[cc-licenses] Subject: Re: Version 3.0 - List Discussion Responses

Greg London email at greglondon.com
Sun Oct 1 10:38:03 EDT 2006

> On Sat, 2006-30-09 at 23:58 -0400, Greg London wrote:
>> If Dave can have a monopoly on his platform,
>> if Dave is the only person who can apply DRM
>> to content for his platform, and if he is
>> willing to take advantage fo that monopoly
>> OF PLATFORM, do you support anti-TPM to prevent
>> the monopoly?
> No. I think that someone having a monopoly on a single
> platform is not such a big deal. We still, today, have
> unencumbered players for all forms of data, and in a
> parallel distribution situation Alice and Bob can
> exercise some choice.

So, should we allow Microsoft to pull in some GPL'ed
linux code into its OS or applications and let
Microsoft parallel distribute the source code
of the linux software but not their own code?
That way, Alice and Bob can still exercise some choice,
can still use Linux code on their Microsoft system,
and Microsoft can maintain it's monopoly.

> I think that DRM Dave would be in the really
> bad situation of distributing works for free
> (the unencumbered versions) that can only be
> played on his competitors' players.

How much does bandwidth cost where you live?
Over here, it's pretty cheap. Dirt cheap.
Compared to the cost that Alice and Bob will
have to pay Dave to play the content on Dave's
DRM-only platform, a parallel copy is nothing.

"Poor Dave, his DRM-Only players have a 60% market
share, but we'll show him, we'll force him to distribute
copies of all those works that will play on the
Penguin Player, an open format hardware platform,
that has a 5% market share. Then we'll watch Dave
shiver in his boots. Take that, Dave!"

And if you argue that Dave will never get that
large a majority, that there will always be other
platforms that play open formats, that will be
significant competition against Dave, then...

This is where you play the double-standard game.

Parallel distribution only empowers Alice and Bob
as long as there are open players that have
considerable market share. And if there are open
players that have considerable market share,
then why not have Alice and Bob play on those
open players and keep Dave from exercising a
platform monopoly?

You want the free content on a proprietary system.
You want Linux code in your Microsoft Desktop,
but you fail to acknowledge the platform monopoly
you end up granting Microsoft.

Parallel distribution does not mean Alice and Bob
can EVER put content on Dave's platform. Which
means that parallel distribution in the Microsoft
metaphor means that Alice and Bob might get copies
of the source code, but Microsoft will use a build
script that customers use to link code, which won't
have source code, and Microsoft will use DRM to
prevent Alice and Bob from EVER running that parallel
source code on their hardware platform.

This is why DRM-with-parallel-distribution is NOT
like GPL-binary-with-source-distribution.
Because source distribution means you can use the
source code ON THE SAME PLATFORM. But DRM with parallel
means you get the parallel copy, but YOU'LL NEVER


Dave has a platform monopoly that would be similar
to Microsoft distributing Linux/Microsoft executables,
distributing some of their source code, and then

DRM with parallel distribution allows this platform
monopoly because it does not REQUIRE alice and bob
get the same rights as Dave.

Therefore, the only way to prevent a microsoft
platform monopoly is to prohibit DRM.
If the platform plays open formats, then this prohibition
will not get in Alice and Bob's way of playing the content.
If the platform if proprietary, DRM Only, and has a large
market share, (like MS Windows), then the convenience Alice
and Bob might get from being able to mix Free content on a
closed system, is outweighed by the monopoly that Microsoft
would get by being sole source provider for all content
available on their platform.

You argue that Alice and Bob should be able to mix
Linux code on their microsoft platform, and that
parallel distriubtion will really hurt microsoft,
but microsoft can use DRM and DMCA to prevent Alice
and Bob from putting open content on their platform,
and the parallel distribution clause simply means
Alice and Bob will get a copy of a work that is already
available on their linux system.

> DRM Dave has a monopoly on his platform
> as an axiom of your scenario. You haven't
> really said how an anti-DRM provision would
> change that.

