The Free Software Foundation today released its revised draft of the General Public License V3 for comment. The GPL is one of several licenses available for the distribution and use of copyrighted works although it's typically used with software. This version of the GPL has been controversial in at least two regards: Rights Management and Patents. Let's begin by documenting the GPLv3's position on DRM.
Under the terms of the draft GPLv3 authors and distributors of DRM software cannot use GPLv3 as a licensing framework, that DRM software (and presumably hardware) cannot be used to restrict the use of the covered software, and that laws such as the DMCA will not be asserted against those who circumvent DRM measures to access, use, and/or modify the software covered by the GPLv3.
Here's the specific language:
Section 3 of the GPL V3 "Terms and Conditions" reads as follows:
3. No Denying Users' Rights through Technical Measures.
No covered work shall be deemed part of an effective technological measure under any applicable law fulfilling obligations under article 11 of the WIPO copyright treaty adopted on 20 December 1996, or similar laws prohibiting or restricting circumvention of such measures.
When you convey a covered work, you waive any legal power to forbid circumvention of technical measures to the extent such circumvention is effected by exercising rights under this License with respect to the covered work, and you disclaim any intention to limit operation or modification of the work as a means of enforcing, against the work's users, your or third parties' legal rights to forbid circumvention of technical measures.
Article 11 of the 1996 WIPO Copyright Treaty reads as follows:
Obligations concerning Technological Measures
Contracting Parties shall provide adequate legal protection and effective legal remedies against the circumvention of effective technological measures that are used by authors in connection with the exercise of their rights under this Treaty or the Berne Convention and that restrict acts, in respect of their works, which are not authorized by the authors concerned or permitted by law.
Generally speaking, Article 11 requires signatories to pass and enforce laws similar to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act that prohibits the circumvention of security and rights management technologies for the enforcement of the rights of authors and other rightsholders.