|License management tools: good, bad, or ugly?||Paul Fernhout||5/5/01 12:50 PM|
I've read Richard Stallman's "right-to-read" essay.
I've also seen the public outcry over hard disks which would include
I definitely do not want to see a future world of only proprietary
However, on a practical basis, living in our society as it is right now,
My question is: should software tools, protocols, and standards play a
CURRENT PRACTICE ON LICENSE MANAGEMENT
For example, software projects which just take contributions from
By contrast, the Free Software Foundation for GNU works attempts to be
In the interest of ensuring one may redistribute things or make derived
WHY IS CLARITY OF LICENSING IMPORTANT?
Why is this important? Even the same author might pick multiple licenses
The point is, in general, no matter who you are, you are likely to make
AUTOMATING LICENSE HANDLING?
So, would it make things better or worse if a legally binding license
Usually license management tools (e.g. for music or DVDs) are thought of
For example, when you get an email it could come with a machine-readable
In part, you may think, perhaps correctly, this it the "right-to-read"
On the other hand, license management tools might force everyone to be
For example, even if MIT puts its course material on-line, that does not
A LICENSE REJECTION PROTOCOL
Being explicit about licensing (especially in a machine-readable way)
or perhaps instead:
If you ran a peer-to-peer file server, such a protocol might help ensure
To be clear: I personally am not for supporting sharing of material that
In the case of software, with such a system, when you build free
AN EXAMPLE FROM THE MUSIC WORLD ON THE NEED FOR LICENSE META-DATA
Such issues extend beyond software. If we are to enlarge the realm of
For example, consider this situation. I go to the Choral Public domain
The Choral Public Domain Library site has "public domain" in the title,
As soon as I have this file on my computer, much of the "meta data"
Note: this isn't to put down this particular site. It is a great site
Note that ultimately, having such meta-data in every file might require
HOW THINGS CAN GO WRONG
Python (whose license recently became GPL incompatible for the moment)
I'm sure people in this newsgroup will point out that if Python was
If such a system came with a tutorial module and click through tests and
USING NEW LAWS TO HELP FREE SOFTWARE
On a practical basis, without such an automated system, it may be more
DO IT ONLY FOR FREE SOFTWARE OR SIMILAR WORKS?
Would it make any difference if such an approach was limited to say an
So anyway, what do people think? Would such a license management
[Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer; any corrections from such are
Copyright 2001 Paul D. Fernhout
|License management tools: good, bad, or ugly?||Paul Fernhout||5/19/01 7:36 PM|
I previously wrote:
There have been no comments on my original post from the newsgroup so
To (over)simplify, by "license management tools" I mean putting a header
Managing licenses is important because under current copyright law
This need for a license is especially true for making derived works you
Such systems are also often called "digital rights management".
Can I take it then that in general free software developers do not have
Opinions? Flames? Wheels (reinvented)?
-Paul FernhoutCreators of the Garden with Insight(TM) garden simulator
|License management tools: good, bad, or ugly?||Isaac||5/20/01 8:14 AM|
On Sat, 19 May 2001 22:36:14 -0400, Paul Fernhout
I read your post, and I'll admit to being to drained with flaming
I thought the idea of automating the license issues even among free
Implementation issues aside, automating the legal issues surrounding
Anyway, because the system you described seemed to have a fairly
I really so wanted to flame too..
|License management tools: good, bad, or ugly?||Paul Fernhout||5/20/01 5:12 PM|
Thanks for the reply. OK, so there are technical and user interface
And, of course, even if I had a fully worked out and implemented
Perhaps I should then refine the question away from technical issues to
Essentially, is it sensible to shift the debate on Digital Rights
"rights management to restrict rights and ensure author royalties"
"rights management to ensure the right to freely copy and make derived
as a new paradigm?
Does this sound like a general principle free software and free content
By the way, as for reading a text file on your system (say this post), I
|License management tools: good, bad, or ugly?||phil hunt||5/21/01 7:56 AM|
On Sun, 20 May 2001 20:12:23 -0400, Paul Fernhout <pdfer...@kurtz-fernhout.com> wrote:
Which it is.
The point of DRM is to *restrict* people's rights, not to guve them rights.
