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Re: Why TPM+Parallel Distribution is non-free

On Tue, 10 Oct 2006, Terry Hancock wrote:
> Prohibiting TPM *distribution* is fine under DFSG.

No, it's not. Prohibiting TPM distribution is quite clearly a
restriction on a field of endeavor.

> This is exactly what the Aug 9 draft of CCPL3.0 says:
> """ You may not impose any technological measures on the Work that
> restrict the ability of a recipient of the Work from You to exercise
> their rights granted under the License """

The critical aspect here is that parallel distribution does not cause
the rights of a recipient of the work to be restricted; they retain
all abilities that they had originally and gain additional ones
(namely, being able to run the work on a TPM-inflicted device.)
> The requirement is needed to ensure that copyleft preserves the
> freedoms granted by the content's author.

No, they're not. They're a lazy means of hacking in a small bit of
copyleft protection into licenses by outlawing legitimate uses. Any
attempt via licensing to deal properly with TPM and or DRM must
necessarily address the need for free software works to be capable of
running on such a device when the end user desires it.

There are two choices: You either 1) allow parallel distribution 2)
require distribution of keys or information needed to deploy modified
versions to the device.

Whether or choosing to do 2) has the pratical effect of not allowing
the use on TPM devices is a separate issue; it in itself does not
outlaw their use or distribution. [It just minimizes their

If you're seriously interested in discussing how to do copylefted TPM
and DRM properly, I strongly suggest reading my position statement
from committee D on the first discussion draft of the GPL and also
checking out the logs of seth schoen's conversations with the other
members of Commitee D on #committeed on freenode. [Logs are available
in http://svn.donarmstrong.com/don/trunk/projects/gplv3/]

Don Armstrong
If it jams, force it. If it breaks, it needed replacing anyway.
 -- Lowery's Law

http://www.donarmstrong.com              http://rzlab.ucr.edu

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