Bitcoin Forum

Economy => Economics => Topic started by: kiba on November 27, 2010, 05:27:37 AM



Title: Growing the Copyfree Movement
Post by: kiba on November 27, 2010, 05:27:37 AM
I am trying to make a new economic movement called the "Copyfree Movement". What is it about?

Copyfree is the act of declaring all your art or creations into "public domain". It is more about letting your artwork being subjected to the normal rules of property law, rather than bullshit of intellectual property.

So, I been declaring all my artwork "copyfree" by now, but there is nothing much happening. I am only one artist, and I am not a particularly good one yet. I am getting microbitcoin patronage and profiting from it, but they don't add to even 1 BTC.

So what to do now?


Title: Re: Growing the Copyfree Movement
Post by: em3rgentOrdr on November 27, 2010, 06:52:23 AM
Hey Kiba,

Creative Commons already has what it attempts at a Public Domain License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/publicdomain/), but unfortunately copyright laws are sooo messed up and different from country to country that licensing for public isn't practical, as Stephan Kinsella explains (http://blog.mises.org/9240/copyright-is-very-sticky).  He argues that the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/) is sort of the best and simplest tool we got.

Have you taken a look at http://copyfree.org (http://copyfree.org) already?:

Quote
What is Copyfree?

Copyfree is a term used to identify the freedom to copy, use, modify, and distribute what you possess. It is a philosophy that stands in contrast to both copyright and copyleft, in that it does not seek to limit or restrict your rights regarding your possessions at all. Copyfree is not about limited monopoly on the product of the intellect like copyright, nor is it about dictating terms of redistribution like copyleft. It is about control over what you possess and allowing others to control what they possess.

Copyfree is a policy.

Copyfree refers to a policy of freeing the product of the intellect through licensing. This means that it is open source and free software, but it is also much more than software. Any work subject to copyright licensing at all potentially falls within the purview of a copyfree policy.

Copyfree is a standard.

The Copyfree Standard Definition defines the characteristics of a copyfree work. This standard is used to determine compliance of licenses with copyfree policy. Just as the Open Source Initiative certifies licenses as compliant with the Open Source Definition, and the Free Software Foundation defines licenses as Free or Non-Free Software licenses and as Copyleft or non-Copyleft licenses, so too do we identify licenses as Copyfree Standard Definition compliant or noncompliant. See Copyfree Licenses for a list of licenses certified as conforming to the Copyfree Standard Definition.

Copyfree is an idea whose time has come.


Title: Re: Growing the Copyfree Movement
Post by: kiba on November 27, 2010, 06:54:24 AM

Have you taken a look at http://copyfree.org (http://copyfree.org) already?


Thanks. I didn't know such a site exists for copyfree.


Title: Re: Growing the Copyfree Movement
Post by: ribuck on November 27, 2010, 01:56:43 PM
Creative Commons already has what it attempts at a Public Domain License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/publicdomain/), but unfortunately copyright laws are sooo messed up and different from country to country that licensing for public isn't practical

Creative Commons replaced their first attempt at PD with their "CC-ZERO" license (http://creativecommons.org/choose/zero/), which works like public domain but is free of the legal hiccups that PD causes in some countries.

But anyway, the legal "problems" around public domain are not problems for the content creator. Just put your work on the internet and mark it "public domain", and don't sue anyone. Then everyone gets all the benefits of public domain, without needing to invoke lawyers.


Title: Re: Growing the Copyfree Movement
Post by: em3rgentOrdr on November 27, 2010, 03:07:08 PM
Creative Commons already has what it attempts at a Public Domain License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/publicdomain/), but unfortunately copyright laws are sooo messed up and different from country to country that licensing for public isn't practical

Creative Commons replaced their first attempt at PD with their "CC-ZERO" license (http://creativecommons.org/choose/zero/), which works like public domain but is free of the legal hiccups that PD causes in some countries.

Opps, yeah, that is what I meant to link to, the CC0 license.

But anyway, the legal "problems" around public domain are not problems for the content creator. Just put your work on the internet and mark it "public domain", and don't sue anyone. Then everyone gets all the benefits of public domain, without needing to invoke lawyers.

Well I guess the problem is I want people to attribute copies or derivatives to me...it is just that I would never sue anyone...I don't know what this would technically be called.  As Stephan argues, it should already be good professional and internet ettiquite to attribute works, so the CC Attribution License isn't really imposing any significant demands on users, especially if you indicate you will not sue.


Title: Re: Growing the Copyfree Movement
Post by: anarchy on November 27, 2010, 04:11:31 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IeTybKL1pM4


Title: Re: Growing the Copyfree Movement
Post by: mikegogulski on November 27, 2010, 04:14:03 PM
I've been putting out software under the Unlicense (http://unlicense.org/), published last year.


Title: Re: Growing the Copyfree Movement
Post by: RHorning on November 27, 2010, 05:02:34 PM
I have seen so many content licensing methods over the years that this does seem like something near and dear to my heart.

I got started in programming computers early enough that I remember the "gifting culture" that existed when people were more than willing to share software and content with each other freely, where the problem really was more of how to get the content distributed rather than worrying about the price of the content.  Much of modern computing simply wouldn't exist except for people freely sharing knowledge about how things worked, including some rather large corporations willing to share their knowledge of what it is that they were doing.

The largest problem I have with public domain works is that it is more like leaving your car parked in the front drive with the keys in the ignition 24/7/365.  Perhaps you don't even mind if a neighbor takes off with the car for an errand and usually tops off the gas tank when they are done driving and brings it back to the same spot, but eventually you get some scumbag that comes along and totals the car without remorse or simply leaves with the car and never comes back.  Perhaps worse yet, they file a lawsuit against you because a spring in the driver's seat puncture their thigh and caused some medical bills that ended up costing more than the value of the car itself.

Public domain licensing is very much like this on a number of levels, and I've seen people get hurt in a number of ways from it, often when they are trying very hard to be altruistic and generous.  You can throw on legal terms and conditions (aka "use this software at your own risk" and other legal disclaimers) in an attempt to protect yourself, but liability can be a huge issue by itself even if you give something away, and a simple disclaimer often isn't sufficient.

Also, using the stolen car example, I've seen far too often where something put into the public domain was simply "appropriated" and then a copyright assertion was claimed on that public domain content where the original author or developer had to go to court simply to use stuff that they wrote themselves.

There is also what I see as a sort of intellectual dishonesty when somebody gathers several public domain sources of information and content of various kinds and asserts 100% proprietary ownership over that collection (aka "all rights reserved").  One of the worst offenders of this was none other than Bill Gates, who received so much from others giving him stuff to help him get Microsoft going, but gave so little back.  Microsoft as a company is particularly known for incorporating public domain software into their products without even so much as an acknowledgement that anybody but a Microsoft employee wrote the code.

For all this and many other reasons, I'm much more strongly inclined towards licenses like the GPL which give people the freedom to reuse the content and to make changes, but keep the content from getting taken and used in ways that keeps the original authors out of the loop entirely.  I do lean more towards the LGPL more as I think the purists who insist that the viral nature of the GPL must be preserved is also sort of wrong as well and not everybody is in a position to release everything as a GPL'd software or book.  I do understand some of the push-back against the GPL as well.

I'm sort of curious about why this "Copyfree Movement" is different from the "Free Software Movement" and other related content philosophies, and what advantages that it has?  More specifically, since the overall aims are pretty much the same, what complaints there are against the "Free Software" philosophies of Richard Stallman that make this so different?  Some really deep thinking and discussion on this issue has happened before, including the merits or lack thereof over the public domain.


Title: Re: Growing the Copyfree Movement
Post by: kiba on November 27, 2010, 05:10:18 PM
I'm sort of curious about why this "Copyfree Movement" is different from the "Free Software Movement" and other related content philosophies, and what advantages that it has?  More specifically, since the overall aims are pretty much the same, what complaints there are against the "Free Software" philosophies of Richard Stallman that make this so different?  Some really deep thinking and discussion on this issue has happened before, including the merits or lack thereof over the public domain.

Freedom.

Freedom to sell, freedom to modify, freedom to buy, and even freedom to do no attribution.

We are revolting against the institution of copyright itself and to instill a more voluntary society.

Copyleft is a coercive license. It is using an unethical means to achieve a good end.

I believed we should be right in our actions as well in our end.


Title: Re: Growing the Copyfree Movement
Post by: FreeMoney on November 27, 2010, 05:13:14 PM
They can shoot me in the head before I'm going to go begging to use something I made.


Title: Re: Growing the Copyfree Movement
Post by: ribuck on November 27, 2010, 06:38:25 PM
... liability can be a huge issue by itself even if you give something away ...

I think you're unintentionally spreading FUD here. If you give something away into the public domain (in jurisdictions where that can be done) you can't be sued for it. If you think that's not the case, show me a link to a counterexample.

Disclaimers, yes, you need them when you license something to someone. But releasing into the public domain is not licensing.

I've seen far too often where something put into the public domain was simply "appropriated" and then a copyright assertion was claimed on that public domain content where the original author or developer had to go to court simply to use stuff that they wrote themselves.

This can and does happen, but it's not because it's public domain. Exactly the same thing can and does happen where the original author or developer licenses a work under the GPL, a CC license, or a proprietary license.


Title: Re: Growing the Copyfree Movement
Post by: mikegogulski on November 27, 2010, 06:43:56 PM
Agree with kiba, and totally reject RHorning's car analogy. The car is property. If someone takes it and totals it, you're deprived of the use of it. Not so with intellectual "property".

(My main thoughts on the topic: http://www.nostate.com/2323/intellectual-property-does-not-exist/)

What it boils down to in my mind is that in the case of software licenses like the GPL or even something very loose like CC-BY, when you publish you're reserving the "right" to go and shoot somebody who violates the license. Or have the government go shoot them for you.

If I catch you stealing my car, it might be okay to shoot you. If I find you republishing my work against my wishes, it's never okay to shoot you.

This doesn't mean, however, that shooting people (i.e. using state legal means in any fashion) is the only way to sanction infringement. The person who goes and puts his own name on someone else's creation isn't a "criminal" in the judge/jail/police/fines/execution sense, but he sure is a dickhead. And there are all sorts of human ways to deal with dickheads: ostracism, gossip, blacklist, and so on.


Title: Re: Growing the Copyfree Movement
Post by: RHorning on November 27, 2010, 06:54:54 PM
I'm sort of curious about why this "Copyfree Movement" is different from the "Free Software Movement" and other related content philosophies, and what advantages that it has?  More specifically, since the overall aims are pretty much the same, what complaints there are against the "Free Software" philosophies of Richard Stallman that make this so different?  Some really deep thinking and discussion on this issue has happened before, including the merits or lack thereof over the public domain.

Freedom.

Freedom to sell, freedom to modify, freedom to buy, and even freedom to do no attribution.

We are revolting against the institution of copyright itself and to instill a more voluntary society.

Copyleft is a coercive license. It is using an unethical means to achieve a good end.

I believed we should be right in our actions as well in our end.

Copyleft is also about freedom, although I will admit that it is using the existing copyright legislation against itself.... which BTW is one of the things that I find so powerful about copyleft is that it uses the legal tools of those who have corrupted the copyright system for their own ends in such a way that it doesn't work.  If Microsoft (as it has) puts a GPL'd or even LGPL'd software into its operating system, the original authors can point out such use is contrary to the license and therefore it must be removed.  Microsoft can get belligerent about the issue, but they can't "take over" the software without shooting themselves in the foot by essentially opening up their own software.  It is also why Microsoft also looked at Linux as its largest competitor, yet as a company they couldn't engage in the same tactics that they used against other software developers as both the motives and tools to fight "open source" or copylefted software simply wouldn't work.  Taking on a copyleft project became a game of whack-a-mole where you couldn't stop the software from getting distributed.

Perhaps the most telling is the spread of Gnutella, where contractually AOL simply had to acknowledge that the software was GPLd so therefore they couldn't get a court injunction against its distribution.  Try as they might, and AOL did have a huge legal team trying to stop it, Gnutella kept spreading and growing on every attempt to stop it.

