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Subject: Development of Creative Commons licenses

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  • From: drew Roberts <zotz AT>
  • To: Discussion on the Creative Commons license drafts <cc-licenses AT>
  • Subject: Re: [cc-licenses] Parallel Distribution Statement
  • Date: Tue, 28 Nov 2006 19:57:33 -0500

On Tuesday 28 November 2006 07:26 pm, James Grimmelmann wrote:
> drew Roberts wrote:
> > James, you seem to be continually missing the point. I for instance, in
> > the case under discussion have a problem if I cannot put the DRM on, not
> > if I cannot take it off.
> >
> > I take the part about you missing hte point back. I leave it in to
> > illustrate my won point with myself as an example. It is very easy to
> > read what other write and mix what is written with what is in our heads
> > and what has gone before and get things wrong.
> I say that I am fine with my works being ported to DRM-only plaforms
> because I do not care whether it is I or someone else who puts the DRM
> on. I don't want someone else to have to ask permission from me to put
> the DRM on. That interferes with their freedom to reuse the work. I
> want to provide a Creative Commons license to obviate the need for them
> to ask me.

Now I think you are missing the point or failing to couch your rebuttal in
such a way that shows you understand my point.

I don't care if I put it on or someone else does. I care if I CANNOT put it
on. Legally, freely.
> I should have been clearer that I don't regard my inability to apply the
> DRM myself as a harm. My apologies.

I do, I care that neither I nor any general user can and only those "blessed"
by the platform owners can. Those are the platforms I object to.

Is that clear, or do I need to keep trying to word it better?
> > Still, to be clear, parallel distribution works fine for me on platforms
> > where I can apply DRM for myself even if no one can then take it off.
> I would be curious then how you would feel about an anti-DRM clause that
> required parallel distribution and did not apply to DRM that was
> available for all to use under a small-f free license (not necessarily
> to modify, let us say, but available for anyone who wished to wrap works
> in DRM).

No. Will not by that. Unless their right to distribute my works ends if my
right and ability to apply DRM ends. Still probably not though. I am looking
to get to the point where I only run Free Software on my systems. I will
gladly explore this issue further though.
> > I have an issue where I cannot apply the DRM for myself. Freely.
> I do not have this issue. That someone else can apply DRM and I can't
> -- so nu?

This is one major area where we differ at the moment then.
> I care that those who encounter my work be able to enjoy the same
> freedoms that those who wrapped the work in DRM enjoy. A parallel
> distribution clause answers this concern for me. I do not as much care
> about my own freedom to apply DRM; most of the time, I don't want to. I
> view "applying DRM" as something of a tree falling in a forest. Unless
> some other person's freedom is inhibited, it is not much of a harm.

I may never care in practice myself, but I don't know what the future holds
and if down the road I find I want to market my works on various platforms in
an attempt to support my family, I want to be free to do so.
> > The fear I have is that in ten or fifty there will be no readers
> > available that can work with clear files and can only work with DRM
> > encumbered files. What will our plain text copies do for us then. If a
> > body of work grows that is not legal to use with DRM platforms and proves
> > valuable enough to society. It may in some small way help to ensure the
> > continued availability of platforms that can work with non-encumbered
> > content.
> I fear this scenario, too. I want to prevent it by keeping the legal
> system from favoring DRM-based media over open media. I want to prevent
> it by encouraging the widespread use of open formats and frequent
> archiving and copying. I want to prevent it by explaining to those who
> would use DRM that it won't work, won't serve their goals, and will hurt
> society.
> I don't, however, want to take this stance in the Creative Commons
> license for the same reason that I prefer the GPL to the Hacktivismo
> license. As admirable as the political conditions involved may be, they
> sacrifice specific freedom in relation to the works under license for
> the promotion of freedom (or freedom-enhancing technologies) in general.
> The gains from pulling on this particular policy lever don't outweigh
> the likely costs in inhibiting the growth and spread of free-to-reuse
> works.

Ok, fine, I get your position. It is not mine at this point. Do you see any
avenues to resolution?
> James
> _______________________________________________

all the best,


who should be writing fiction and not cc emails...
(da idea man)
National Novel Writing Month

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