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SubjectRe: GPL V3 and Linux - Dead Copyright Holders

On Wed, 1 Feb 2006, Karim Yaghmour wrote:
> DRM is something worth fighting, but we need something that attacks the
> root problem, not its symptoms. In comparison, GPLv2 was indeed
> successful in that it attacked the root problem of software distribution
> freedom. How it may leverage that by introducing restrictions on symptoms
> of another problem still evades me.

Side note: the reason GPLv2 is so successful at fighting the root problem
of using copyright to fight restrictive copyrights is that it makes
"interesting material" available under a license that forbids further
restricting it.

I would suggest that anybody who wants to fight DRM practices seriously
look at the equivalent angle. If you create interesting content, you can
forbid that _content_ to ever be encrypted or limited.

In other words, I personally think that the anti-DRM clause is much more
sensible in the context of the Creative Commons licenses, than in software
licenses. If you create valuable and useful content that other people want
to be able to use (catchy tunes, funny animation, good icons), I would
suggest you protect that _content_ by saying that it cannot be used in any
content-protection schemes.

Afaik, all the Creative Commons licenses already require that you can't
use technological measures to restrict the rigts you give with the CC
licenses. The "Share Alike" license in particular requires all work based
on it to also be shared alike, ie it has the "GPL feel" to it.

If enough interesting content is licensed that way, DRM eventually becomes
marginalized. Yes, it takes decades, but that's really no different at all
from how the GPL works. The GPL has taken decades, and it hasn't
"marginalized" commercial proprietary software yet, but it's gotten to the
point where fewer people at least _worry_ about it.

As long as you expect Disney to feed your brain and just sit there on your
couch, Disney & co will always be able to control the content you see. DRM
is the smallest part of it - the crap we see and hear every day
(regardless of any protection) is a much bigger issue.

The GPL already requires source code (ie non-protected content). So the
GPL already _does_ have an anti-DRM clause as far as the _software_ is
concerned. If you want to fight DRM on non-software fronts, you need to
create non-software content, and fight it _there_.

I realize that programmers are bad at content creation. So many
programmers feel that they can't fight DRM that way. Tough. Spread the
word instead. Don't try to fight DRM the wrong way.

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