I was also somewhat involved tangentially with the DeCSS software that went around the world for awhile.  That it was released under terms of the GPL gave it tremendous power so far as the tools to squash it as a piece of software simply couldn't revolve around copyright legislation at all.  The authorship of the software itself was never in doubt nor the ability to copy it freely.  The complaint was more of a contract dispute and "stealing trade secrets".

The point of copyleft is to maintain that freedom, and to ensure that others will also continue to have that freedom in the future.  If you try to ignore copyright legislation as though it doesn't exist, hard cruel reality sets in where essentially you will be pushed to the side and ignored or as I've said you will even be prohibited from using what you made and credit for your work stripped from you.  Most "public domain" licenses seem like naivety on the part of those who put them together.

More importantly, a copyleft environment is a means to the end of bringing down copyright by making it absurd in its application.  I see public domain advocates as simply burying their heads in the sand pretending that copyright doesn't exist at all.

To use another analogy, it is like heading off to a battle field unarmed on the hopes that everybody is going to be nice to you because you aren't shooting at them.  Wonderful in theory but in practice it tends to get you killed.

Public domain content is not a new idea and what I'm trying to say is that I've seen many people get burned from it.  With copyleft content, it hasn't been nearly so bad and as a practical matter the copyleft content tends to survive much longer and gets a foothold in society where public domain content usually doesn't.

Yes, I do understand why some are arguing against copyleft licenses, but you should also understand why such licenses are put together first before you start attacking them too.


Title: Re: Growing the Copyfree Movement
Post by: kiba on November 27, 2010, 07:05:45 PM

The point of copyleft is to maintain that freedom, and to ensure that others will also continue to have that freedom in the future.  If you try to ignore copyright legislation as though it doesn't exist, hard cruel reality sets in where essentially you will be pushed to the side and ignored or as I've said you will even be prohibited from using what you made and credit for your work stripped from you.  Most "public domain" licenses seem like naivety on the part of those who put them together.

More importantly, a copyleft environment is a means to the end of bringing down copyright by making it absurd in its application.  I see public domain advocates as simply burying their heads in the sand pretending that copyright doesn't exist at all.

To use another analogy, it is like heading off to a battle field unarmed on the hopes that everybody is going to be nice to you because you aren't shooting at them.  Wonderful in theory but in practice it tends to get you killed.

Public domain content is not a new idea and what I'm trying to say is that I've seen many people get burned from it.  With copyleft content, it hasn't been nearly so bad and as a practical matter the copyleft content tends to survive much longer and gets a foothold in society where public domain content usually doesn't.

The point is not about ignoring copyright and burying our heads into the sands. It is cruel to see people copyrighting your own work. It is cruel that people mis-attributed your work as someone else. It really does sucks.

However, part of the philosophy of copyfree is whether or not you choose to share. We do not force you to share the source code, to guarantee that someone can always modify. We promised not to use violence on individuals that don't share or don't cooperate. Above all, we respect your property right.

The GPL does not respect your property right. It forces you to share the source when you distribute. It is very different from the philosophy of copyfree.

I am not an idiot naive person who expect people to be nice.  I am a capitalistic and entrepreneurial person who will put up a fight. I will do it the right, proper way, not with copyright lawyers with blazing guns.


Title: Re: Growing the Copyfree Movement
Post by: ribuck on November 27, 2010, 08:04:49 PM
Copyleft (e.g. the GPL, or CC-SA) maximizes the freedom of the creative work itself.

Public domain, or weak copyright (e.g. BSD, MIT, CC Attribution) maximizes the freedom of the users of the creative work.


Title: Re: Growing the Copyfree Movement
Post by: RHorning on November 27, 2010, 08:48:42 PM
Copyleft (e.g. the GPL, or CC-SA) maximizes the freedom of the creative work itself.

Public domain, or weak copyright (e.g. BSD, MIT, CC Attribution) maximizes the freedom of the users of the creative work.

Neither approach is really all that friendly toward copyright law in the first place, it is mainly a matter of perspective on how that should be dealt with.

Public domain content has been around for years, including public domain software.  This isn't really all that new of a concept.  Copyleft is somewhat new which is why it has been sort of controversial and has been disruptive, because people have been forced into adapting to the environment created with copyleft content.  It has also "put legs" on content created with copyleft systems.

In terms of me creating something and then slapping on a content license, which would you prefer?  Something like the GPL or a proprietary "all rights reserved" license?  I guess that is part of the issue here too.

With public domain content, I can certainly use the freedom enjoyed by those who have put it there, but at the same time I can create a derivative work where I claim copyright "all rights reserved".  I can't do that with GPL'd content or similar licenses.

To throw some further thought on this, there are also those who insist upon "non-commercial use only" licenses such as the CC-SA-NC license and some others that are there for sharing content, but have even stronger restrictions.  I like the fact that the GPL does allow me to make a profit and engage in commercial activity with software under that license and a "non-commercial" license doesn't do that either.

Copyright laws exist, and you can't get away from it.  In fact, unlike in the past you don't even have an option any more to avoid copyright unless you explicitly demand that the content must be in the public domain, such as what is being done here with this "Copyfree Movement".  That wasn't always the case.  From a political and philosophical basis, I think the original sense of the U.S. Constitution is really a better way to deal with the issue so far as "granting for a limited time" protection to authors who "promote the useful arts and sciences".  Life + 70 is not the limited time the framers of the U.S. Constitution envisioned, and protecting a gene sequence isn't "promoting the useful arts and sciences".

I really think the concept that a copyright has no force until it is formally registered is a good idea too, but that is irrelevant for this conversation.

Certainly there is no reason to bash copyleft explicitly other than to suggest that there is a philosophically different approach going on here.  Both copyleft and those putting a weak copyright license on stuff are trying to share content, the difference is how.  When I copyleft my content, I am expecting that the content will remain free, which is my motive for doing so.  If you don't care that it remains free, it is your privilege to open up your own content in that manner.  You are also free to ignore what I make as well.


Title: Re: Growing the Copyfree Movement
Post by: kiba on November 27, 2010, 09:06:44 PM

Copyright laws exist, and you can't get away from it.  In fact, unlike in the past you don't even have an option any more to avoid copyright unless you explicitly demand that the content must be in the public domain, such as what is being done here with this "Copyfree Movement".  That wasn't always the case.  From a political and philosophical basis, I think the original sense of the U.S. Constitution is really a better way to deal with the issue so far as "granting for a limited time" protection to authors who "promote the useful arts and sciences".  Life + 70 is not the limited time the framers of the U.S. Constitution envisioned, and protecting a gene sequence isn't "promoting the useful arts and sciences".

There is no evidence to suggest that copyright laws were ever beneficial, economically.

Quote
I really think the concept that a copyright has no force until it is formally registered is a good idea too, but that is irrelevant for this conversation.

Certainly there is no reason to bash copyleft explicitly other than to suggest that there is a philosophically different approach going on here.  Both copyleft and those putting a weak copyright license on stuff are trying to share content, the difference is how.  When I copyleft my content, I am expecting that the content will remain free, which is my motive for doing so.  If you don't care that it remains free, it is your privilege to open up your own content in that manner.  You are also free to ignore what I make as well.

Copyleft is quite unnecessary for no other reason that non-sharing and the lawsuits of pirates imparts inferior economic benefit than the freedom of distribution and modification. In the 19th century, there were massive piracy of British literature but also patronage by players in the American literacy market. American writers were especially angry about this situation.They petitioned the government to grant British writers the same right, supposedly for the idea of an author's natural right.

Eric's Cathedral and the Bazaar illustrate the economic superiority of open source production system over closed source. The speedier evolutionary rate of open source software will eventually win over the close source. GPL is only useful if you lived in a world where the productivity difference between close source and open source are vanishingly small.

However, my position is ultimately a libertarian one. We reject copyright and patents on the ground that is unethical to coerce individuals from doing their own things with the property that they possess.


Title: Re: Growing the Copyfree Movement
Post by: em3rgentOrdr on November 28, 2010, 12:20:06 AM
From http://unlicense.org (http://unlicense.org):

Quote
How many precious hours of your life have you spent deliberating how to license your software or worrying about licensing compatibility with other software? You will never get those hours back, but here's your chance to start cutting your losses. Life's too short, let's get back to coding.

LOL!  Yeah, tell me about it.  I've probably wasted hundreds of hours on my life thinking about differences in software licenses and compatibility issues!  And I'm not getting those hours back!   :-\


Title: Re: Growing the Copyfree Movement
Post by: nanotube on November 28, 2010, 06:07:23 AM
I think you're unintentionally spreading FUD here. If you give something away into the public domain (in jurisdictions where that can be done) you can't be sued for it. If you think that's not the case, show me a link to a counterexample.
i will do just that, then, my friend :)
apparently you have not heard of the rather famous JMRI court case.
Here are some links you may find enlightening:

http://itmanagement.earthweb.com/osrc/article.php/3775446/Bruce+Perens:+A+Big+Change+for+Open+Source.htm
http://itmanagement.earthweb.com/features/article.php/3866316/Bruce-Perens-Inside-Open-Sources-Historic-Victory
http://perens.com/works/testimony/PerensJMRI.pdf

in brief: 'good guy' writes foss software. licensis it under the weak "artistic license". 'bad guy' goes and makes a closed-source offshoot of it, even files some patents, and then sues the original author for infringing his patent/copyright.

if you read bruce perens' analysis, the case was made much harder since the weak 'artistic license' was used.

after you're done with that, might want to see bruce's analysis of foss licenses: http://itmanagement.earthweb.com/osrc/article.php/3803101/Bruce-Perens-How-Many-Open-Source-Licenses-Do-You-Need.htm

In summary... I'm firmly in the camp of using copyleft-style licenses. If i make something and give it out for free, I want the takers to return the favor.


Title: Re: Growing the Copyfree Movement
Post by: kiba on November 28, 2010, 06:21:03 AM
Evildoers' deeds could be used as political ammunition.

Mostly to damage the credibility of copyright and patent institution in question.

I won't say it is not without risk, to be copyfree.


Title: Re: Growing the Copyfree Movement
Post by: nanotube on November 28, 2010, 06:28:55 AM
Evildoers' deeds could be used as political ammunition.

Mostly to damage the credibility of copyright and patent institution in question.

I won't say it is not without risk, to be copyfree.

well, more power to you, whatever makes you happy.

but as i see it, protesting thievery by leaving your valuables on the sidewalk is not a functional long-term strategy. :)


Title: Re: Growing the Copyfree Movement
Post by: kiba on November 28, 2010, 06:43:30 AM

well, more power to you, whatever makes you happy.

but as i see it, protesting thievery by leaving your valuables on the sidewalk is not a functional long-term strategy. :)

There's some method to my madness.


Title: Re: Growing the Copyfree Movement
Post by: tyler on November 28, 2010, 10:43:55 AM

well, more power to you, whatever makes you happy.

but as i see it, protesting thievery by leaving your valuables on the sidewalk is not a functional long-term strategy. :)

There's some method to my madness.


if there was, it wouldn't be called madness


Title: Re: Growing the Copyfree Movement
Post by: ribuck on November 28, 2010, 02:25:56 PM
I think you're unintentionally spreading FUD here. If you give something away into the public domain (in jurisdictions where that can be done) you can't be sued for it. If you think that's not the case, show me a link to a counterexample.
i will do just that, then, my friend :)
apparently you have not heard of the rather famous JMRI court case....

in brief: 'good guy' writes foss software. licensis it under the weak "artistic license". 'bad guy' goes and makes a closed-source offshoot of it, even files some patents, and then sues the original author for infringing his patent/copyright.

I know the JMRI court case well, but it's not a counterexample because (1) no-one gave anything away into the public domain (the software was permissively licensed), and (2) Katzer sued the original author for infringing his patent, NOT for infringing copyright.

For sure, the patent system is seriously broken, as is the court system, but even so Katzer lost in the end and "good guy" Jacobsen won.


Title: Re: Growing the Copyfree Movement
Post by: kiba on November 28, 2010, 05:44:58 PM
apparently you have not heard of the rather famous JMRI court case....

in brief: 'good guy' writes foss software. licensis it under the weak "artistic license". 'bad guy' goes and makes a closed-source offshoot of it, even files some patents, and then sues the original author for infringing his patent/copyright.

