Subject: Re: DRM-incompatible licenses
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <>
Date: Thu, 06 Apr 2006 21:01:03 +0900

>>>>> "Pedro" == Pedro de Medeiros <> writes:

    >> It would be fair to read what I wrote that way, but it's unfair
    >> to actually apply it to the authors of the GPLv3.  (They have
    >> my apologies.)  They're not "trying", and it doesn't "screw
    >> up", it merely "weakens".

    Pedro> I am sorry, but that was exactly the impression you gave me
    Pedro> when you said that:

Yes.  The impression I gave was mostly unintentional, but there's
nothing wrong with your English.  It was my fault.

    Pedro> I may have misread this (English is not my first language,
    Pedro> so trying to understand legal stuff can be quite demanding,
    Pedro> please bear with me ;)), but it seemed like you were
    Pedro> telling me that some wording was chosen [by the GPL
    Pedro> author(s)] to (deliberately?) stop the use of GPLv3ed
    Pedro> software for privacy protection by calling privacy
    Pedro> protection "DRM" instead.

It's not wrong to read my words that way.  My fault entirely for very
poor choice of words, and I ask you to disregard those words.

What I should say is

(1) Circumventing copy-protection *is not* illegal (although marketing
    tools to do so is).  Furthermore, many permitted unlicensed uses
    (eg, fair use for criticism) do not require 100% perfect copies,
    although that's desirable.  So there are often roundabout but easy
    ways to make such copies (screen shots, audio recording from
    digital media).

(2) Circumventing access protection *is* illegal, but access
    protection has uses in privacy protection which are entirely
    compatible with software freedom.

(3) The anti-DRM provisions as currently written do not distinguish
    between these uses.

(4) I conclude that these anti-DRM provisions are more likely to harm
    privacy protection than they are to harm commercial use of DRM for
    copy protection.

I hope that makes things clear.

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