It should really stand for Digital Restrictions Management.
|License management tools: good, bad, or ugly?||Paul Fernhout||5/22/01 8:26 PM|
phil hunt wrote:> >Does this ["managing licenses to ensure freedom"]
> >sound like a general principle free software and free content
Thanks for the feedback.
All works since 1978 (US laws) and 1989 (World Berne Convention) are now
So, without explicit licenses, we can't legally view many files on our
It is true that the way that Digital Rights Management (DRM) systems are
I recently used a toll road (the Garden State Parkway in New Jersey) and
Putting the toll road failures in the DRM context, these failures of the
I can certainly see the point that since the road had to be paid for one
However, especially with the changes to copyright law from DMCA, it
However, having said all that, the current DMCA law still may
Metaphorically, consider "slave" files and "free" files. Our current
Obviously, black people suffered greatly under slavery without such
Pressing the analogy forward nonetheless, the default since 1979 in the
Adding explicit license "meta data" in a file ensures that the "papers"
Even now, "free" people (like from the US) need to carry a passport (and
In the case of human slavery, laws were changed to make all people free.
I can't do much in the next month about people who want to enslave their
However, such a "free" DRM system could probably be easily adapted to
If this road is worth going down, one should also consider whether it
In any event, now is the best time for more people to tell me why this
-Paul FernhoutCreators of the GPL Garden with Insight(TM) garden simulator
|License management tools: good, bad, or ugly?||Isaac||5/22/01 9:51 PM|
On Tue, 22 May 2001 23:26:09 -0400, Paul Fernhout
I think this overstates the case a bit. Lots of uses don't involve
>the WWW gears turn to some extent anyway.) The DMCA just continues this
The one advantage that the DMCA has over your proposal is that at least
I think you overstate the case again. To fair use also add implicit
>Metaphorically, consider "slave" files and "free" files. Our current
This kind of comparison is very similar to invoking the Nazi's. I
|License management tools: good, bad, or ugly?||Mark Wooding||5/23/01 5:35 AM|
Thanks for your excellent article.
Paul Fernhout <pdfer...@kurtz-fernhout.com> wrote:
> However, especially with the changes to copyright law from DMCA, it
And thanks for this pointer. Litman has some interesting and persuasive
> However, such a "free" DRM system could probably be easily adapted to
I think that you've provided your own clue to the solution. If the
I think this is an almost archetypal application for the LGPL.
|License management tools: good, bad, or ugly?||Paul Fernhout||5/23/01 9:20 PM|
Thanks for the comments and compliments.
Mark Wooding wrote:
Interesting -- you see a key enabler of the idea that the code can be
So, presumably, you would be opposed to a license that somehow
> I think this is an almost archetypal application for the LGPL.
Not GPL? Are you thinking then this would then effectively be a library
-Paul FernhoutCreators of the Garden with Insight(TM) garden simulator
|License management tools: good, bad, or ugly?||Paul Fernhout||5/23/01 10:05 PM|
Thanks for the comments.
You're quite right on the issue of ideas (although watch out for
I think what I was trying to get at here is that unlike when using a
For example, when viewing a web page, a copy is made in a local cache,
Interesting point. I'll need to explore this.
Note though that an important consideration is making derived works and
Granted, perhaps I overstate things in practice (such as the above
The current trend in academia is for universities to issue severely
Still, with usenet, where does "fair use" end? It isn't clear. Obviously
Also the boundary of what constitutes a derived work (as opposed to fair
> >Metaphorically, consider "slave" files and "free" files. Our current
My apologies if I offended you or anyone else with that analogy.
Perhaps you or someone else can suggest a better one?
|License management tools: good, bad, or ugly?||Isaac||5/24/01 1:30 AM|
On Thu, 24 May 2001 01:05:09 -0400, Paul FernhoutTrue, but has there been any suggestion that copyright holders
can limit such copies (without using some access control measure
and thus bringing the DMCA into the mix)?
>For example, when viewing a web page, a copy is made in a local cache,
I think you need to get $1000 dollars worth of copying before you
I seriously doubt that any of the copies you describe except the
>The current trend in academia is for universities to issue severely
Interestingly enough, academic and research copying is probably the