I know the JMRI court case well, but it's not a counterexample because (1) no-one gave anything away into the public domain (the software was permissively licensed), and (2) Katzer sued the original author for infringing his patent, NOT for infringing copyright.

For sure, the patent system is seriously broken, as is the court system, but even so Katzer lost in the end and "good guy" Jacobsen won.

[/quote]

It is also apparently a very high profile case.

Nonetheless, suing a very prominent individual who release stuff under the public domain might actually be dangerous.

If you sued Jason Rohrer, who make public domain games, there would be massive coverage by the gaming media.


Title: Re: Growing the Copyfree Movement
Post by: nanotube on November 28, 2010, 06:22:11 PM
I think you're unintentionally spreading FUD here. If you give something away into the public domain (in jurisdictions where that can be done) you can't be sued for it. If you think that's not the case, show me a link to a counterexample.
i will do just that, then, my friend :)
apparently you have not heard of the rather famous JMRI court case....

in brief: 'good guy' writes foss software. licensis it under the weak "artistic license". 'bad guy' goes and makes a closed-source offshoot of it, even files some patents, and then sues the original author for infringing his patent/copyright.

I know the JMRI court case well, but it's not a counterexample because (1) no-one gave anything away into the public domain (the software was permissively licensed), and (2) Katzer sued the original author for infringing his patent, NOT for infringing copyright.

For sure, the patent system is seriously broken, as is the court system, but even so Katzer lost in the end and "good guy" Jacobsen won.


well, if you read perens's analysis of the case, the very permissive 'artistic license' made the case for the 'good side' more difficult. 'public domain' would have even worse issues.

i'm specifically referring to the second link i posted:
http://itmanagement.earthweb.com/features/article.php/3866316/Bruce-Perens-Inside-Open-Sources-Historic-Victory


Title: Re: Growing the Copyfree Movement
Post by: RHorning on November 28, 2010, 06:30:09 PM
It is also apparently a very high profile case.

Nonetheless, suing a very prominent individual who release stuff under the public domain might actually be dangerous.

If you sued Jason Rohrer, who make public domain games, there would be massive coverage by the gaming media.

I have never heard of this guy and had to look up his Wikipedia entry just to find out who he might be, and I expect that the "mainstream news media" would mostly ignore him if he got sued, even if the "gaming news" would be screaming "off with their heads" and all sorts of legal defense funds being organized.

Similar events have happened on much less terms, including the definitive legal case of SCO v. IBM.  Why a bunch of idiots in Provo, Utah decided to take on the Nazgul in a direct head to head fight over intellectual property is beyond me, but what is especially funny is how it actually strengthened open source software as a direct result.  FYI, the IBM legal department is commonly referred to as "The Nazgul" because of their tendency to suck the life out of you once you get on their radar... and that they don't give up until they win.  They almost always win if they get into a court room too.  That IBM also scored some brownie points by defending software written with a BSD license is a huge bonus too.  In spite of the major players involved in this particular legal fight (including Microsoft supporting SCO) it barely got any sort of press attention at all.  One of SCO's main arguments in this case was that copyleft was somehow "UnAmerican" and somehow unconstitutional abuse of copyright law as well.  Essentially, once the content was put "out there" for free, it could be appropriated by anybody without regard to licensing at all.. or at least somewhat on those terms.  SCO kept changing their story over time so it is hard to nail down their exact argument here and with even the BSD license it became awkward for that group.

What I find interesting here with this "Copyfree Movement" is the attacks against copyleft, such as demonstrated with this thread.  The real fight ought to be against those who would lock up all content and not permit any sort of public domain content from getting created in the first place.  I really wish that Eldred v. Ashcroft has a different result, and the dissenting opinion by Justice Breyer (certainly worth a read if you get a chance) about the attacks on the public domain through essentially perpetual copyright are by far and away of much greater concern.

Copyleft is merely one approach in an attempt to ensure that content made available to everybody will remain so.  I hope that a common area that we can agree upon is that "Steamboat Willie" can and ought to be in the public domain.  Some have argued that perhaps it already is too, but that is a digression that would involve the Disney legal team.


Title: Re: Growing the Copyfree Movement
Post by: kiba on November 28, 2010, 06:38:23 PM
It is also apparently a very high profile case.

Nonetheless, suing a very prominent individual who release stuff under the public domain might actually be dangerous.

If you sued Jason Rohrer, who make public domain games, there would be massive coverage by the gaming media.

What I find interesting here with this "Copyfree Movement" is the attacks against copyleft, such as demonstrated with this thread.  The real fight ought to be against those who would lock up all content and not permit any sort of public domain content from getting created in the first place.  I really wish that Eldred v. Ashcroft has a different result, and the dissenting opinion by Justice Breyer (certainly worth a read if you get a chance) about the attacks on the public domain through essentially perpetual copyright are by far and away of much greater concern.

Copyleft is merely one approach in an attempt to ensure that content made available to everybody will remain so.  I hope that a common area that we can agree upon is that "Steamboat Willie" can and ought to be in the public domain.  Some have argued that perhaps it already is too, but that is a digression that would involve the Disney legal team.

The goal of the movement is to abolish these institution, not perpetuate it.

What do we gain from applying copyleft? Sure, some protection from evil folks. Protections that make us dependent on intellectual property.

You misunderstood us as wanting to help people share. Sharing is nice, but that's not what we're about. It's about property right, damn it.


Title: Re: Growing the Copyfree Movement
Post by: em3rgentOrdr on November 28, 2010, 07:48:52 PM
The goal of the movement is to abolish these institution, not perpetuate it.

What do we gain from applying copyleft? Sure, some protection from evil folks. Protections that make us dependent on intellectual property.

You misunderstood us as wanting to help people share. Sharing is nice, but that's not what we're about. It's about property right, damn it.

Amen!  Kiba speaks the truth!  There is a reason why kiba has "Hero" next to his name :)


Title: Re: Growing the Copyfree Movement
Post by: RHorning on November 28, 2010, 08:34:59 PM
The goal of the movement is to abolish these institution, not perpetuate it.

What do we gain from applying copyleft? Sure, some protection from evil folks. Protections that make us dependent on intellectual property.

You misunderstood us as wanting to help people share. Sharing is nice, but that's not what we're about. It's about property right, damn it.

I don't understand the path or means to achieve the ends claimed here then.  Placing content into the public domain seems to me more akin to placing property into a public commons.  Property rights are about exclusive control of something, so if it is about property rights this seems like a backwards way of getting the goal accomplished.

Presuming that the day comes where a vast majority of the content is produced with a copyleft license, by its existence it discourages lawmakers from extending copyright terms or coming up with laws that give more control to authors and originators of copyright.  In fact, under such a situation there will be pressure to reduce copyright terms and put further restrictions on copyrighted content on the part of those who are selfish (aka MPAA and RIAA) so they can maintain their business models.  Microsoft doesn't want GPL'd software to have strong copyright protections so they may be willing to lobby congressmen to weaken copyright law if only to potentially kill off a competitor.  It may shoot themselves in the foot, but their goal would be to capture the GPL'd software for their own uses.

I just don't see that happening with weak licenses or even flat out public domain content.  If anything, the historical trend has been to enact laws which capture content in the public domain for the exclusive use of the major publishers and those who would be content gatekeepers.  The GPL and other copyleft licenses are now a defense against that from happening.

I also think it would require something akin to a radical revolution and complete overthrow of governments in order to abolish copyright as a concept.

If you want to give your stuff away, that is your option and pleasure.  I happen to disagree that it is the best action to take.

I guess where I have a problem here is that it seems like the concept of copyleft is itself under attack by this philosophy more than being critical of copyright restrictions by those who lock stuff up in a proprietary way.  I'm saying that there is some common ground to work together to stop those would would keep public domain content from ever being created in the first place, which ought to be the first order of business.  There certainly are people who would rather you never be permitted to place stuff in the public domain and I find it unfortunate that it is now so incredibly difficult to do so even if that is your deliberate intention.  If you want to give your stuff away to others, you should at least be free to do so.  At the moment, unfortunately, you do have to explicitly "license" your content to the public domain, as weird as that should seem.


Title: Re: Growing the Copyfree Movement
Post by: kiba on November 28, 2010, 08:44:38 PM

I don't understand the path or means to achieve the ends claimed here then.  Placing content into the public domain seems to me more akin to placing property into a public commons.  Property rights are about exclusive control of something, so if it is about property rights this seems like a backwards way of getting the goal accomplished.

We want people to have exclusive control over the patterns that they acquired. We don't want authors or large corporations controlling patterns you have in your mind, or have special privileges in the market.

We are not against contracts, signed voluntary, that disallow you to distribute it under certain term. However, we are against third parties being inflicted upon by contracts that they did not agree to.

That is the libertarian position.


Title: Re: Growing the Copyfree Movement
Post by: kiba on November 28, 2010, 08:48:02 PM
If you want to give your stuff away to others, you should at least be free to do so.  At the moment, unfortunately, you do have to explicitly "license" your content to the public domain, as weird as that should seem.

I did not gave my art away, I sold them.


Title: Re: Growing the Copyfree Movement
Post by: RHorning on November 28, 2010, 09:49:14 PM
If you want to give your stuff away to others, you should at least be free to do so.  At the moment, unfortunately, you do have to explicitly "license" your content to the public domain, as weird as that should seem.

I did not gave my art away, I sold them.

There is a huge difference between selling art and the concept of putting something into the public domain.  Perhaps we are talking past each other here then as well.

As an author and software developer, I take these issues very seriously and it significantly impacts my ability to provide those things I need to survive and to take care of my family.  As a result, I have become about as well versed in copyright law as a master electrician would be with the national electrical code.  It is the tool of my trade and how I'm able to sustain myself.

When I "sell" a piece of software, I either sell the whole package and everything to it, or I sell a copy of that software.  That is two rather different things on a legal basis, as I think it ought to be as well.   In the case of those to whom I have sold the entire software package, I am selling all of the "rights" and legal options to that package as well and essentially giving up any control over that software to those making the purchase.  BTW, I make most people pay dearly for that option as well and usually charge at a minimum of $50/hour for software that I develop in that fashion, or demand a comfortable salary with generous benefits and a long-term contract.  I write the software, but those who are paying for it can do whatever they want including throwing it away and never using it.  That also seems to be the story of my life that most of it gets thrown out, but that is a side issue.

If you have a copy of my software, on the other hand, what right do you have to turn around and start handing that to anybody you please?  I'm also talking here the difference between an artist who makes an oil painting vs. a bunch of lithographs.  Artists that make money off of lithographs depend upon the limited availability of their works again to make a living.  Perhaps some other way can be made to pay the artist such as the patronage system of centuries ago, but in a mass market that seems to be the best way on how artists can pay for their time they put into that art work.

There is indeed some stuff that I've done where I've literally given it away, essentially placed it straight into the public domain.  Some stuff that I've made as copyleft content, and I've even tried shareware and "postcardware" (just asking people to let me know that you are using it).  I've also sold commercial software too.  The stated purpose of copyright law is to give incentives to an artist or author (in my case) to have a financial ability to earn an income or perhaps have "other considerations" applied to my work.  The "other considerations" with copyleft licenses is that I insist that you "pay it forward" to give others the ability to also share in what I make and you can't hoard it for yourself.

We want people to have exclusive control over the patterns that they acquired. We don't want authors or large corporations controlling patterns you have in your mind, or have special privileges in the market.

We are not against contracts, signed voluntary, that disallow you to distribute it under certain term. However, we are against third parties being inflicted upon by contracts that they did not agree to.

That is the libertarian position.

Nobody is forcing a third party to enter into an agreement with copyleft content.  They are free to take or leave that content as they see fit, but if they take the content they must follow the terms of that content.  Copyleft is usually a distribution agreement that spells out the terms and conditions for distribution of the content, where as the GPL explicitly states if you choose to ignore those terms then the license is completely void and you have no distribution rights at all.  If you say you aren't against voluntary contracts that disallow distribution under certain terms, I fail to see why the GPL is necessarily such an "evil license".  If anything, it give more freedom because it allows 3rd parties to have the option to engage in distribution where most other similar kinds of contracts simply prohibit such a practice altogether. 

