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Re: A possible GFDL compromise

Anthony DeRobertis <asd@suespammers.org> writes:

> On Monday, Sep 15, 2003, at 12:15 US/Eastern, Brian T. Sniffen wrote:
>>> GPL 6 doesn't say that you may place restrictions on some copies, as
>>> long as your provide an unrestricted copy as well. Instead it says you
>>> may place no restrictions.
>> You are being misleading.  It actually says in part:
>>     6. Each time you redistribute the Program (or any work based on the
>>   Program), the recipient automatically receives a license from the
>>   original licensor to copy, distribute or modify the Program
>> subject to
>>   these terms and conditions.  You may not impose any further
>>   restrictions on the recipients' exercise of the rights granted
>> herein.
>>   [continued]
>> So if I give somebody a DRM binary and an unencumbered copy of the
>> source and build scripts, I'm fine.
> Huh? How does that follow?

He is unrestricted in his exercise of his rights under the GPL: he can
copy the source, modify it for his purposes, and distribute it.

>>> I don't think you can enforce DRM on GPL software.
>> There are plenty of circumstances where this might be useful: say, a
>> player application and a set of keys.  Some not-very-useful keys are
>> in the source, and some very useful keys are on the DRM medium.
> I said I don't think you can enforce DRM _on_ GPL software, not _with_
> GPL software. That is, you can't enforce "you may not copy this, may
> only run it once, etc." on a GPL program.

Actually, you *can* freely enforce restrictions on running the
software using technical methods: the act of running the program is
not covered by the GPL after all.  You need to give people the legal
right and technical ability to modify that out of the software, but
you don't need to give them the technical ability to run the result.

A universal DRM scheme, as promoted by MS for Longhorn+2, would
achieve this nicely


Brian T. Sniffen                                        bts@alum.mit.edu

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