Subject: Re: DRM-incompatible licenses
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <turnbull@sk.tsukuba.ac.jp>
Date: Tue, 04 Apr 2006 16:20:25 +0900

>>>>> "Pedro" == Pedro de Medeiros <pedro.medeiros@gmail.com> writes:

I'm surprised that you are willing to cooperate with a company which
directly aids and abets censorship for commercial advantage.  (I don't
disapprove, I am surprised.)

    Pedro> I think the license must drop the "DRM" name and describe
    Pedro> what it is trying to fight. That might have the added
    Pedro> effect of dispelling the confusion of DRM and "trusted
    Pedro> computing" as being the one and same thing.

What the license ends up fighting is the use of privacy protection,
because it can be used to circumvent the intent of the license.  In
order to limit the severe damage (especially to the FSF's reputation)
that a blanket prohibition of the use of GPLed software in privacy
protection would cause, the term "DRM" which has a specific meaning in
U.S. copyright law is used to try to restrict the field of application
to commercial uses of privacy protection (but without saying that).

You simply can't get away from this kind of issue, because digital
access == copying.  All privacy protection (access control) ends up
being physically implemented via copy protection, of content or
directories.

It may be possible to write this clause to target only those uses of
privacy protection that the free software movement deems unacceptable,
but it's not going to be easy, and any given wording can easily be
frustrated by new legislation or court decisions.

    Pedro> They might use the same methods for protection, but as far
    Pedro> as I am concerned, "trusted computing" works for the
    Pedro> benefit of the computer user while DRM works for the
    Pedro> benefit of the content distributors. It might be just a
    Pedro> question of semantics, but still an important difference.

You want to amend the license to be explicitly discriminate against a
class of users and/or fields of endeavor.  This would work, but I
don't think the FSF is going to do that, for reasons both principled
and practical.

-- 
Graduate School of Systems and Information Engineering   University of Tsukuba
http://turnbull.sk.tsukuba.ac.jp/        Tennodai 1-1-1 Tsukuba 305-8573 JAPAN
        Economics of Information Communication and Computation Systems
          Experimental Economics, Microeconomic Theory, Game Theory