Anti-TPM would prevent Dave from being sole source
provider of Free content on his DRM-only platform.
Alice and Bob would not be able to view the work
on teh platform, either, but if Dave is allowed
to exercise a monopoly with Free content, then that
will hurt the Gift Economy more than anti-TPM will.
Anti-TPM keeps everyone equal. Even if it means that
no one will be able to play the content on Dave's
monopolistic, DRM-only platform, it at least keeps
everyone equal.

>> It allows access to the work in a different platform,
>> but you said you're against anti-TPM because it
>> doesn't allow Alice and Bob to put content under
>> DRM so they can play it on a different platform.
> Right. I'm mainly concerned about situations that people actually
> confront in the real world today, where third parties can put their
> works on the platform. Like the PSP, the PS/2, various eBook readers. In
> those cases, it's not DRM Dave keeping Alice and Bob from sharing with
> their neighbours, but our Creative Commons license stipulations.

And these platforms only play DRM-enabled works?
These platforms do not play some open format?

And what do you do if you put in parallel distribution
instead of anti-TPM, and say ten years down the road,
PS/2 no longer gives third parties the tools to DRM
enable works for their platforms?

When the platform has a sufficient market share and is
DRM only, what do you do when permission to DRM-enable
a work is rescinded? And you have to pay through the nose?

You are basing your license on trusting a proprietary
vendor to always do the right thing. that is naive.
If the platform allows open formats to be played without
DRM, then the vendor has committed to doing the right thing,
and has committed to not rescinding permission downthe road.

If the platform plays DRM-only works, and you are basing
your decision against anti-TPM on the idea that you can
TRUST these proprietary vendors from not changing their mind,
then you are ignoring the point of a license. A license
COMMITS people to certain things. Applying a copyleft
license to a work REQUIRES certain things. It does not
operate on trust alone. A system designed on trust works
as long as the players involved are trustworthy. when the
players change, all bets are off.

> Surely, if you think it's wrong not to
> let Alice and Bob share on DRM Dave's
> platforms, you'd agree that it's wrong
> to keep them out of these other platforms,
> too? If not, it's our own license
> requirements that are making those
> platforms a proprietary monopoly, not
> the policies of the platform owners.

If DRM Dave has a DRM-Only monopoly platform,
then I have no way to trust Dave will always
allow Alice and Bob to apply their own DRM.

In that scenario, I will not be so naive to
trust Dave in the beginning to grant permission
to Alice and Bob to apply DRM, and assume he
can't change his mind. I will not be so naive
as to think, "Well, if he gives permission now,
then anti-TPM gets in the way, so lets drop anti-TPM".

Because if Dave will give permission to apply DRM,
and if he is to be trusted to always allow that,
then why doesn't he build the player to play
non-DRM formats in teh first place?

Why must we commit to a license that depends on
us TRUSTING Dave to do the right thing when Dave
could simply commit to do the right thing by
building a player that plays open format content
without DRM?

Why must we COMMMIT works to a license,
and never be able to rescind those rights,
but rely on nothing but TRUST that Dave
will do the right thing?

If Dave does not intend to be a sole
source monopoly of content for his
hardware platform, why doesn't Dave
COMMIT to that, by making his player
so it will play non-DRM'ed works?

That's all he has to do to commit to
play fair. Instead your whole approach
says we should simply TRUST Dave to do
the right thing.

If the choice is to keep CC-SA content
off of a DRM-only Player so that no one,
alice, bob, and Dave included can put the
work on the player,


To trust Dave that he will never abuse his
position, will always grant permission to
apply DRM to works so Alice and Bob can
play works on Dave's DRM-only hardware platform,

I'll go with anti-TPM, because everyone else
has committed to do certain things with the
rights to the work, except Dave, and I have
no reason to trust Dave.

Wikipedia and the Great Sneetches War

What happens when one editor prefers
Sneetches with stars on their bellies,
and another editor prefers no stars on thars.

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