Re: [ox-en] sense and nonsense of licenses (bare acts/sarai reader 5)
- From: Rob Myers <robmyers mac.com>
- Date: Sat, 2 Oct 2004 09:48:09 +0100
Hello to the list.
On 2 Oct 2004, at 09:21, Andrius Kulikauskas wrote:
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.
The GPL is a copyright license. It will last for a particular work for
as long as the copyright on that work does. So there is an exit for
individual works, and if copyright is reformed then there is an exit
there. I doubt that anyone would use a license which said "the
organisation that wrote this license can cancel it at some point in the
You can always re-license your GPL code, just not exclusively.
If copyright were abolished tomorrow, the GPL would not become
irrelevant. The requirement to share source code is an important one
that copyright and PD don't cover.
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.
They don't. When you place something in the public domain it can be
strip-mined by anyone without credit, payment, or return. See Disney's
use of Public Domain stories to make movies, Microsoft's use of BSD
(effectively Public Domain) code in Windows, and the use of public
domain images in corporate projects by graphic designers.
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).
The GPL is stronger than PD because you have to provide source. The
Creative Commons and BSD licenses do not require this. CC becomes
effectively sampling licenses, but what culture needs is the score, the
raw materials. BSD becomes public domain, but any modifications or
combination can be kept from the public.
The PD is no more compatible with Copyright Registration than the GPL
(or CC or BSD) licenses are. You can always GPL or CC or BSD your work
if it's registered.
I don't undertand what is the GPL exit strategy and this keeps me from
investing my work in the GPL.
Why would you need to exit the commons? But as I say, you can always
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