Subject: Re: DRM-incompatible licenses
From: Bernard Lang <>
Date: Mon, 3 Apr 2006 15:03:00 +0200

It is quite interesting to note that this DRM issue is not being
discussed by the usual crowd of this list.

As far as I am concerned, I find surprising that using GPL software
for DRM is considered incomparably worse that using it for weaponry.

Is it an example of freedom being more important than life ?
   should it be :-)  or :-(    ... ?

Whatever ...

  If GPL v3 forbids DRM, many people, for a variety of reasons, will
stick to GPL v2, which will of course be incompatible.  Nice fork,

And, wherever DRMs are compulsory, GPL code will be excluded ... thus
weakening free software.

If people do want freer access to cultural works, don't you think it
is also up to them to fight for it.

And by weakening the presence of GPL code, and free software, we may
also weaken a lot of other sources of freedom.

All this seem so shortsighted.


* Quinn Weaver <>, le 03-04-06, a écrit:
> On Sat, Apr 01, 2006 at 10:15:51AM -0400, Taran Rampersad wrote:
> > Norbert Bollow wrote:
> [...]
> > >DRM is in the current situation a much more serious threat to
> > >fundamental information society freedoms than proprietary
> > >software is.
> > Agreed, with emphasis on 'current situation'. DRM as it has been implemented is

> > *wrong*. DRM as a meta concept is something I don't necessarily disagree with. 
> > The DRM concept could be used to protect rights of creators without infringing 
> > the rights of the end users of the information; DRM is the automation of the 
> > enforcement of a license agreement. In it's present implementation, it 
> > infringes upon the rights of users, IMHO.
> Good point.  Elaborating on what you've just said...
> The DMCA[1] says that DRM technology may take away the legal rights of
> users.  E.g. you have the right under the doctrine of fair use to make
> a backup copy of a CD you own, but a vendor's DRM can take away that
> right, and if you circumvent it you are breaking the law.
> In other words, DRM is not just a technological problem.  It is a
> legal problem.  That is why GPLv3 proposes to strike back at DRM using
> legal means (the license itself).
> One could criticize GPLv3 for politicizing technology, but the truth
> is that the content industry has already done that, by effecting the
> passage of the DMCA.  GPLv3 is just trying to fix the situation.
> Besides, politicizing technology is what the FSF is all about.  If you
> don't like it, use the BSD license. ;)
> ***
> [1] Of course, it's not just the United States DMCA; all WIPO signatories
> are required to have similar laws.

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