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Re: Creative Commons 3.0 Public draft -- news and questions



On Thu, 10 Aug 2006 11:26:13 -0400 Evan Prodromou wrote:

> So, I have big news and a big question.
> 
> Big news
> --------
> 
> Creative Commons has announced the public draft of the next version of
> their license suite:
> 
> http://creativecommons.org/weblog/entry/6017
[...]
> http://evan.prodromou.name/Debian_Creative_Commons_Workgroup_report

Thanks for the URLs.
I will look at the license as soon as I can...

> 
> Big question
> ------------
[...]
> The big question for debian-legal is whether the new license draft is
> compatible with the DFSG. I hope that debian-legal subscribers will
> look over the new license carefully and post opinions here or on the
> cc-licenses mailing list.

I hope I can manage to analyze the rest of the license in the next few
days, but it won't be easy... Too many new drafts to review in this
August!  :-(

> 
> Creative Commons met almost all of the Workgroup's recommendations,
> and after a lot of review we've agreed that the works licensed solely
> under the CCPL 3.0 draft would be Free... with one exception.

Ouch!  :-/

> 
> The exception is that the CCPL 3.0 has an anti-DRM (or anti-TPM)
> provision that doesn't allow distribution with copy protection
> features. The traditional wisdom is that prohibiting use of TPM puts
> an undue restriction on developers and doesn't let them experiment
> with TPM-required platforms. (Some console game systems, for example,
> require TPM for a program to run on the system.) Restricting the
> systems that a program can be ported to is incompatible with DFSG#3.

Right.

> 
> One way to make anti-TPM clauses compatible with the DFSG is to allow
> "parallel distribution" -- that is, a developer can create a TPM'd
> version of a work as long as they also make available a cleartext one
> that people can modify, copy, etc. This lets developers experiment,
> but also lets downstream users exercise their rights, too.

Exactly.

> 
> We'd originally negotiated a parallel distribution proviso, but the
> extra clause was later removed.

By reading the announcement I learn that such removal was due to strong
opposition from other interested parties, rather than the belief that it
was unneeded (being implicitly allowed by the wording of the clause or
something similar).  This seems to mean that Creative Commons interprets
the clause as forbidding parallel distribution of DRM-encumbered and
DRM-unencumbered copies...  Not a good start.  :-(

> So, the CCPL 3.0 license draft has
> this language for DRM restrictions:
> 
>         You may not impose any technological measures on the Work that
>         restrict the ability of a recipient of the Work from You to
>         exercise the rights granted to them under the License.
> 
> Since we negotiated the license changes, Debian has had a GR to allow
> works licensed under the GFDL into main. The GFDL has the following
> anti-DRM clause:
> 
>         You may not use technical measures to obstruct or control the
>         reading or further copying of the copies you make or
>         distribute.
> 
[...]
> The Debian Creative Commons Workgroup couldn't come to a clear
> conclusion on the matter, and it's not 100% clear what the effect of
> GR 2006-01 is on Debian as a whole.
> 
> In my personal opinion, the question boils down to these points:
> 
>      1. Was GR 2006-01 an exception to the DFSG, or a clarification of
>         our principles?

It was a single (absurd and mistaken, IMO) decision on the acceptability
of works under a single license.
Let's not extend the mistake to other cases or other licenses.  Maybe
someday the Debian Project will fix this mistake, let's not make it
worse than it already is.

>      2. If it was a clarification, does this mean that anti-DRM
>         clauses like the one in the FDL are compatible with the DFSG?

If you take GR-2006-001 as a clarification of our principles, you say,
basically, that *any* issue that can be found in the GFDL (besides
clauses that allow unmodifiable & unremovable parts) does comply with
the DFSG.  That's a slippery slope ("if we accept that restriction, why
don't we accept that other one, which is similar?") and would quickly
destroy the meaning of the DFSG.  Debian should not become another OSI
(which approves and certifies almost any license that passes by)! 

>      3. If so, is the anti-DRM clause in the CCPL 3.0 draft similar
>         enough to the FDL's anti-DRM clause for us to consider it
>         compatible with the DFSG?

Rather than comparing CC anti-DRM clause with the GFDL one, which is
clearly non-free[1], I would like to compare it with the GPLv3draft2
one, which gave me the impression of implicitly allowing parallel
distribution.

[1] regardless of what the GR states: a GR cannot magically change a
third-party license, nor change the DFSG, unless it requires a 3:1
supermajority, which wasn't required by the winning option


Here we go.
This is the CCv3draft0808060 anti-DRM clause, as quoted by Evan:

|   You may not impose any technological measures on the Work that
|   restrict the ability of a recipient of the Work from You to
|   exercise the rights granted to them under the License.

The following is the GPLv3draft2 anti-DRM clause, instead:

|   Regardless of any other provision of this License, no permission is
|   given for modes of conveying that deny users that run covered works
|   the full exercise of the legal rights granted by this License.

When I analyzed it (some days ago) I thought that this clause allows
parallel distribution: conveying through DRM-encumbered media or
channels seems to be allowed as long as final recipients are not denied
the freedoms granted by the license.  Conveying through a
DRM-*un*encumbered media or channel in parallel to the DRM-encumbered
one, seems to be considered enough to re-enable the full exercise of the
legal rights granted by the license.

How do the two clauses compare, in your opinion?

Do you think that the CCv3draft0808060 one is stricter?
I'm afraid it is, because it doesn't talks about distribution modes, but
concentrates on forbidding the application of DRM to the work, instead.

Or do you think that my analysis of the GPLv3draft2 clause is flawed?
I hope it's not...


The usual disclaimers: IANAL, IANADD.

--
But it is also tradition that times *must* and always
do change, my friend.   -- from _Coming to America_
..................................................... Francesco Poli .
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