With a "standard" distribution contract, a 3rd party can't use the content other than to simply view it, and even that is heavily regulated.  Something like the CC-by-SA license on a movie would certainly permit it to be projected on a huge screen in Central Park in New York City... without even paying a royalty to the creator of the movie.  In fact, people watching such a movie could pull out their camcorders and make a complete copy of that same movie, post copies of that movie on YouTube or even press a DVD and sell that movie at a retail outlet.  How many "proprietary" licenses allow you to do that?  All that the CC-by-SA license insists is that those who buy the DVD and then decide to show it in San Francisco (or wherever else they may go) permit the same ability to others to freely copy the movie.  They can't ban camcorders as a form of copyright violation on the subsequent showings.  That, to me, sounds a whole lot like liberty and fredom.

I do have problems with EULAs and in particular shrink-wrap licenses, as it really isn't a license at all.  Those are things I find horrifying that courts even permit them as they include terms and conditions that can extract monetary damages and basically give a blank check to some of those companies to even perform identity theft and get away with it legally or other things that are really hideous.  Again, if you want to find a place to attack, it is something like that which has perverted even the very notion of copyright.  Attack the real evil even if you think that copyleft might be the lesser evil.

BTW, I really don't see how this is "the libertarian position", as I know many libertarians who certainly embrace and support the copyleft principles.


Title: Re: Growing the Copyfree Movement
Post by: kiba on November 28, 2010, 09:52:29 PM
If you have a copy of my software, on the other hand, what right do you have to turn around and start handing that to anybody you please?  I'm also talking here the difference between an artist who makes an oil painting vs. a bunch of lithographs.  Artists that make money off of lithographs depend upon the limited availability of their works again to make a living.  Perhaps some other way can be made to pay the artist such as the patronage system of centuries ago, but in a mass market that seems to be the best way on how artists can pay for their time they put into that art work.

Same right I have to turn around and sell a car.

In any case, I also thought long and hard about this. I concluded that I can make a living doing public domain work. Next is experimentation to see if that work.


Nobody is forcing a third party to enter into an agreement with copyleft content.  as a form of copyright violation on the subsequent showings.  That, to me, sounds a whole lot like liberty and fredom.

A contract is something you signed, not a license you look at and then take. Under a libertarian society, a copyright contract is just a standard contract. But obviously, things work differently.

BTW, I really don't see how this is "the libertarian position", as I know many libertarians who certainly embrace and support the copyleft principles.


Perhaps you been sleeping under a rock. Libertarianism had undergone a revolutionary change in how they think about intellectual property. The answer is to abolish it. It had occurred to such an extent that the Ludwig von Mises published under Creative Common Attribution but also published articles that argued for the abolishment of intellectual property.


Title: Re: Growing the Copyfree Movement
Post by: nanotube on November 29, 2010, 12:38:25 AM
It had occurred to such an extent that the Ludwig von Mises published under Creative Common Attribution but also published articles that argued for the abolishment of intellectual property.
So let me just double-check this... you say he published under CC-BY, rather than under public domain, eh? :)

And while I'm here - I am quite willing to /entertain/ the idea of abolishing copyright altogether (though in my current thinking I lean toward a reduction of terms to something like 5 years instead, at least to start with, rather than complete abolishment).

The problem is that /currently/ copyright does exist, and IMHO a more effective way to fight it is copyleft licensing, rather than PD, since with PD you're basically saying here bad guys, take my stuff, even though you refuse to let me do the same with your stuff, I'm going to be the doormat. With GPL and friends, you give as good as you're getting.


Title: Re: Growing the Copyfree Movement
Post by: kiba on November 29, 2010, 12:56:54 AM
It had occurred to such an extent that the Ludwig von Mises published under Creative Common Attribution but also published articles that argued for the abolishment of intellectual property.
So let me just double-check this... you say he published under CC-BY, rather than under public domain, eh? :)

And while I'm here - I am quite willing to /entertain/ the idea of abolishing copyright altogether (though in my current thinking I lean toward a reduction of terms to something like 5 years instead, at least to start with, rather than complete abolishment).
It's the Ludwig von Mises Institute. Sorry about giving it that a single person.

Quote
The problem is that /currently/ copyright does exist, and IMHO a more effective way to fight it is copyleft licensing, rather than PD, since with PD you're basically saying here bad guys, take my stuff, even though you refuse to let me do the same with your stuff, I'm going to be the doormat. With GPL and friends, you give as good as you're getting.

The copyright and patent game can occurs with copyleft licenses too, not just public domain.

But, what I am doing is using the media effect in reverse. Just as pirates popularize movies and games to certain extent, then media corporations that use my stuff will end up popularizing my stuff. People will find out, eventually.

You might think this is naive theory. Perhaps it is, but we should wait for experimental data for how that theory works out.

Moreover, if you think open source development model is a superior model, then eventually it will win out. At that point, you can shape and use public opinion and media coverage(created by the court) to change the way people think about copyright. Lawsuits and legal wars are just minor hindrance.

People won't change their opinion if they don't see me letting stuff into the public domain. They will think "this guy have no balls", or "this guy is bullshiting me".

I gottach have creditability. Where do I get it if I used copyright myself? Imagine having to explain that my work is under copyright law for X reasons.


Title: Re: Growing the Copyfree Movement
Post by: bober182 on November 29, 2010, 01:09:05 AM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WTFPL

that is all


Title: Re: Growing the Copyfree Movement
Post by: RHorning on November 29, 2010, 06:36:14 AM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WTFPL

that is all

While that is an interesting license, I seriously doubt it would hold up in court at all.... even to be used as documentation of granting content to the public domain.  If you left the license name as-is, it certainly would be thrown out.

If you have a copy of my software, on the other hand, what right do you have to turn around and start handing that to anybody you please?  I'm also talking here the difference between an artist who makes an oil painting vs. a bunch of lithographs.  Artists that make money off of lithographs depend upon the limited availability of their works again to make a living.  Perhaps some other way can be made to pay the artist such as the patronage system of centuries ago, but in a mass market that seems to be the best way on how artists can pay for their time they put into that art work.

Same right I have to turn around and sell a car.


It isn't the same thing.   Perhaps it is more like leasing your care for a day to a neighbor or something like that, but it isn't selling a car.

That is sort of the funny thing about reproducible content is that you can give a "copy" to somebody else, but you still essentially have the original.

BTW, I am a firm believer in the "first sale doctrine" which does give you the ability to receive a book, or a lithograph, or any other thing if you have legally purchased it and sell that particular copy to somebody else.  Just like a car.  You just aren't allowed to reproduce that item and sell it to several people.  Again, like a car.  This is also enshrined in at least U.S. copyright law explicitly and contrary to any other EULA or other sort of "license" is perfectly legal.  Many other countries have a similar kind of legal principle (but not all of them).

One of the vexing problems with computer software is this first sale doctrine and determining how you can sell a copy of that software to a 3rd party.  This is something that really hasn't been dealt with by the judicial system very well.

What is not defined is this reproduction right, which is something addressed by copyleft licenses as it spells out the terms and conditions for how you are permitted to redistribute that software when making multiple copies.  The first sale doctrine is still there and you are certainly free to resell a GFDL'd book under the first sale doctrine without even considering the licensing terms at all.  Better yet, the person who buys that book doesn't have to negotiate redistribution terms as they are also spelled out so that 3rd party is certainly free to redistribute that book including making multiple copies if they choose.


In any case, I also thought long and hard about this. I concluded that I can make a living doing public domain work. Next is experimentation to see if that work.


Nobody is forcing a third party to enter into an agreement with copyleft content.  as a form of copyright violation on the subsequent showings.  That, to me, sounds a whole lot like liberty and fredom.

A contract is something you signed, not a license you look at and then take. Under a libertarian society, a copyright contract is just a standard contract. But obviously, things work differently.

If you want a signed contract, you are certainly free to contact the author or content creator and sign a contract and perhaps even negotiate separate terms explicitly for yourself.  The licensing terms for a copyleft license essentially are a contract that you are in turn permitted to extend those terms of that contract to a 3rd party.... at your pleasure of doing so or choosing not to redistribute multiple copies to anybody else either.  If you choose to ignore the terms of a copyleft license, you certainly are not compelled to do anything more.  Many proprietary licenses on the other hand can compel you to do things you may not want to do.

BTW, I really don't see how this is "the libertarian position", as I know many libertarians who certainly embrace and support the copyleft principles.


Perhaps you been sleeping under a rock. Libertarianism had undergone a revolutionary change in how they think about intellectual property. The answer is to abolish it. It had occurred to such an extent that the Ludwig von Mises published under Creative Common Attribution but also published articles that argued for the abolishment of intellectual property.

I guess I'm a part of a different "libertarian" group than you are, but then again the group I've been working with is more concerned about actually winning elections and trying to get people with a libertarian philosophy into political office.  And yes, there have been some successes in that regard.  I will agree that those who profess to be libertarians tend to be very individualistic and hold to their own opinions rather hard, which is sort of why I like to hang around them too.  There are also far more people than you would imagine who hold libertarian philosophies in general, at least subscribing to many of the libertarian philosophies.

In terms of intellectual property myself, I also happen to agree with Richard Stallman on the philosophy that the very term "intellectual property" is a horrible term and is improperly used in the first place.  If you are talking about that, there are three completely separate (possibly four) principles you are talking about which are governed by completely different laws.  They are copyright, patents, trademarks, and trade secrets.  These are so distinct in America at least that they are regulated and monitored by completely separate branches of government.  That is about as distinct as you can get.  Copyright is regulated almost exclusively by the legislative branch through the Library of Congress, which doesn't even report to the President of the U.S.A. but rather to the Speaker of the House and the President Pro Tem of the Senate directly.  Patent and trademark law is jointly administered by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, however even that has separate divisions that independently regulate patents and trademarks as separate issues entirely.  And trade secrets aren't even a federal issue at all as they are regulated exclusively in America as state law rather than federal law.  So when you talk about intellectual property, it gets real messy unless you are talking something specific.  It is the mixing of these concepts that causes much of the problem, and even an "intellectual property lawyer" who doesn't specialize in one of those four areas more explicitly is likely going to be a lousy lawyer.

I've stated that I like copyleft licenses, but that I also think copyright terms are far too long.  I've seen suggestions of reverting to a 17 year time span for copyright protection (what the Copyright Act of 1789 originally proposed).  That would put stuff even with the most draconian of copyright protection into the public domain yet it would provide those who wish to use copyright to earn an income to be able to do so.  I really don't see why anybody is going to be desperate to make money off of something they made over 15 years ago.  On this, I happen to agree that more stuff should be in the Public Domain.  George Lucas has made plenty of money off of Star Wars and it is about time that Darth Vader enter the public domain.  I really don't think George Lucas is being inspired to make another Star Wars movie (heave help us!) because Star Wars episode IV is going to be re-released in the theaters to help him pay for that.  Ditto for the "Sound of Music", "Citizen Kane", "Gone with the Wind" and many other cultural treasures which really do belong to all of mankind at the moment, but are considered "owned" by some big studio. or in the case of "Gone with the Wind" it is owned by Time-Warner by way of Ted Turner.  Again, I don't think Ted Turner (who didn't even make the movie, he just "purchased" the "ownership" rights) is going to be inspired to make a sequel to "Gone with the Wind" because of residuals earned by rebroadcasting that particular movie.  All this said, I think there is a role for copyright protection for the individual author and it does make a difference.  The scope of copyrights certainly could be significantly curtailed where it would help all of mankind in general.

