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Subject: Re: Licensing and Copyright Issues

Re: Licensing and Copyright Issues

From: Ray Lambert <codemonkey_at_interthingy.net>
Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2007 11:49:55 -0400 (EDT)

Karl Kurbjun wrote:
> Are the DRM clauses still in the GPLv3? I personally do not like DRM and
> I would rather it have never come about, but in the off chance that a
> company really decided that they liked the project and wanted to use it
> as their primary firmware, what would those clauses mean for us? Would a
> company, for example Sansa, be able to use our code if they wanted to
> have Rhapsody compatibility (assuming it was open source)?

I'm not sure that the DRM clauses in GPLv3 would be a problem (IANAL)
however, I would point out that, should a situation such as this arise, we
do have the option of licensing it to them under a different license (so
long as all copyright holders agree). Depending on the circumstances,
this is something that we might want to do for other reasons anyway.

(In my earlier message I mentioned that a copyright holding group wasn't
necessary so long as we say "GPLv3 or later" and only release under the
GPL. Obviously, using a different license changes that; this might be a
good argument for having a copyright holding group afterall.)

Another possibility is that we could include an exception in our license.
GPLv3 allows things like this, however someone would need to research what
the capabilities/limitations are.

For my part, I am strongly against "TiVo-ization" and I believe that if
the GPLv3 DRM provisions prevent someone from taking our code and
"TiVo-izing" it without our knowledge or input, then I don't think that's
a bad thing. If a company wanted to do something along these lines, I
would prefer that they negotiate with us over whatever issues prevent them
from working with the GPL. Nevertheless, I don't have a big stake in this
(legally) and I'm willing to go along with whatever the group decides.

In any case, I guess this is all theoretical until someone actually comes
a-knocking.

~ray
Received on 2007-09-11


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