[cc-licenses] short short anti-tpm

Greg London email at greglondon.com
Wed Oct 4 16:52:12 EDT 2006

> so would the other people please send, ... a
> *shorter* summary of the DRMDave et al use cases
>  explaining why which use cases could be prevented
> by the anti-TPM clause

Shorter? OK, here goes. The whole kit and kaboodle:

DRM Dave can use DRM plus DMCA to create a hardware
platform monopoly. Think of printer manufacturers
who use encrypted ink cartridges and smart printers
that only print if "approved" cartridges are installed,
and then use the DMCA to prevent circumvention of the

The difference here is that CC-SA content is the "ink"
and DRM-Dave's DRM-only platform is the "printer".
The monopolistic scenario is that the CC-SA community
creates a project of content. DRM-Dave pulls this
into his platform and wraps with with DRM. The
community is forbidden to do this themselves without
Dave's permission, and Alice and Bob must pay Dave
for a DRM-enabled version of the work to play on their

Imagine that you are part of a Free community that
creates inks and cartridges, but the printer manufacturer
uses DRM/Encryption/DMCA to prevent you from putting
your ink in a printer you bought from Dave. While at
the same time, the printer manufacturer uses your
ink, and your cartridge designs, puts encryption on it,
and because of the DMCA, the only way you can use
your ink in the printer you bought from Dave is to
buy the "free" ink cartridge from Dave wrapped in DRM.

This is the platform monopoly, and how it monopolizes
the CC-SA content.

Parallel distribution does not solve the monopoly.
It allows Dave to maintain the monopoly, and only
requires Dave to distribute a parallel copy that
will not play on the platform. You have to get the
DRM-enabled version directly from Dave and you can't
share that version with Alice or Bob or anyone else.
The rights to that copy of the work are restricted
by DRM.

The anti-TPM clause prevents this monopoly because
it prevents Dave from using DRM to restrict the
rights to the work. Because of the DMCA, you must
get Dave's permission to DRM the work, or Dave must
DRM the work himself. If the work is DRM'ed and
distributed, whatever DRM is applied must allow all
rights to the work allowed under CC-SA to be
exercisable by everyone in the community.

So, DRM Dave can sell a copy of the DRM-enabled
work to Alice, but Alice must be allowed to
copy, distribute, derive the work, including giving
a copy of the work to Bob. If she is prohibited from
doing this, the anti-TPM clause will flag this as
a violation and Dave will not be allowed to maintain
his monopoly.

anti-TPM also allows you to apply DRM locally,
but not distribute it, and this even allows TPM
that DOES restrict the rights to the work.
You just aren't allowed to distribute this copy
of the work.

What this means is that you are allowed to play
with the work, apply DRM locally if Dave allows it,
and have access to nearly all the rights you get
with parallel distribution.

But one important difference is that if DRM is
applied to a work, that DRM cannot restrict the
rights to the work. Meaning anti-TPM says you cannot
use TPM to make the work less Free, and monopolize
your hardware platform.


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