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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: Wed, 29 Nov 2006 13:51:05 -0500

On Wednesday 29 November 2006 12:41 pm, James Grimmelmann wrote:
> Rob Myers wrote:
> > James Grimmelmann wrote:
> >> Speaking solely for myself as an author, I am delighted when my CC work
> >> is ported to another platform, even when that platform doesn't allow
> >> easy copying out.
> >
> > How about when it allows no study, modification or sharing?
> If they can easily get a version that does, fine by me.
> >> (One of my essays has been excerpted in two books,
> >> which are not the easiest artifacts to copy from, even with scanning
> >> technologies.)
> >
> > Does the book have a EULA or does it respect Fair Use?
> No EULAs, and if there were and they purported to restrict reuse, it
> would be a CC license violation to have them, under the "offer or impose
> terms" clause.

Well, wait, I am confused, isn't DRM pretty much equal to a EULA only worse
this whole discussion?
> >> I would be similarly delighted if my work were ported to
> >> DRMed platforms.
> >
> > I would not.
> >
> > Possibly we are viewing DRM laden devices differently. You seem to be
> > viewing them as a souped up CD player. I seem to be viewing them as a
> > broken general purpose computer. I have no problem with iPods as
> > read-only devices any more than I think that the average home not having
> > a record re-presser is a limit on freedom. But you do not need DRM for
> > iPods and DRM on general purpose devices or for *distribution* is
> > harmful.
> I am thinking both of iPods and of deliberately restrictive software on
> general-purpose devices. I would be happier to have my work go out in
> unrestricted formats. But if it shows up in a DRM-locked download from
> a time-limited PC service, so be it. The parallel unencumbered copy
> answers my concerns here.

I don't have an ipod, but if I understand it, it can play non-tpm files. For
platforms like this, parallel distribution is an acceptable compromise for me
if I am thinking straight at this time.

What is a DRM locked down time limites service?

Please, if you can, acknowledge that the main platform I am concerned about
addressing right now is one where only DRM files can play and where only the
manufacturer or certain other insiders can apply the DRM.

If you can compromise and accept wording that prevents that while allowing
other DRM with parallel distribution, I think we may get somewhere as far as
I am concerned.

If you can't is there any existing device which would be rejected that you
particularly concerned about?
> Parallel distribution is, by the way, still a strategy designed to
> remove incentives to use DRM. The DRMed copy will need to compete with
> free, so the distributor might as well not use the DRM.

Look, oggs are not patent encumbered and mp3s are. Yet small portable mp3
players are a dime a dozen and small portable ogg players are as scarce as
hens teeth. I am not sure I buy that parallel distribution is a strategy
designed to remove incentives to use DRM.

> It's really
> primarily in the case of platforms that have been engineered from the
> get-go to be DRM-only that the difference between pure anti-DRM and
> anti-DRM with parallel distribution kicks in. In that case, while I'm
> mournful that there are such platforms, given that there are, I see
> parallel distribution as a fair response (and don't think that not havig
> parallel distribution would significantly affect the adoption of such
> platforms).

Please, don't tell me what to think. I do think not allowing copyleft works
such platforms can significantly affect the adoption of them. With enough
copyleft works. Obviously not with the few I create.

I am willing to add my works to the pool that may help out in this situation
> >> In my capacity as a reader, I much prefer non-DRMed versions. With
> >> parallel distribution, those versions would be available to me.

Yes, but you may have nothing to read them on. As long as you don't at least
address this, I feel like I need to keep repeating myself and sometimes I
feel like a broken record.
> >
> > At the moment of initial distribution. The GPL requires that source be
> > made available for longer (if we must use that comparison), and why.
> This is an important issue. If you think that the parallel distribution
> clause should be rewritten to require longer availability more
> explicitly, that's a great topic to discuss. I have no dog in this
> fight about the precise wording of the parallel distribution clause.

> That said, my understanding of the GPL's availability clause is that one
> can either "accompany" the work with source (and thus, the availability
> can terminate immediately)

This is how I understand things as well.

> or offer to provide source for three years
> (still well shorter than many of the "all unencumbered copies have been
> lost" scenarios being offered to argue against parallel distribution).
> > CC covers cultural works. If Free Software is a means to the end of
> > cultural freedom this is good. If it does not then it is damage to be
> > routed around.
> >
> > You are consistently taking a read-only view of culture, an impoverished
> > "use" that doesn't even encompass Stallman's freedom 0. DRM prevents the
> > very "redistribution" that you mistake for freedom, and prevents freedom
> > after the point of its introduction.
> Just to be clear here, are you talking about cultural works that have
> some software component, so that freedom 0 is implicated because the
> software must be run as part of experiencing or interacting with the
> work? Or are you not just talking about cultural works? Or are you
> taking freedom 0 in a larger, metaphorical sense?

Also, please note, that the GPLv3 is grappling with some of these same issues.
> James

all the best,

(da idea man)
National Novel Writing Month
861,535,038 words and counting.

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