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

Greg London email at greglondon.com
Sun Oct 1 13:49:23 EDT 2006

> On Sun, 2006-01-10 at 11:18 -0400, Greg London wrote:
>> You can apply DRM to your local copy and play it on your
>> own hardware player. You just can't distribute that copy.
>> Alice and Bob can still play on a DRM platform.
> But they can't share with their neighbour. That's why the anti-DRM
> clause makes the licenses incompatible with freedom. If you can't share
> your copy, then the work isn't Free.

You can share the anti-TPM version, can't you?

> Let's look at the Free Software Definition:

Let's look at GNU-GPL's dealings with software patents, instead.

Software patents are allowed in GNU-GPL'ed projects,
but only as long as the patent is made Free to the
community. If the patent holder attempts to use the
legal power behind a patent to enforce a functional
monopoly, to use GNU-GPL software but to monopolize
some functionality in that software, then GNU-GPL
revokes the license from the patent holder.

This is similar to what anti-TPM does.
If DRM-Dave attempts to use his DRM-ONLY
hardware, and the DMCA, to legally enforce
a hardware platform monopoly, anti-TPM
prohibits him from using the content.

Alice and Bob can still share teh content
freely, in non-DRM format, but if DRM is used
to close off some piece of the community,
then anti-TPM revokes the content.

FSF does not say that if people can't
patent their software it isn't Free.
It says you can patent Free software,
but you must license that patent so the
patent itself is Free and does not restrict
the community.

> If you can't share your copy, then the work isn't Free.

Complete and utter strawman.

Alice and Bob can share the content.
They just can use DRM to do it.
The work can be openly shared in a
free and open format. But you cannot
use DRM to close off the work from
the community.

And as long as DRM-Dave is being TRUSTED
to give permission to Alice and Bob
to enable DRM content, there is nothing
to prevent him from revoking that permission.

> You want to put other values -- some sort of macroeconomic manipulation,
> as far as I can tell -- ahead of the Freedom of people to share playable
> versions of works.
> Why? As far as I can tell it has to do with your idiosyncratic economic
> theories. I guess that's part of your personal frame of reference, but
> it doesn't gibe with mainstream Free Software and Free Content thinking.

Right, because you represent Free Software Foundation and
they say Alice and Bob should be allowed to get software
Patents or the software isn't Free.

Oh, wait. They don't.

So, while you continue to attempt to cast this as some
economic thing, and while you try to cast yourself as
representing Free Software, the problem is that if you
look at the one thing that DRM most closely follows,
namely a software patent that would allow closing off
some Freedom from the Community, you would find that
allowing a platform monopoly is not Free anymore
than allowing a patent functional monopoly is Not Free.

DRM is like a software patent.
It can allow someone to use the law to close off
part of the Free Software from the community that
created it.

DRM and DMCA can be used to close off the community
to a hardware platform. And if that happens, the
reaction should be the same as a software patent
being used to close off some functionality from the
community: the license should be revoked.

In the case of CC an ShareAlike, I'm fine with
disallowing TPM up front in distribution, and
allowing TPM if the work is not distributed.
Despite your claim to the contrary, Alice and
Bob can still share the work. They are not required
to share the work via DRM. there are still sufficient
open channels and formats and hardware that they
can share without requiring DRM at some stage.
Sharing isn't a problem.

Your claim that they can't share/not free only works
if you create a special case that Free Software Foundation
would never support, the idea that Alice and Bob
MUST be able to share the content via some closed,
proprietary, monopolistic method, or the content
is not Free. That doesn't fly.

No one claims that software is not Free if
Alice and Bob are prohibited from getting
a software patent and enforcing their patent
monopoly on some functionality. Alice and Bob
are RESTRICTED from doing that because to allow
them that capacity would be a detriment to the
rest of the community. It would close off some
area from the community.

Likewise, allowing Dave the ability to close off
his hardware platform, to create some monopolistic
channel through which only he can distribute,
copy, and derive works, is to close off the
community from some area that would be Free to
them if it were not for the DMCA making it illegal.

And the response shoudl be the same.
If a patent were used to close off some area,
or if DRM+DMCA were used to close off some area,
then that action should be prohibited for the
betterment of the community as a whole.

Which again, is the point of copyleft.
To protect the community, not let someone
close off some area from the rest of the
commmunity. the work must remain a Commons,
a shared pasture upone which anyone can graze.
And if someone uses a patent or DRM+DMCA to
try and fence some section of the commons off
from the rest of the community, then it must
be prohibited in some way.

The worst case scenario is to allow a Copyleft
project have a loophole that allows a proprietary
interest to fork the project, to close off some aspect
of the project, in some way, such that they
can use the project content while competing
against the community that created the project.

Software patents can fence off a section of
the commons. DRM can do that as well.
So we must prevent Alice and Bob from having
softwarwe patents as a way to enforce a monopoly.
Does that restrict Alice and Bob? Yes.
But does that make the project less Free? No.


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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