Subject: Re: DRM-incompatible licenses
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <>
Date: Mon, 03 Apr 2006 23:06:30 +0900

>>>>> "Bernard" == Bernard Lang <> writes:

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

Bingo!  Putting anything as controversial as an anti-DRM clause, or
the current "you sign away all patent rights for claims necessary to
execute the software or even mentioned in a comment"[1] anti-patent
clause of the draft GPLv3, into a widely-used copyleft license ...

    Bernard> ... seem so shortsighted.

Note that the Linux kernel is currently GPLv2-only.  It's been a
couple months since I checked what Linus was saying, but at that time
he expressed a fair amount of inertia: he wasn't unalterably opposed
to GPLv3, but he wasn't interested in hassling the conversion, either.

That is a pretty big hunk of mind-share, even though if the kernel's
licensing doesn't prevent Nvidia from distributing proprietary
drivers, it surely won't prevent you from running Emacs 23.

So, why do this?  It's not effective against either patents or DRM,
not even if you were planning on embedding a whole GNU/Linux
distribution in your black box would you prefer today's distro + no
DRM to yesterday's distro + DRM.

I think it would be much better (in both cases) to "regret" that it's
not useful or free to put such clauses in a license, and use that to
gain sympathy for your speech from the soapbox on the evils of patents
and DRM.

[1]  My reading, IANAL and I haven't consulted one, YMMV, caveat
lector, etc.

Graduate School of Systems and Information Engineering   University of Tsukuba        Tennodai 1-1-1 Tsukuba 305-8573 JAPAN
        Economics of Information Communication and Computation Systems
          Experimental Economics, Microeconomic Theory, Game Theory