Re: CC's responses to v3draft comments
On Oct 1, 2006, at 21:51, MJ Ray wrote:
Henri Sivonen <firstname.lastname@example.org>
On Sep 27, 2006, at 18:14, MJ Ray wrote:
[...] as long as a mutable copy is available to developers and end
users, because it widens the audience who will see free software
and may become interested in its development and advancement.
The mutable copy doesn't help much if the platform is designed to
refuse to run modified versions.
I disagree. It helps by advertising that mutability to users who are
otherwise trapped by the platform they are using - it shows them that
there is a world outside the Windows of their prison. It also lets
them modify it as soon as they get a fully-working platform. It's an
incentive to make a better choice next time.
I believe having a compelling body of content with anti-TPM language
attached as a disincentive for creating TPM-only platforms is more
important than being able to publish *effectively* non-free copies of
*theoretically* free works as adverts of non-TPM-only platforms.
I think saying no would be arguing against porting free software
to Microsoft Windows [...]
If you get the source of e.g. Firefox or Gimp and modify the source
and recompile for Windows, Windows will still run your own versions
without you having to ask Microsoft to sign your binaries.
On the Windows computer I tried to help most recently by giving its
free software, the system complained bitterly that an unsigned binary
was being installed. I understand it is possible for the sysadmin to
lock them out. Do you think it would help to ban users of those
from running Gimp and IceWeasel?
I believe that the owner of the computer should be free to use
cryptographic signatures to verify the origin of the software they
install and to select their installation sources. If the originator
of the platform locks down these decisions, the owner of the computer
is deprived of freedom and that is wrong.
This case is clear-cut as long as the owner of the computer is the
user. In cases of e.g. universities, I consider the university as a
whole as a legal entity making choices for itself as opposed to the
admins being separate entities distributing software to the students.
I believe that e.g. for interpreting the GPL, it is customary to
consider a university or a company as a whole, so they don't need to
provide source to their internal users.
TPM-bans are a sort of digital Iron Curtain - these platforms may
have this free software; those ones may not. It's tactically
stupid too - the population on "our" side of the Iron Curtain is
not yet sufficiently compelling to deter more neutral platforms from
joining the other side.
Are you sure? The existing collection of free software is already so
valuable that companies choose to build products on it complying with
the licensing terms.
I'm fairly sure.
It seems to me that e.g. Nokia and IBM are complying with GPLv2,
because the software they can get that way is more valuable to them
than following their previous proprietary instinct would be.
Also, what good it is to have population on "our" side if they aren't
de facto able to exercise freedom because the platform owner refuses
to bless their modification?
They may choose to migrate in the future. Once informed, they know
there is a choice to make when they buy their next platform.
Think about it: why do controllers of some closed countries try to
prevent their residents from visiting more open countries? We must
not collude with those wannabe-dictators to hide our state from the
view of their potential victims. We should set up our equivalents
of the World Services, Radio Free X and 'Voice of...' - unnecessary
blanket bans hinder this. Use counter-measures, not prohibitions.
Sure, anti-TPM language in licensing is about taking the users of TPM-
only platforms as hostages for leverage against TPM-only platform
providers. Your victimization scenario assumes that users of TPM-only
platforms cans only get information about non-TPM-only platforms
though the platform itself. However, in practice they can hear about
alternatives in the world through other channels. But to continue
with you metaphor, the BBC was able to broadcast into Communist
countries without the permission of the governments of such
countries. If you want to ship advertisements onto a TPM-only
platform itself, you need the cooperation of the platform owner.
I am in no way advocating any language that would prohibit the
application of TPM in private. I think recipients of copies of works
should be allowed mash the works any way they wish in private.
OK. I look forward to you making this point when requesting a
the current CC draft.
I did mention this point on cc-licenses, but as far as I can tell,
the August 9 draft scopes the anti-TPM language to cases where there
is "a recipient of the Work from You", so it doesn't apply when you
are not distributing the TPMed copy.
It is obviously possible to let users get TPM-encoding from a
without letting them give up their freedom, just as you can get
binaries from someone else.
Does the GPL allow you to buy GNU readline integration service for
e.g. AFPL Ghostscript from a middle-man? I don't think so. Still, you
can do the work in private.
I think it depends on the AFPL and I've not studied that recently,
but I don't see an obvious problem: as the hirer in a work-for-hire,
the copyright in the derived work would be yours, so it still seems
essentially the same as doing the work in private. Maybe, you just
can't distribute the result.
Basically you made the middle-man part of the other legal entity so
that there's no longer a middle-man in the scenario.
Also, I don't see the relevance of this situation: it is deriving a
new work based on both readline and Ghostscript, rather than using
some encoding/compilation tools to adapt one work. Does the GPL
allow you to buy readline objects generated by a non-free-software
compiler from a middle-man?
If the compiler is not corrupt, the object code will behave like
object code generated by a free compiler. TPM encoding changes how
the work behaves. That's why the compiler analogy is flawed. (OK, raw
C source does not behave at all, but e.g. wrapping an AAC bitstream
in FairPlay does is about restricting the work to be played whereas
compiling C source is about allowing it to run. Hence, compilation
and TPM wrapping are substantially different.)
Should we accept as free software a program under a licence which
not allow licensees to distribute compiled files?
No, but disassembly and decompilation is even specifically allowed by
law in some cases. And when the law doesn't specifically allow it if
the license allows it, a prosecutor won't come after you.
I wouldn't recommend anyone try a "it's against the law, but no
prosecutor will care" tactic. The penalties are too nasty and the
case law too small.
My whole point was that disassembly and decompilation is not against
the law if you are disassembling e.g. object code covered by LGPL.
That is, disassemblers as such are not (yet) illegal like un-TPM-ing
It is possible that TPM analysis and circumvention may be specifically
allowed by law in some cases after the next update (AIUI blind
libraries and archives are asking for it and they are powerful
If that happens, should we then reject CC 3.0's TPM-bans as non-free?
Allowing circumvention becomes relevant only when it is allowed for
everyone and distributing the tools is allowed for everyone at which
point applying TPM in the first place would be pointless and the TPM
could not be "effective" any more in any sense.
The correct way to fix this is for CC to require source code, not
prohibit compiled code.
That is currently impractical with music and movies.
So distribution of such music and movies will merely be currently
impractical, not infringing. Why would that be a problem?
Because some people want to be practical today.
(More on this: http://hsivonen.iki.fi/free-anti-drm/ )
I feel that essay contains lies such as \"The entire purpose of DRM
[...] is to incarcerate a work and to deprive the recipient of the
of the freedom to do things with the work without contrived
So what is the purpose of DRM if not to create contrived technical
barriers that limit the freedom of whoever receives a copy of a work?
It can be to provide information about the rights licensing. Parts of
Dublin Core can be used with tools and defined vocabularies to produce
innocent DRM systems.
Ah. That was not the kind of DRM I was referring to.
However, I think that such metadata "DRM" is not innocent when it is
protected by law as it is now in Finland. It wouldn't be nice to be
exposed to a liability because the image editor you happened to use
trashed some metadata you didn't even know was there.
and \"entangling a work in DRM puts the recipient at the risk
of criminal prosecution if he exercises his freedoms otherwise
How is that a lie? [...]
TPMs are not the only DRM.
Lying requires the intent to deceive, which I didn't have when
writing the article, so I don't accept that I have published lies. At
most it may turn out that I have published bullshit. :-)
Would you not call them lies if I had done s/DRM/TPM/ ?