[cc-licenses] Parallel Distribution and Non-Copyleft Licenses

Rob Myers rob at robmyers.org
Wed Nov 29 16:20:34 EST 2006

Benj. Mako Hill wrote:

>   Since the dominant argument against parallel distribution on this
>   list seems to boil down to a critique that the clause provide a way
>   to sidestep copyleft, 

The clause provides a way of removing people's rights. If those rights 
are being used to effect copyleft then this is one example of the harm 
that can result.

In the case of all licenses it provides a way of removing Fair Use 
rights, which are very important and which all CC licenses explicitly 

The permission given by CC licenses should not have the effect of 
harming the permission given by the law itself.

>   is there any objection to a parallel
>   distribution clause only for those licenses that do not include the
>   SA option?

At first glance this does appear to fit with the wording of the anti-TPM 
language in the licenses, which only prohibit removing freedoms that the 
user actually has. So it might look as though an ND license, under the 
*current* wording, could have DRM added to prevent derivatives being 
made. See Mia's comment.

There are two problems with this though.

The first is that this ignores the existence of and allows the removal 
of Fair Use, which the CC licenses explicitly acknowledge. I really 
cannot overstate the importance of Fair Use, and how counter-productive 
it would be if CC licenses unintentionally harmed Fair Use by people 
assuming they are the limit of the permission given to users and 
removing the possibility of any others.

The second is that all CC licenses allow noncommercial copying, which 
DRM can be used to prevent. It would be nice if this was an unalienable 
right but I don't get that impression. It's something to bear in mind 

This isn't a license partisan issue. NC-ND users presumably want 
promotion. DRM can limit that. NC users presumably are opposed to other 
people making money off their work. DRM is a way of locking users to a 
business model. And so on.

- Rob.

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