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Re: A possible GFDL compromise

On Sat, Sep 06, 2003 at 11:53:16PM +0100, Andrew Suffield wrote:
> On Sat, Sep 06, 2003 at 03:42:41PM -0600, Joel Baker wrote:
> > On Sat, Sep 06, 2003 at 08:16:11PM +0100, Andrew Suffield wrote:
> > 
> > > No, prohibiting DRM systems is unambiguously non-free under the DFSG.
> > > 
> > > It just happens to be _silly_ right now.
> > 
> > Er. How's that again?
> > 
> > How is this significantly different than section 6 of the GPL, which
> > forbids you from putting any further restrictions on anyone who receives a
> > copy (the inherent purpose of DRM systems, presumably, being to limit how
> > far a copy can propagate, the antithesis of Free documentation).
> > 
> > Or am I missing something glaringly obvious here?
> There is a difference between saying "You may make no further legal
> restrictions" and saying "You may make no technical restrictions";
> it's the difference between "inclusive" and "exclusive",
> approximately.
> For a more practical line of reasoning: the GFDL intends to prohibit
> the transmission of data over a DRM-controlled mechanism, regardless
> of what other methods of distribution are employed in
> parallel. Suppose, hypothetically, that the DRM-controlled mechanism
> is preferable for cost or bandwidth reasons. I don't see why end-users
> shouldn't be able to use it.
> Besides, DRM is not pervasive like a legal restriction. All technical
> restrictions can and will be overcome.

In light of the DMCA, I'd say it's exactly as pervasive, for a significant
portion of our users. Once it goes in, it never comes out (legally,

However, I think it would be best to wait until the currently-hypothetical
language is actually available for review. It may well prohibit DRM systems
only insofar as they restrict the legal right to redistribute copies (that
is, DRM circumvention plus the DMCA situations). Certainly I would hope
that it would be reworded in terms of legal rights, rather than technical
restrictions, given that RMS has said that the intention wasn't to prevent
things such as storage on encrypted filesystems, in the first place.
Joel Baker <fenton@debian.org>                                        ,''`.
Debian GNU NetBSD/i386 porter                                        : :' :
                                                                     `. `'

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