Patents are something that I would have to agree are simply bogus to the point that it is a con game going on by Patent attorneys and telemarketers who are trying to sell the dream of perhaps making it big with some cool invention.  I know of many people who actually have patents issued to them including co-workers and relatives.  Of those, I don't know a single person who made a dime off of a patent.  I know of at least somebody who saved their behind in a patent infringement lawsuit by having another patent that could be established as "prior art" and turned the lawsuit around as the litigator turned out to be infringing and forcing a settlement of essentially dropping the whole lawsuit with prejudice.  That was cute and interesting, but it certainly wasn't a money earner and shows the corruption with the patent system.  Patents don't preserve human knowledge, nor do they really tell you how to be able to reproduce an invention based upon the claims issued in a patent application.  That at least is the supposed rationale for why patents exist in the first place as it is supposed to preserve a record of human progress and the advancement of science.  It doesn't work that way, unfortunately.  Being overly vague, broad, and ignoring prior art makes their use in human society completely worthless.  I would not recommend anybody getting a patent except explicitly to cover their behind in an industry full of patents.  Even then, consider the patent grant as an ego stroke and something to throw into the bottom drawer of a design studio until it is needed as a legal version of a nuclear strike.  They are about as useful as a nuclear bomb too.  I consider patents to be a legal experiment which has simply failed in practice.

Trademarks are also heavily abused, but their use in trade has a role.  As a brand when used as an adjective (aka "Kleenex brand tissues") they serve a role in terms of preventing fraud and acknowledging who is in fact responsible for making something.  If you have a Ford automobile that blows up when the gas pedal gets stuck to the floor, you have a company you can sue for negligence.  If somebody makes a car claiming it is a Ford but in reality is made by "Honest John's auto builders", they are engaging in a fraudulent relationship with the customer who is buying that vehicle.  The brand has real meaning and helps to know that you are getting something from a particular person or organization.  I have a problem with brands that are "licensed" to the point they are worthless, such as quite a bit of "merchandise" with the Coca-Cola label (much of that stuff not made by the Coca-Cola company of Atlanta, Georgia) or worse yet the "General Electric" trademark which is completely worthless in terms of even remotely knowing who made the product with that trademark.  In particular, I think the use of the term "Realtor" is a gross misuse of a trademark and should have been declared a generic term through its usage.  There are problems with trademarks, but the general concept does have merit.  Much of the abuse of trademarks come from people trying to turn a trademark into copyright, but without time limits.  This also gets back to the whole issue of "intellectual property" I mentioned above.

Trade Secrets have a role, but that is mostly contractual.  If you agree to keep a secret, that agreement ought to be a formal and signed contract.  I've done that on a couple of occasions and perhaps it was necessary considering what I was dealing with.  If you let a competitor know about what it was that you are doing, it can give your company or group a disadvantage in the market place.  Again, this is heavily abused and in this case the complaint about having a 3rd party "forced" to agree to contract terms they didn't sign or engage in is completely justified.  I am especially disgusted by EULAs which claim to use copyright as a means to enforce a trade secret, as if something an end-user who didn't sign a contract is somehow liable to divulge a trade secret to a competitor of a vendor.  If you want to keep something secret, simply don't tell anybody, or if you must get contracts signed all of the way around to spell out the damages that would happen if the secret was divulged.


Title: Re: Growing the Copyfree Movement
Post by: theymos on November 29, 2010, 06:47:58 AM
Bottom line: intellectual property of any kind infringes on my real property rights. Your copyright prevents me from using my computer in the way that I choose, and is therefore immoral.


Title: Re: Growing the Copyfree Movement
Post by: kiba on November 29, 2010, 06:50:51 AM
Bottom line: intellectual property of any kind infringes on my real property rights. Your copyright prevents me from using my computer in the way that I choose, and is therefore immoral.

RHorning is ignoring our assumption and world views.

He tries to dodge my argument about selling cars with "reproduction rights".

Duh, if I have a thing I owned, I should be able to reproduce the object in its likeness whenever I fricking want. I don't give a shit about you not making money. Go do something else.


Title: Re: Growing the Copyfree Movement
Post by: nanotube on November 29, 2010, 06:57:03 AM
RHorning: thanks for that imho-excellent summary of the various areas of "IP" law.

A couple questions of opinion for you:

1. if 17 years was enough in 1789, when the pace of economic activity was much slower, and it took a lot more time to ramp up production distribution of... everything, really, wouldn't you think that a shorter time period would be appropriate for the modern day? (assuming the goal is to 'give the creator enough time to profit by his creation'.)

2. if copyright is abolished completely, do you think the social cost of the reduction (if any) of rate of 'content creation' would be greater than the social benefit of free access for everyone to all available content?

Fwiw, my personal answers to those questions are 1. definite yes, and 2. quite unlikely.


Title: Re: Growing the Copyfree Movement
Post by: em3rgentOrdr on November 29, 2010, 09:34:59 AM
Bottom line: intellectual property of any kind infringes on my real property rights. Your copyright prevents me from using my computer in the way that I choose, and is therefore immoral.

RHorning is ignoring our assumption and world views.

He tries to dodge my argument about selling cars with "reproduction rights".

Duh, if I have a thing I owned, I should be able to reproduce the object in its likeness whenever I fricking want. I don't give a shit about you not making money. Go do something else.

I am in 100% agreement with kiba and theymos here.  I have many issues with the long essay RHorning wrote, but am not going to list them all.  Bottomline is: intellectual property of any kind infringes on real property rights.

Anyway, you talk to most Statists, and they (like RHorning) will pretend to be on your side by expressing an opposition to intellectual property, but then you narrow down their position, and you find out that they just want to "Reform" IP Law to suit their desires. :P

(It reminds me of the healthcare debate: "OK, everyone in the room, please raise your hand if you think the US Healthcare system is broken and needs to be fixed.")


Title: Re: Growing the Copyfree Movement
Post by: RHorning on November 29, 2010, 09:49:46 AM
RHorning: thanks for that imho-excellent summary of the various areas of "IP" law.

A couple questions of opinion for you:

1. if 17 years was enough in 1789, when the pace of economic activity was much slower, and it took a lot more time to ramp up production distribution of... everything, really, wouldn't you think that a shorter time period would be appropriate for the modern day? (assuming the goal is to 'give the creator enough time to profit by his creation'.)

2. if copyright is abolished completely, do you think the social cost of the reduction (if any) of rate of 'content creation' would be greater than the social benefit of free access for everyone to all available content?

Fwiw, my personal answers to those questions are 1. definite yes, and 2. quite unlikely.

The problem so far as abolition of copyright altogether is to come up with a system where an artist/author (including programmers, photographers, 3d modelers, and other forms of art perhaps not even created yet) is able to sustain themselves in a market economy.  

There is the potential of raw donations like street musicians are able to accomplish, although my own experience with trying to get that to work with computer software is rather dismal even for tools that people like and use.  Shareware is a good example of this, and for awhile was a common distribution method.... particularly before the internet became popular and before copyleft licenses were even created in the first place.  This is also called perhaps the PBS/NPR distribution model named after the radio and television networks that use this system for generating income.

Another possibility is the patronage system.  Of course this implies that artisans are relatively few in number and serve at the pleasure of the very wealthy.  This still happens even now, but in terms of potentials for journeyman artisans it is very difficult and has some strong political consequences.  Modern examples of the patronage system include the National Endowment for the Arts, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and other government-funded artistic endeavors.  Content produced under this kind of system doesn't need copyright at all in order to function.

Some works of art will be created as a hobby and a side project.  For much of human history this was the only way art was made and it still is pretty much how quite a bit is done, some of it which is pretty good.  Much of the open source software is created as a hobby (not all of it!) and there certainly can be some satisfaction when creating art for its own sake.  Wikipedia is an excellent example of what perhaps even a collaborative group of people working together can accomplish on a hobby level without ever really seeking an income.

To me, copyright fills a niche by allowing ordinary people of ordinary means to acquire art of some kind (books, prints, movies, and more) through mass production and distribution.  There are real costs involved with creating art, and somebody has to bear those costs.  Ideally, if you have an effective copyright system that isn't overbearing, it is the most "democratic" kind of system through which ordinary people can support an artisan.  The key here though is that the relationship can and ought to be more direct between the artisian and the end-user/consumer.  Where the problems of copyright really come in is with tranferred "rights" which bypass the artist, or worse yet kick the artist out of the loop such as how must RIAA/ASCAP contracts usually pay paltry royalties if any at all to journeyman musicians.

I mention the journeyman artisians here because that is the real issue here.  The novices or "apprentices" are going to be doing stuff mostly as a hobby and will be doing "amateurish" work most of the time.  Yes, there is sometimes outstanding stuff made by somebody with "natural talent", but 99% of the stuff produced is garbage that doesn't deserve any special recognition or attention.  I love my kid's drawings they make at school, and I do put it on my fridge at home or show it to grandma, but I don't expect to impress anybody with that stuff.  There certainly are some amateurs who don't really care to get paid because they are doing other things with their lives, but I'll note that there is an upper limit to what they are able to do on that level too even with natural talent.

Those who are "masters" or at the top of their game will make money or at least get in a comfortable situation for their basic needs regardless of the political, economic, or social system they happen to be in.  They are the "stars" of their respective field and those artisians are usually quite famous.  I'm sure you can name a few of them.

Where the problem comes in is trying to come up with a way for those who are good enough to move beyond the raw amateur ranks and attempt to make a profession out of some kind of craft, whatever it may be.  How does somebody get the experience necessary to become a "master" at the craft?  It takes time, often years of effort, and certainly resources that are at a level often well above that which the novices have access to.  We also have to be honest here that the vast bulk of "professionals" fall into this category never becoming a "master", although I will also point out that if you can develop this mid-level group and cultivate it, you will have many more "masters" emerging and society as a whole will be richer as a result.  That is the dilemma that copyright is trying to solve so far as providing a means for a gifted amateur to break out of the pack and take care of themselves, to justify the extra time and effort that will be expended towards that craft, but at the same time they don't necessarily have to be at the absolute top of the game either.

So in this sense I reject the notion that copyright in and of itself is necessarily evil.  I am open to other ideas so far as somebody in this middle group is able to emerge.  I love to use the example here of American Idol (Pop Idol in the UK and similar programs elsewhere), because it illustrates how this "middle group" no longer exists for the music recording industry.  YouTube is full of the amateurs as are the American Idol auditions.  You also have the big music stars, but nobody in between.  There used to be a time with regional bands and then local bands that would play at weddings, school dances, and other social engagements.  Over time musicians could gradually improve and become more recognized by the next higher tier.  Unfortunately, as can be seen by these "Idol" competition, those talented amateurs no longer are able to move up in the ranks.  It takes an extraordinary "event" to filter out those amateurs and find those "stars".  In short, this to me "proves" that the music industry itself is fundamentally broken, particularly when people like Kelly Clarkston would never have even had the opportunity to perform on the national stage except for a program like American Idol.

If you accept copyright, it would be to help permit perhaps another source of revenue for those trying to work their way up to being the best of their field.  It is to provide a financial incentive through the use of "promoting the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries" (U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 8, Paragraph 8).  Madison, Franklin, Jefferson, and even Washington thought this was a pretty good idea with an understanding of the abusive copyrights that were the case in England... something I could write many more paragraphs about.  Current U.S. copyright law is far more abusive than the English copyright law of the 18th century, which goes to show how much people writing such laws pay attention to James Madison about the topic.  Getting to the topic of copyright term limits, a "limited time" ought to be just that.  I don't know how long that limit should be, but typically most movie sales take place within less than 5 years, and the same could be said for most music and books too.  Computer programs receive by far the bulk of their sales within about a year or two of release, even for commercial sales.  There are certainly exceptions, but they are rare exceptions.

One interesting proposal I saw suggested that copyright registration ought to become mandatory again (IMHO a good thing too... you have to put forward some real effort to get copyright protection) and that for every 10 years of copyright protection you have to pay 10x the cost.  In other words for 10 years, $1.  20 years, $10.  30 years, $100, and ultimately for 100 years $100,000,000... all paid as fees for registration.  You might even argue that perhaps the interval should be shortened to the same increase for every 3 years or something if you want short terms., where perhaps a major movie studio might not mind paying a million dollars for copyright protection that lasts 30-40 years but ordinary people may have a couple years to prove their stuff is marketable otherwise it goes into the public domain.  As a means to make copyright something rare, I think it would get the job done and be a tool to eventually abolish copyright as well if that was a goal.  It may very well serve most purposes if only a handful of things are formally copyrighted and that they quickly enter the public domain for their re-use in society.

Bottom line: intellectual property of any kind infringes on my real property rights. Your copyright prevents me from using my computer in the way that I choose, and is therefore immoral.

