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

Greg London teloscorbin at gmail.com
Thu Sep 28 12:13:01 EDT 2006

On 9/28/06, Greg London <teloscorbin at gmail.com> wrote:
> DRM and DMCA is intended SPECIFICALLY
> to create a private channel for DRM Dave, that Dave does not want
> to share this channel in any way, and that parallel distribution does
> not get around the problem created by a private, proprietary channel.
> The metaphor that DRM is like a Binary fails to accurately describe
> the problem. Parallel distribution of source code allows Alice and Bob
> to create their own executable for the very same hardware. DRM,
> in its worst case scenario, creates a problem that parallel distribution
> does not solve.

So, now that I got my head screwed on straight this morning,
I just need to get one other thing clarified here.

The whole crux of this issue boils down to hardware platforms
that do not play open, non-DRM'ed formats. Is that correct?

If a hardware platform plays non-DRM'ed formats, then
the content can be played on the hardware without using
DRM, and therefore, an anti-DRM clause does not prevent
playing the content on the platform. Correct? Did I miss
something here?

If the hardware plays ONLY drm'ed works, if it will not
play open formats, then the anti-DRM clause prevents
Alice and Bob from ever playing the work on that platform.

This is where the anti-DRM clause actually imposes
a restriction on Alice and Bob: When the hardware
platform ONLY plays DRM-ONLY content. Because if
the platform plays open, non-DRM formats, then Alice
and Bob can simply download an open, non-DRM version
of the work without violating an anti-DRM clause, and
they're off and running.

Is this assessment correct?

If so, the only time the anti-DRM clause would hinder
Alice and Bob is EXACTLY the situation where DRM Dave
could become sole source provider for content on his platform.
At which point, this is EXACTLY the point in time where the
anti-DRM clause is needed to keep Alice, Bob, and Dave
on equal terms with each other. No DRM.

So, I fail to understand arguments that essentially say that
Dave is a nice guy, that he'll never abuse his position,
that he'll never make hardware that is DRM-only, that Dave
can be trusted. Because the only time the anti-DRM clause
actually affects Alice and Bob is if Dave specifically built
hardware that plays DRM-only works, at which point
Dave is NOT to be trusted and the anti-DRM clause is
needed so that Dave does not become sole source of
works for his hardware platform.

If the hardware platform supports open formats,
Alice and Bob dont' care about the anti-DRM clause.
If DRM Dave actually makes his hardware so that
open formats can be played, then the anti-DRM clause
is a non-issue.

The anti-DRM clause only becomes an issue for
Alice and Bob when DRM Dave designs his hardware
such that Dave could put himself at an advantage over
Alice and Bob, become sole-source provider, and it
is exactly at that one and only point when the anti-DRM
clause is most needed to keep the playing field level.

Unless I'm missing something, the anti-DRM is a
no brainer. If Dave makes hardware that plays open
formats, then DRM-enabled works are NOT NEEDED,
and the anti-DRM clause impedes no one from enjoying
the work on the platform.

The only time the anti-DRM impedes Alice and Bob from
listening to the work on a hardware plateform is if Dave
designed the platform to be DRM-only, at which point
the anti-DRM is needed to prevent Dave from maintaining
an advantage over the rest of the community.

Whether or not Dave can be trusted is determined by
whether or not Dave's hardware plays open, non-DRM formats.
If it does, then the anti-DRM clause impedes no one.
If it only plays DRM-enabled works, then the anti-DRM clause
is needed to prevent Dave from abusing and monopolizing
his position.

Alice and Bob can access the work on other platforms,
on their desktop, on an iPod that plays open formats.
To allow DRM to be applied on a platform that playes
nothing but DRM-enabled works, is to hand Dave a
monopoly, and fail to protect Alice and Bob.

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