This message was sent by me today to Mozilla's CTO in response to the recent announcement
of Mozilla's strategy to implement DRM technologies in their popular Firefox web browser. Please read below my opinions on that topic and consider writting to Andreas Gal
with your opinions as well. You can read more about the issue at the FSF website
Andreas Gal, (Chief Technology Officer and Vice President of Engineering at Mozilla)
When copyright law is concerned, we must
remember that there must be a balance between the rights of copyright
owners and the benefits to society at large.
certain uses of a copyrighted work that its copyright holders are
allowed to inhibit society from doing based on their interests. That's
OK. There are other uses, though, that society can enjoy without the
need for explicit authorization from the copyright holder. That's for a
reason: Copyright law is not absolute. There are necessarily limits to
its scope and thus there are limits to copyright holders power.
mechanisms are algorithmic implementations of the copyright holders
intentions. Given that the copyright holders tipically do not want
society at large to enjoy the work in any way that is different from
what is encoded into the implemented DRM algorithms of their choice,
then it is clear that such restrictions can only be enforced effectively
by implementing DRM as proprietary software, so that the users have no
way of getting rid of the imposed restrictions. Such restrictions apply
forcefully even when not supported by the law. Actually, the trend to
use criptography to strengthen such restrictions
demonstrate how hard copyright holders are willing to impose powers
they do not fully possess according to copyright law. As said before,
copyright law (and the power it gives to copyright holders) is not
abolute. Even when society needs to benefit from a copyrighted work in a
way that would be considered perfectly legal according to the copyright
scope limitations prescribed in law, DRM still inflexibly blocks such
legitimate attempts of enjoying the work.
out by Lawrence Lessig: "Code is Law". For this reason, we must reject
DRM technologies, as it disrespects the rights of the computer users.
That is... DRM-encumbered works sistematically disrespect the rights of
society at large to legally enjoy such works in ways prescribed by
Please. For the sake of respect for the users of Mozilla products, please reconsider Mozilla's stance on this matter.
software freedom activist & developer
São Paulo, Brazil