Current copyright law allows for personal fair use, where you can use use your computer any way you see fit as long as what you do is for yourself.  Reverse engineering, for example, is explicitly indemnified and mentioned in copyright code as legal... contrary to what some EULAs would have you think.  What it doesn't permit is for you to take the hard work of others and give it to 3rd parties without permission.  What I consider to be immoral is being a leech on society living off of the work of others and not producing anything yourself.  There is also so much stuff in the public domain that if you insist upon sharing something, look at the public domain first.  Furthermore, the goal ought to be in terms of expanding the public domain instead.

Right now copyright law is stuck where no new content is entering the public domain and won't for another decade (and likely not then either).  Perhaps copyright has a role, but it shouldn't stop of human culture where major cultural works are all "owned" by individuals forever.  As has been suggested (and yes, some effort was made to this end) I don't think the heirs of William Shakespeare deserve any kind of royalties or residuals for his plays and it is a shame to think that even the potential exists where his plays may be taken out of the public domain.  We ought to be able to share recordings of Buddy Holly, Jimi Hendrix, and John Lennon.  What I'm saying is put the anger where it really belongs.

I'm fine with Yoko Ono getting some minor residuals for some recordings to support her and her children as a result of some unreleased recordings... as she did.  That was deliberate on the part of John Lennon and good for him on that too.  But how long has the guy been dead?  Buddy Holly has been dead for over 50 years, yet his recordings are still under copyright.  Something is most definitely wrong with that situation.  I doubt that many teens today even know who he is, and a great deal of that is precisely because his stuff is locked up under copyright and not going into the public domain.  On that, I am angry, and part of the anger comes from those who pervert the principles for which limited copyright was permitted in the first place.

If this "copyfree movement" is in response to the abuses of copyright and the criminalization of copyright infringement (yes, you can go to prison or even be killed over a copyright violation... as absurd as that seems), perhaps there is some merit to the idea.  There are many approaches to take, but you should also look at the root causes which put us in this situation too.  I don't think the answer is so simplistic as expecting everybody to put their stuff into the public domain.  If you choose to do that, it is your privilege to do so and I'm not stopping you.  I just choose to go a different path too.  You might also be lucky due to circumstances that permit you to make art in some way that you can be self-supporting that can ignore copyright.  I certainly am not in that position, unfortunately.


Title: Re: Growing the Copyfree Movement
Post by: RHorning on November 29, 2010, 10:18:01 AM
Bottom line: intellectual property of any kind infringes on my real property rights. Your copyright prevents me from using my computer in the way that I choose, and is therefore immoral.

RHorning is ignoring our assumption and world views.

He tries to dodge my argument about selling cars with "reproduction rights".

Duh, if I have a thing I owned, I should be able to reproduce the object in its likeness whenever I fricking want. I don't give a shit about you not making money. Go do something else.

I am in 100% agreement with kiba and theymos here.  I have many issues with the long essay RHorning wrote, but am not going to list them all.  Bottomline is: intellectual property of any kind infringes on real property rights.

Anyway, you talk to most Statists, and they (like RHorning) will pretend to be on your side by expressing an opposition to intellectual property, but then you narrow down their position, and you find out that they just want to "Reform" IP Law to suit their desires. :P

(It reminds me of the healthcare debate: "OK, everyone in the room, please raise your hand if you think the US Healthcare system is broken and needs to be fixed.")

If you want to be petty with ad hominem attacks, at least be more blunt about it.  I don't really consider myself a hardcore statist but I do believe that there is a role for government in society, although it ought to be in my opinion a very limited role.  I think true anarchists simply don't know what they are talking about and would not want to live in such a society if it existed. Well, I guess you could move to Somalia if you cared.  If you think I'm a Stateist, I wonder what you think of Barack Obama?

Reform IP law?  I suppose that is true.  Again, you are using the notion that there even is "IP law" which is a false notion.  It doesn't exist.  There is trademark law, copyright law, and patent law, but not "IP law".

The principles I'm talking about here are in regards to how copyright was originally formulated and why it was enacted in the first place.  That seems to be missing in your responses.

Futhermore, to you Kiba, if you don't give a shit about how I earn money, don't ever expect to get anything I made.  Certainly you shouldn't expect any sort of software maintenance on my software and if it permanently corrupts you computer, perhaps you ought to reconsider how I earn my money.  You talk about freedom here, but you are taking and not giving back.  There might just be some cool software I could write if only I had better means to support myself, which is sort of the point of being able to find financial incentives for creating stuff of that nature.


Title: Re: Growing the Copyfree Movement
Post by: ribuck on November 29, 2010, 10:28:17 AM
The problem so far as abolition of copyright altogether is to come up with a system where an artist/author (including programmers, photographers, 3d modelers, and other forms of art perhaps not even created yet) is able to sustain themselves in a market economy.
This is what creates fear amongst those who depend on the current copyright system for their livelihood, but I don't think it's a valid issue.

Without copyright, creators will get rewarded on the incremental value that they add to what is already out there. They're not forced to build a walled garden in which to do their creative work. This really is quite liberating.

The carpenter who hangs the doors in my house gets well-rewarded for what he does. He doesn't need a state-granted monopoly that forces me to pay him $0.01 every time someone opens that door for the next 95 years.


Title: Re: Growing the Copyfree Movement
Post by: Anonymous on November 29, 2010, 11:02:32 AM
The problem is that these days intellectual property trumps actual property. You can lose everything you physically own because you copied a mp3.

This is immoral. The original work is undamaged and nothing of value was stolen by you copying it. To then claim you are a victim and entitled to another persons property is the actual crime enforced by the state.

http://vimeo.com/12598892 (http://vimeo.com/12598892) I like what Stephen Kinsella has to say about it.





Title: Re: Growing the Copyfree Movement
Post by: em3rgentOrdr on November 29, 2010, 12:14:51 PM
If you want to be petty with ad hominem attacks, at least be more blunt about it.  I don't really consider myself a hardcore statist but I do believe that there is a role for government in society, although it ought to be in my opinion a very limited role.  I think true anarchists simply don't know what they are talking about and would not want to live in such a society if it existed. Well, I guess you could move to Somalia if you cared.  If you think I'm a Stateist, I wonder what you think of Barack Obama?

Don't take it as an insult.  I refer anyone who advocates the use of state power to achieve goals to be a statist, by defintion.

Somalia isn't an anarchist society.  It was a socailist state horribly managed by a long-term dictator that brokeup due under its own weight/corruption/inefficiencies/etc, then entered a devastating civil war, and now is a collection of a few smaller states: Somaliland, Puntland, Islamic Emirate of Somalia, The US-backed Federal government, and a few other smaller states:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/9/9f/Somalia_map_states_regions_districts.png/462px-Somalia_map_states_regions_districts.png

The US diplomats just like to call it an anarchy because their hand-picked government isn't in power.  And even despite its horrible past, Somalis have achieved relatively more prosperous living standards compared to some of its neighbors in the region, likely (of course this is debatable) due to the lack of a strong central government.

Reform IP law?  I suppose that is true.  Again, you are using the notion that there even is "IP law" which is a false notion.  It doesn't exist.  There is trademark law, copyright law, and patent law, but not "IP law".

RHorning, yes I understand the difference between copyrights, trademarks, patents, semiconductor masks, etc.  But this has nothing to do the argument that any form of IP is a violation of real property.  Stop dodging the issue.

And yes, people all the time use the phrase "IP Law" to refer to trademark law, copyright law, and patent law together as a group.  This is perfectly reasonable common usage.

The principles I'm talking about here are in regards to how copyright was originally formulated and why it was enacted in the first place.  That seems to be missing in your responses.

Yes, I realize that some of the original founders reluctantly included patents and copyright in their constitution, because they thought that temporary monopoly grants to inventors and writers would increase public disclosure and promote the useful arts by providing incentives to creators.  Guess what?  They turned out to be wrong.  Have you ever tried reading a patent?  They are written to be deliberately vauge and convoluted and try to be broad enough to cover any other possible inventions potentially related, while not clearly communicating what is being invented.  They just end up allowing big companies to make a lot of wealth idly and from rent.  Scientific publications, on the other hand, are much better forms of public disclosure and communication of new ideas.  And copyrights are used to stifle free speech by prohibiting what you can write or say, hamper creativity by prohibiting derivative works, and limit the dissemination of new ideas in society.  Oh yeah, and trademarks are no longer necessary thanks to the discovery of cryptography: see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_signature (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_signature).

I don't care about your appeals to authority.  It turns out the founders were wrong on A LOT of things that I won't get into here since those aren't related to the topic of growing the copyfree movement.

The problem is that these days intellectual property trumps actual property.

^^^ THIS IS THE CRUX OF THE PROBLEM WITH IP.  THIS STATEMENT CANNOT BE REPEATED ENOUGH!!!  THANK YOU, NOAGENDA!


Anyway, the topic of this discussion kiba started is Growing the Copyfree Movement:

I am trying to make a new economic movement called the "Copyfree Movement". What is it about?

Copyfree is the act of declaring all your art or creations into "public domain". It is more about letting your artwork being subjected to the normal rules of property law, rather than bullshit of intellectual property.

So, I been declaring all my artwork "copyfree" by now, but there is nothing much happening. I am only one artist, and I am not a particularly good one yet. I am getting microbitcoin patronage and profiting from it, but they don't add to even 1 BTC.

So what to do now?

Please stay on topic and discuss methods, ideas, or other ways to grow the CopyFREE Movement, or even promote your CopyFREE work.  I don't want to hear some pro-state troll promote the GPL and copyleft.  I have wasted enough hours of my life thinking about the silly differences between the various copyright licenses and the idiotic intricateness of IP Laws.  Now is the time I want to actually do something by promoting alternatives.  Copyright is the arcane way of the past.  It is time to move on.


Title: Re: Growing the Copyfree Movement
Post by: ribuck on November 29, 2010, 12:21:08 PM
Those who are active at Wikipedia may wish to declare that their Wikipedia contributions are public domain. Just add this shortcode to your Wikipedia user page:

Code:
{{MultiLicensePD}}


Title: Re: Growing the Copyfree Movement
Post by: mikegogulski on November 29, 2010, 12:55:30 PM
@RHorning:

"The problem so far as abolition of copyright altogether is to come up with a system where an artist/author (including programmers, photographers, 3d modelers, and other forms of art perhaps not even created yet) is able to sustain themselves in a market economy."

Respect, but... bollocks!

I'm going to deliberately wade into Godwin's law territory here, sheerly for the hell of it.

"Well, sure the death camps are wrong, but what are we to do with all these gypsies and Jews?"

Or:

"Geez, I know the death camps are wrong, but if they stop ordering Zyklon-B I'm gonna be out of a job!"

A consistent libertarian position is one which recognizes state-backed copyright law as an evil. Presently, if you invoke copyright, you enjoy unjust privilege (necessarily backed up by state agents' guns) which cannot exist in a truly free society. If you want to participate in building that truly free society, you forsake and abjure state-backed privilege.

I'll paste it again. It's a moral argument, which won't stand up to your consequentialist thinking, but still: http://www.nostate.com/2323/intellectual-property-does-not-exist/

Even so, from a consequentialist/utilitarian standpoint.... if IP laws were abolished, sure, a few thousand huge corporations and a few million cushily-permanently-employed Westerners would experience setbacks to their lifestyles. Meanwhile, billions of impoverished people elsewhere on the planet would gain access to currently-patented medicines to improve and save their lives. I'm not going to make that argument, mind you, because I'm not a consequentialist at all, but there it is.

