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Re: [ox-en] sense and nonsense of licenses (bare acts/sarai reader 5)

Hi Stefan,

I want to comment on your thought that "the GPL society needs no licenses as the GPL any more"...

That's the logic that I would expect, but it's actually not written into the license. To my understanding, the GPL (and other licenses) don't have any "exit strategy". They are legal creatures and will survive intact as long as there is a legal system. I suppose there is no way for these walls to "crumble" - they are all or nothing - like an electrical circuit.

That's perhaps the reason why I prefer to invest myself, my creativity, in the Public Domain. I'm interested to learn what kind of social and economic arrangements make the Public Domain work. The Public Domain is a concept that is larger than the legal system. Public Domain can be explicit or implicit (unlike a license, which must always be explicit). Therefore the Public Domain is compatible with many exit strategies - in particular, introducing a law that creative work is Public Domain unless marked otherwise (as was the case before 1976).

I don't undertand what is the GPL exit strategy and this keeps me from investing my work in the GPL.


Andrius Kulikauskas
Minciu Sodas

StefanMz presented a nice picture: The licenses are similar to the
city walls of medieval cities. A nice picture and I just emphasized
that the city walls were not important *as themselves* but functioned
as some protection from the outside world. As soon as the logic of the
city, the logic of capitalism grabbed all of the country, city walls
made no more sense - and subsequently have been broken down.

Personally I think this is similar in Free Software. The GPL society
needs no licenses as the GPL any more (so you can very well question
why it is called GPL society then ;-) ). Until this point licenses are
a protection on the grounds of the old system protecting Free Software
from being converted back to the logic of the outside (at least
copyleft licenses).

Therefore I think licenses are not important by themselves. They exist
to protect something and if they deliver this protection that's fine.
In Free Software I see tendencies to take licenses *very* seriously
and also in this project there are people doing this. I'd say with a
typical Free Software saying: "Don't fix it unless it's broken."

Organization: projekt

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