Here's an update of what's been going on with the copyleft-next draft.
Deletion of dl-supp
The biggest change of the past week was my deletion of "dl-supp". In
an earlier commit, I moved the "anti-Tivoization" provisions derived
from the second part of GPLv3 section 6 into a supplementary document
which an initial licensor could place on a new program. I now see no
point in even having it as a supplement.
Thus, copyleft-next has no anti-Tivoization provisions, and so the
patch originally proposed by mcgrof (see
) has now effectively been applied.
A lot of careful thought and discussion went into the corresponding
provisions of GPLv3. They represent the result of a difficult
compromise, and are motivated by policy goals for which I have deep
personal sympathy. I contend that they are among the best-drafted
parts of that license. The policy concern about locked-down consumer
devices with effectively nonmodifiable GPL-licensed software has
become more relevant in the years since those provisions were drafted.
Yet, with respect to GPLv3, it has been my own intuition that few
projects consciously choosing that license do so because of the
anti-Tivoization provisions. I do not have the sense that the
inclusion of these provisions in GPLv3 has had the effect of
increasing users' freedom to modify software in consumer devices they
own. To the contrary, it appears if anything to have motivated
risk-averse companies to avoid use of GPLv3-licensed software. That is
not dispositive but it is relevant. (There may be evidence to the
contrary that I am unaware of.)
I'm open to being convinced that this deletion should be reverted, but
if no one successfully convinces me, it is likely to stay deleted.
Part of what influences me is the availability of outbound (A)GPLv3
compatibility. As with the more obscure 'contractor' provision of
GPLv3 section 2, those who care strongly about these provisions will
be able to incorporate copyleft-next code in GPLv3-licensed works.
Deletion of first part of anti-anti-circumvention provision
While I currently continue to feel it is worthwhile for copyleft-next
to explicitly address anti-circumvention law, I no longer consider the
first paragraph of what was GPLv3 section 3 to be desirable.
The basic idea here was the hope that courts would be influenced by a
general declaration by the licensor that covered works are, in some
sense fundamental to the license, not 'effective technological
protection measures'. There is no known history of use of this
provision by those defending against invocation of anti-circumvention law.
This strikes me as being an inherently weak provision, but, the less
weak one assumes it is, the more problematic it becomes from a free
software perspective, since it approaches something like a field of
use restriction. That certainly is not what the FSF intended, but that
lack of intent does not make the discomfort go away.
The reason for effectively two (or three, depending on how you look at
it) anti-anti-circumvention provisions had to do with concerns about
differences between US and EU approaches to anti-circumvention law. I
consider it better to come up with one provision suitable for major
jurisdictions in which the license is likely to be granted. A
modification of the second part of what was GPLv3 section 3 is a
better basis for such a provision.
Further changes to termination
In response to discussion on the mailing list, I have changed the
EPL-inspired "reasonable time period" cure to a 30-day cure.
I have also eliminated the relatively complex "automatic termination
-> provisional automatic reinstatement -> permanent automatic
reinstatement' feature which was originally added to GPLv3 section 8
in the final draft. I have explained this in a posting to this list
made earlier today.
Deletion of liberty-or-death example
This is a noteworthy change. If people think that we need the example
given in GPLv3 section 12, let me know.