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

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 future".

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 re-license.

- Rob.

Organization: projekt

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