Peace,
Mike

PS: Since I'm feeling particularly jerky, here's my website's access agreement:

WEBSITE ACCESS AGREEMENT

Entry to nostate.com (hereinafter the “Website”) is restricted by contract. By pressing “Submit” below you freely, fully, explicitly and expressly agree:

    * that you shall not, by act or omission, take away any impressions, copies, extracts, derivatives, subsets or samples of this Website or any part thereof;
    * that you shall not, by act or omission, copy, store or retransmit any data from this Website or any part thereof,  including but not limited to sequences of or individual characters or individual bits;
    * that you shall not, by act or omission, fail upon the Website owner’s request to surrender all energy patterns, tactile sensations, auditory stimuli, mass-energy distribution changes or other media of phenomenal transmission incident to your use of the Website to the Website owner, to become the exclusive property thereof;
    * that you shall not, by act or omission, link to, cite, quote or reference the Website or any part thereof;
    * that you shall not, by act or omission, speak or otherwise divulge to third parties your knowledge of the Website’s existence, your knowledge of its contents, the contents themselves or the existence of this WEBSITE ACCESS AGREEMENT (hereinafter the “Agreement”) or the Agreement itself, or any part thereof, despite being legally and morally bound by it;
    * that you shall not, by act or omission, form memories of the Website or any part thereof or of this Agreement or any part thereof;
    * that you shall not, by act or omission, recall, remember, recount, retain, reconstitute, recreate, receive, recover or retransmit the Website or any part thereof or this Agreement or any part thereof;
    * that you shall not, by act or omission, fail to exercise due care and prudence in excluding third parties from taking part in your use of the Website in any fashion, including but not limited to by blocking all energy patterns, tactile sensations, auditory stimuli, mass-energy distribution changes or other media of phenomenal transmission incident to your use of the Website such that they cannot pass to third parties;
    * that this Agreement is the totality of all contractual relationships between you and the Website owner and that this Agreement supersedes, replaces and annuls all prior contractual relationships between the aforementioned parties;
    * that any breach of this Agreement on your part shall subject you to a penalty of three hundred (300) ounces of 99.99% fine gold or two thousand (2,000) hours of forced labor, with that the choice of penalty shall be yours, payable to the Website owner within ten days in the case of gold or within one year in the case of labor;
    * that you shall not, by act or omission, attempt to or actually transfer, surrender, hypothecate, pledge, encumber, subordinate, abandon or pass by gift, inheritance or other means any of your rights or duties under this Agreement without prior written consent of the Website owner;
    * that should any portion of this Agreement be found to be unenforceable, such finding shall not affect the enforceability of any other provision of this Agreement;
    * that the term of this Agreement shall begin upon you pressing “Submit” below and shall be perpetual;
    * that this Agreement may from time to time be amended or supplemented by the Website owner in written form and with due notice to you;
    * that in the event of any dispute or contest involving this Agreement, such dispute or contest shall be submitted to the jurisdiction and binding arbitration of Bob’s Arbitration and Pizza Company, Libertania, Ancapistan, without appeal; and
    * that you have entered into this Agreement freely and without duress after careful consideration and understanding of all its contents.



Title: Re: Growing the Copyfree Movement
Post by: nelisky on November 29, 2010, 01:01:06 PM
What it doesn't permit is for you to take the hard work of others and give it to 3rd parties without permission.  What I consider to be immoral is being a leech on society living off of the work of others and not producing anything yourself.  There is also so much stuff in the public domain that if you insist upon sharing something, look at the public domain first.

I'm not half as educated in these matters as you guys are. I'm not a libertarian, statist, agorist or any 'arianist' of any kind. I don't even know what they encompass for the most part anyway.
What I am is an outsider at any rate... I live by my own personal set of rules and I try my best to not step in anyone else's toes, while still obeying the laws of where I'm physically located, but I fail to search for others that share the same view or follow the view of others. I just like to reinvent the wheel as much as possible :)

The statement above by rhorning sent shivers up my spine... So leeching off of someone else's work is a bad thing? That is the basis of the whole progress movement, right? If the first comer was entitled to be the sole beneficiary of an invention or creation, where would we be? Think computers... If a lot of bad ass copying and misusing IP didn't happen, we probably be bitcoin less... internet less... linux less... just keep going down that path if you feel so inclined!


Title: Re: Growing the Copyfree Movement
Post by: kiba on November 29, 2010, 01:40:42 PM

Futhermore, to you Kiba, if you don't give a shit about how I earn money, don't ever expect to get anything I made.  Certainly you shouldn't expect any sort of software maintenance on my software and if it permanently corrupts you computer, perhaps you ought to reconsider how I earn my money.  You talk about freedom here, but you are taking and not giving back.  There might just be some cool software I could write if only I had better means to support myself, which is sort of the point of being able to find financial incentives for creating stuff of that nature.

On the contrary, I produce stuff that people purchase. DUH, people actually buy my art!!!!!!!!!11111

Why do you think I do these kind of crazy stuff, because I think I can support myself without copyright!

Now, you're trying to resists because you can't see how you can make money. You can't be brothered to experiment.

In other words, you have no balls.

Let me tell you what...

RESISTANCE IS FUTILE! Adapt or Die!

Good luck.


Title: Re: Growing the Copyfree Movement
Post by: theymos on November 29, 2010, 02:33:35 PM
Current copyright law allows for personal fair use, where you can use use your computer any way you see fit as long as what you do is for yourself.  Reverse engineering, for example, is explicitly indemnified and mentioned in copyright code as legal... contrary to what some EULAs would have you think.  What it doesn't permit is for you to take the hard work of others and give it to 3rd parties without permission.

That still allows you to control the property of people who have not dealt with you. Contracts can enforce non-distribution of works (and even prevent reverse engineering), but if someone breaks this contract, later users of the "leaked" work can't be held to the contract terms. If I have not agreed to give up some of my property rights with a contract, then under no circumstances can you control my use of my property.


Title: Re: Growing the Copyfree Movement
Post by: kiba on November 29, 2010, 04:32:59 PM
Current copyright law allows for personal fair use, where you can use use your computer any way you see fit as long as what you do is for yourself.  Reverse engineering, for example, is explicitly indemnified and mentioned in copyright code as legal... contrary to what some EULAs would have you think.  What it doesn't permit is for you to take the hard work of others and give it to 3rd parties without permission.

That still allows you to control the property of people who have not dealt with you. Contracts can enforce non-distribution of works (and even prevent reverse engineering), but if someone breaks this contract, later users of the "leaked" work can't be held to the contract terms. If I have not agreed to give up some of my property rights with a contract, then under no circumstances can you control my use of my property.

I believe enforcing EULA is akin to enforcing a contract that say you must not pour milk with your cereal.

The only way an EULA is worth anything is to actually sign it using public key cryptography.


Title: Re: Growing the Copyfree Movement
Post by: mikegogulski on November 29, 2010, 05:03:58 PM
The only way an EULA is worth anything is to actually sign it using public key cryptography.

I won't!


Title: Re: Growing the Copyfree Movement
Post by: da2ce7 on December 03, 2010, 04:23:52 AM
I guess I’ll wade into this debate, to me it is a very simple moral argument base upon a strong axiom:  Voluntary interactions between people.


When somebody creates something of value, (from the unused natural resources surrounding them), they morally have right to _USE_ (aka, own) what they have created for whatever purpose providing that purpose doesn’t _DIRECTLY_ infringe upon another.

This also applies to intellectual works; one has the ability to use whatever they have thought of for what every purpose.

Another _DOSE NOT_ have the right to deprive anyone else from something the he or she legitimately owns.  So the person, who made a chair, gets to sit in it.  The person, who writes a book, gets to read it. The people who design a medicine get to make it.

Otherwise it is free for all, another is allowed to make another chair for himself; write another book that is just the same, or make a medicine that works in the same way.  All of this action doesn’t deprive the original from use of their work.

In a free society there is only one form of intellectual property and that is your name.  Plagiarism is the theft of the claim of one’s own achievement.


I really don't care about the economic arguments (for or against, but I’m sure the ‘for’ would win).
I want to live in a free society, not just a prosperous one.  I’m somebody who picks what is moral, then works out the economics to make it happen.


Title: Re: Growing the Copyfree Movement
Post by: asdf on December 03, 2010, 10:39:10 AM
IP is essentially the ownership of abstract patterns. To say you own something that exists, only in an abstract sense, is absurd. An Idea is a pattern of thought. How can you own that and how can you restrict someone else's freedom to follow that pattern.

The idea that you can own a pattern just because you thought of it is asinine. Did you think of it in an intellectual vacuum? Were you born an a back box and somehow were inspired with this idea?

I really don't care about the economic arguments (for or against, but I’m sure the ‘for’ would win).
I want to live in a free society, not just a prosperous one.  I’m somebody who picks what is moral, then works out the economics to make it happen.

There is no historical precedent that I know of to justify the case that intellectual property promotes growth. In fact I strongly believe otherwise.


Title: Re: Growing the Copyfree Movement
Post by: da2ce7 on December 03, 2010, 11:34:17 AM
I really don't care about the economic arguments (for or against, but I’m sure the ‘for’ would win).
I want to live in a free society, not just a prosperous one.  I’m somebody who picks what is moral, then works out the economics to make it happen.

There is no historical precedent that I know of to justify the case that intellectual property promotes growth. In fact I strongly believe otherwise.

Sorry I didn't make myself clear:  Indeed I'm sure the economic argument against IP would win, I'm sure because I can prove it, (based upon said axioms)! (no, I haven't done a formal proof, yet, so don't ask for it).

I was just trying to point at the folly of trying to prove that IP is a good (or bad) thing through an economic argument when it is entirely a moral argument.


Title: Re: Growing the Copyfree Movement
Post by: RHorning on December 03, 2010, 05:05:50 PM
There is no historical precedent that I know of to justify the case that intellectual property promotes growth. In fact I strongly believe otherwise.

This is an unfalsifiable statement because I have no idea what might be an historical example which could demonstrate how "intellectural property" promotes growth, what that growth may or may not be, or even or even what exactly it is that you are talking about by "intellectual property" as if some thought pattern in the neural cortex of a brain can possibly be "owned" in an exclusive manner.

As such, it may be a belief as in "I believe in the flying spaghetti monster that when it arrives from the Andromeda Galaxy it will eliminate all universal hunger."  It may even be a firm belief, but it is grounded on nothing at all.

If you may, however, I'll try to define some of these terms.  In particular this main thread is talking about copyright law, so if we stick with "copyright law" as opposed to "intellectual property" we might be able to somewhat narrow the focus of this statement a fair bit.  I am also going to define perhaps "growth" relating to the number of new books published over a regular time interval with those works available for anybody to be able to read or view, furthermore defining those as books which have been mass-produced in quantities greater than two.  Hand-written journals and a single copy for personal enjoyment don't count... this is something written by an author with at least the strong intention that more than one other person is expected to be able to read the thing other than that original author.

I'll also furthermore define a specific time frame to look for historical examples, and will put that at the invention of the printing press with Johannes Gutenberg starting at roughly the years between 1400-1500 A.D. and continuing to the present day.  Prior to the development of the printing press the value of a book was mainly in the transcription of that book so the book itself was considered in and of itself to be a valued and treasured item that would be more akin to "real property" as opposed to "intellectual property".  In the year 1000 A.D., if you owned a "library" of more than one book (or even simply had a book at all) you would be considered quite wealthy as the production of something like the Christian Bible represented about a year's worth of labor or more.  Copying the contents of books was more like worries over trade secrets rather than encouraging somebody to create the written content in the first place.  People copying the Bible was actually illegal because the priests of the era didn't want ordinary "lay people" to find their "secrets".  A great many people including William Tyndale literally gave their lives simply for copying the Bible, and in that sense is the foundation of free speech laws and constitutional amendments to make sure their lives weren't lost in vain.

I should also note that like the creation of the internet, the printing press was an incredibly disruptive technology.  Somebody copying something like the Bible or heaven forbid as William Tyndale did to even "translate" that text into such a vulgar language like English was simply unheard of.  And then as Tyndale did to furthermore mass-produce that text at great personal cost (it ultimately cost him his life) and see to it that it was distributed to as many people as possible.  As a side note, much of the "King James Version" of the Bible is derived from the original translation by Tyndale.  His contribution to world culture certainly was quite significant.

Getting back to this growth issue, there certainly were a substantial number of books produced before copyright law was even enacted.  The first law covering English language texts was called the "Statute of Anne" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statute_of_Anne), passed in 1707.  Interestingly, this was created by what amounted to be a trade guild for printers in London called the "Stationers' Company" and set up a legal situation where only members of this guild were permitted to publish anything at all.  All other printing presses by non-guild members were to be destroyed along with whatever they printed, and money earned from that activity to be confiscated (and kept by the British crown).  Let's just say that this was seen as incredibly draconian and it was something that also impacted people in North America as well because it made publication of the Bible by anybody other than a London printing house to also be illegal.  Ben Franklin might have pushed boundaries hard for much of what he did, but that was one line he didn't cross until well after the American Revolution happened.  The monopoly was eventually relaxed, but copyright law was at this point firmly established as a principle about this time... in response to the printing press.

