership where some can and
> some can't.

If this is the case then I believe that we should concentrate on the some that
can.

>> [...] If I do not have to dual
>> re-distribute, dual distribution can be foiled trivially by me releasing my
>> work in non-DRM and DRM versions to a trusted thrid party and them passing
>> on only the DRM version.
>
> How, wouldn't they also have to pass on both versions?

Then it would be burdensome. If you ask me for a song that I have the DRM
version of, I also have to give you the non-DRM version, which I had better
have downloaded. If I can no longer download the unencumbered version I cannot
give you the DRM version.

Even if I did download both versions, a Zune will not send a non-DRM version.
This means that, ironically, dual distribution would make the Zune break CC
licenses twice as much as it does now (not allowing you to fulfill your dual
distribution obligations as well as adding DRM to the clear copy).

Unless I only have to make both versions available, in which case I can just
release the CC version to a single Zune user who doesn't want the Free version
and we are back at trivially strippable dual distribution.

GPL/FDL-style transparent source offers for CC licenses wouldn't sit well with
the freewheeling ideal of remix culture that seems to have driven CC license
adoption, and can easily be made unpalatable by offering expensive and low
quality free versions with long lead times for orders.

>> The dual distribution proponents aren't looking at this two steps
>> downstream from release, or two days after release. And they aren't even
>> using Debian's thought experiments (Dissident, Desert Island, etc.) to
>> examine what happens with dual distribution outside of the time and place
>> of the last stages of the Web 2.0 bubble in the post-industrial west.
>
> That is very possible. I will aks again for those who want the parallel
> distributin to point out any actual cases where not having parallel
> distribution hurts and how and who.

There was something about mobile phones on the wiki for this debate but again
I'm not sure that dual distribution solves that case. In fact it's pretty
similar to the Zune scenarios.

> Well, in my proposed language compromise, at hat point all rights to
> redistribute would cease... Build in a poison pill.

What if the poison pill was triggered by vendor revisions to the DRM 
rather than
user revision? For example Apple's reduction of rights over FairPlay work
downloaded from iTMS?

>> DRM can remove my Fair Use right to quote the work or indeed any use not
>> explicitly permitted by the DRM platform. If I have the ability to do so
>> elsewhere I am better served by protecting that right than by helping
>> to remove
>> it.
>
> There must be some catch 22 action here. I feel certain it is freedom 0
> proponents of parallel distribution are concerned with which is the right to
> play it on any platforms you have. We are in effect, proposing to deny this
> right on certain conditions, which is the platform owner denying the right on
> other conditions... Yes? No?

Freedom 0 is not the right to play the work on any platform. It is the 
right to
use the work freely *as work* once you have it. Freedom 0 is freedom of use,
not freedom of distribution. DRM can remove both freedoms, but it is important
to note that the GPL treats them as separate cases and it is therefore Freedom
0 that "Defective By Design" is defending.

Some people don't like this idea. The most common objections are what I would
characterise as an imaginary BSD license proponent's objection that it goes
against economic freedom, and as an imaginary Debian Legal listmember's
objection that it discriminates against a field of endeavor (DFSG-7 
IIRC). Both
are principled positions and have some ethical merit but are beside the point
when considering the effects of DRM on Freedom 0. And if Freedom 0 goes, your
ability to economically exploit your work or pursue your endeavors is in
serious trouble.

The GPL 3 drafts and the CC 3 license drafts both treat distribution as the
choke point for DRM. This preserves freedom of use without allowing freedom to
be stripped for downstream users either by the imposition of DRM on users
outside of their control or by denying users or developers the ability to
impose DRM on themselves.

This is the least worst and the most consistent solution to the problem 
of DRM.

- Rob.




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