Basically, the assertion here is if copyright law has any sort of encouragement role for authors to publish their works.  I suppose I can give a personal testimony to the fact that I do consider it to be an incentive for myself, and I know of others who would consider it to be so.  Still, let's stick to objective facts:

We do know from registration records from the Library of Congress that the number of publications since its creation has shown exponential growth in terms almost every possible metric that can be used for measurement.  This can be in terms of the number of authors registering their works, the number of titles produced, the number of different subjects covered by those titles, the kinds of media used to create published works, and the physical size of the library itself.  Even now the "Library of Congress" is currently used as a standard in the information technology field representing perhaps the sum total largest possible amount of data that is currently being used and exchanged on a regular basis, where holding a "LoC" of data is considered perhaps a holy grail for data storage specialists.  The data would be counted in terms of how many letters there are in all of the books in the library together with digitized versions of all of the illustrations combined as a whole, or digitized versions of all other reproducible works of art.  It represents a substantial amount of data and is something which can certainly be approximated to within an order of magnitude or so in terms of how much material that library has and how that information in the form of books has been received by the library over time.  Records at the library have historical information going back to the establishment of the library by Thomas Jefferson, in terms of when the books were first published and when they were received by the library.

The problem here is that any sort of conclusions drawn from the statistical database made up of depository records at the Library of Congress depends upon a great many variables including population growth, technological changes, changes in legislation, and a great many other factors that unfortunately doesn't offer a control group to effectively compare the growth and creation of content under copyright law vs. growth that would have occurred without it.  Registration happens with the Library of Congress explicitly because of copyright law, as at least in America all publishers are required to "donate" a book or other media to the library in exchange for copyright protection.  That also accounts for its size as well.

The main problem is that there is no "control group" to be able to make a fair comparison as to how much content is produced in a place that lacks copyright law and someplace else of a similar demographic nature which has a strong copyright law.  However it can be pointed out that there has been growth of reproducible works of art including books while there has been a copyright law in effect, that copyright term lengths don't seem to have a major impact on the number of works created or the growth of that creation either.  This can be and is in fact used by proponents of strong copyright laws and longer copyright terms.  I tried to use examples of Chinese and Russian copyright as an exception, but the largest problem there is that both countries have copyright law and have had it for nearly a century each as well making any sort of comparison mainly over copyright term lengths rather than the existence or lack thereof for copyright law itself.

In this sense the only even remote control group is during the brief period of time from when the printing press was created until most countries adopted copyright law.  That there certainly were people willing to publish books and to do so at a profit without copyright law in effect can certainly be seen.

The only other possible sources of comparison that I can think of then would be with computer software titles in some sort of overall survey in terms of the various economic models being used for software distribution.  It may be possible to dig up the number of titles that have been produced with either a pure proprietary license, those which have been simply placed into the public domain, and then comparing other sorts of "copyleft", non-commercial only, and perhaps "shareware" titles as well.  This gets back to the argument of "copyleft" vs. "copyfree" and based upon my experience I would dare say that those works which have been placed directly into the public domain haven't seen nearly as much growth as the other kinds of software distribution methods.  Furthermore, "copyleft" has been certainly outstripping "non-commercial only" licenses at a much faster and higher growth rate from many objective measures.  In terms of the number of titles or even the number of "copies" shipped of "copyleft" as opposed to a "pure proprietary" licensed software, I would say that my gut feeling is that they are roughly the same at the moment.  Proprietary licensed copyrighted content (like say Microsoft Windows and Adobe Photoshop) still dominate the marketplace, although the measurement metrics are not really fair comparisons even here. 

About the only objective measurement I've seen of this is to take a very active website and count up the various kind of web browsers which include operating system data and do a comparison of each browser with the assumption that each unique IP address represents a different person.  One place to look at for some of these statistics can be made here: http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/default.asp (http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/default.asp)  Since presumably the servers themselves are agnostic in terms of what browser or operating system is being used, it provides a sort of apples to apples measurement in terms of what might be the relative "market strength" of each kind of software and how far have the ideas penetrated.  "copyleft" software has certainly shown a strong showing and in fact rank as the top kind of licensing model, considering that Firefox represents the current largest number of browsers on the internet and Apache usually running on Linux represents by far the largest number of servers.  In terms of the operating system of the browsers, it is by far and away held by Microsoft, although Linux and the Macintosh operating systems certainly seem to be holding their own.  Nowhere to be found here is any sort of "public domain" software in any of these statistics or anything that might be close to the definition of "copyfree", so the question I would raise is "why is that?"

Copyleft software, at least by these numbers, is shown to be a viable distribution model that people will support both for development purposes and for those actually using the software once it is created.  The ability to create works and simply "give them away" and to put them into the public domain has also been around for about the same length of time, yet it hasn't been nearly as "successful" in terms of adoption and growth in the market place.  At the same time, a straight out "all rights reserved" and commercial content distribution model has also been very successful in terms of actually getting the software to ordinary end-users and providing the quality of software that they are needing.  My question would then be to point out how perhaps "copyfree" might do that job better.  If not, it is going to be a mime that will die.  Where is the growth that comes from abandoning copyright altogether?


Title: Re: Growing the Copyfree Movement
Post by: kiba on December 03, 2010, 05:20:20 PM

Copyleft software, at least by these numbers, is shown to be a viable distribution model that people will support both for development purposes and for those actually using the software once it is created.  The ability to create works and simply "give them away" and to put them into the public domain has also been around for about the same length of time, yet it hasn't been nearly as "successful" in terms of adoption and growth in the market place.  At the same time, a straight out "all rights reserved" and commercial content distribution model has also been very successful in terms of actually getting the software to ordinary end-users and providing the quality of software that they are needing.  My question would then be to point out how perhaps "copyfree" might do that job better.  If not, it is going to be a mime that will die.  Where is the growth that comes from abandoning copyright altogether?
Please refrain from your overly long posts. It's a waste of time for everyone.

The economic advantage of open source is not a distribution policy but a development policy. This development policy implies a distribution model that is quite...open.

The GPL is however, not without cost. The term of the GPL is tricky and overly complicated. The proof is that I failed most of the question offered by the GPL. Thus, here lies the transaction cost of the GPL. The GPL is quite indifferent to the development methodology of open source projects. The development methodology of Linux would hardly change if it switch to BSD or more liberal licenses.

From there, we can infer that the GPL offer little economic advantage at all from the perspective of open source projects.

However, to address your concern about no growth: It mainly have to do with authors not adopting public domain and instead prefering copyright. Thus, we don't see much growth of public domain.

Experimental data suggests that people do pay for copyfree stuff, at least Jason Rohrer(About 42,000 USD in a few month) and me(bitcents but earning nonetheless).


Title: Re: Growing the Copyfree Movement
Post by: appamatto on December 09, 2010, 04:14:36 PM
I think the key in understanding the GPL is to look at what is not seen.

Withholding source code via cryptography, obfuscation, or just not revealing it for a period of time is both legitimate and moral.  This is a critical component of expression, which is composed of both speech and silence.

Legally removing a modifier's right to silence effectively criminalizes a large number of possible business plans that would've benefited countless people.

So, how many killer apps have been made impossible by the GPL and other copyleft?  We can't really know.  Want to structure Wikipedia's data, add value to it, and resell it?  Sorry, you'll need to operate at a loss and offer your data for free because of Wikipedia's share-alike license.  The fact is, we can't see all of the awesomeness that doesn't take place due to copyleft enforcement because fear of legal retribution means that none of this awesomeness can exist in the first place.

I think also that people don't realize what the GPL does to create permanent code monopolies.  This would be much more equitable if the author were also bound to the GPL, but in fact one of the prime uses of the GPL is to prevent others from selling commercial licenses while retaining one's own right to do so.

An awesome microkernel, okl4, was licensed BSD and at some point switched to the GPL for recent versions.  The reason?  The GPL unlevels the playing field and allows them to sell licences while taking in contributions in both source code and testing from people who will never have a right to sell the software in the same way.

A note about public domain: sqlite is public domain and is distributed in every country on the earth.


Title: Re: Growing the Copyfree Movement
Post by: kiba on December 09, 2010, 04:17:24 PM
Very few business that I know of make money from BSD model. They make it from their GPL/dual licensed model.

It doesn't matter if you just closed the source code and try to sell it. If you make your own changes, but you have to integrate the upstream source....well good luck.


Title: Re: Growing the Copyfree Movement
Post by: RHorning on December 10, 2010, 02:22:17 PM
So, how many killer apps have been made impossible by the GPL and other copyleft?  We can't really know.  Want to structure Wikipedia's data, add value to it, and resell it?  Sorry, you'll need to operate at a loss and offer your data for free because of Wikipedia's share-alike license.  The fact is, we can't see all of the awesomeness that doesn't take place due to copyleft enforcement because fear of legal retribution means that none of this awesomeness can exist in the first place.

There is nothing stopping you from creating an encyclopedia based upon other licensing models.  You must start from scratch and get a group willing to create that content in some fashion with those other licenses.  Such encyclopedias did exists and still continue to exist in other contexts, even though some have folded up shop.  Wikipedia wasn't even the first electronic encyclopedia:  ever hear of Encarta?

You are also free to use Wikipedia's data, add value to it, resell it, and make money at the same time.  There are many people who are willing to do that and do so at a profit.  Nothing in the CC-BY-SA license used by Wikipedia prohibits you from making a profit, it just spells out the terms and conditions for reusing that content.  If you don't like the license, use somebody else's content.  What I see here is a complaint that you don't like the license and are expecting others who don't agree with you that perhaps they should adopt your philosophies for content usage.

If you really think there might be some sort of advantage with some other licensing model for an encyclopedia, start it up and convince some others to help out with developing content.  Pay them for it if you must, but find some way to get it to happen.

It is possible that many people who contribute to Wikipedia do so simply because they have something interesting to say and don't care about the licensing model at all.  You might get many or most of those people to join in your project too.  In fact, I know that there are some who participate on Wikipedia who explicitly do donate all of their contributions into the public domain as a whole and don't accept copyleft licenses.  There are also purely public domain images on the Wikimedia commons for you to use, including newer stuff that isn't in the public domain due to copyright expiration.  If you want to prove that having stuff in the public domain is useful and can create some useful applications:  prove it.  The content without a copyright is available for you to use if you but search for it.  Wikipedia isn't a solid wall of copyleft content as is implied here.


Title: Re: Growing the Copyfree Movement
Post by: kiba on December 10, 2010, 02:32:15 PM
I already created an encyclopedia that is dual licensed under GNU FDL/CC-BY.  ;)


The conclusion? Nobody cares if you're an obscure encyclopedia.


Title: Re: Growing the Copyfree Movement
Post by: FatherMcGruder on December 10, 2010, 02:42:20 PM
Withholding source code via cryptography, obfuscation, or just not revealing it for a period of time is both legitimate and moral.  This is a critical component of expression, which is composed of both speech and silence.

Legally removing a modifier's right to silence effectively criminalizes a large number of possible business plans that would've benefited countless people.
One can exercise his right to silence by using GPL'ed works privately. The license provides for such use.

Quote
So, how many killer apps have been made impossible by the GPL and other copyleft?
How many killer apps have been made impossible by intellectual property monopolies? The GPL is a symptom of the excessive protections afforded by copyright laws. We have to cope somehow.

Quote
I think also that people don't realize what the GPL does to create permanent code monopolies.  This would be much more equitable if the author were also bound to the GPL, but in fact one of the prime uses of the GPL is to prevent others from selling commercial licenses while retaining one's own right to do so.
Modify the code and, as required, license it yourself under the GPL. Now you can sell commercial licenses, too.


Title: Re: Growing the Copyfree Movement
Post by: kiba on December 10, 2010, 02:45:56 PM
Quote
I think also that people don't realize what the GPL does to create permanent code monopolies.  This would be much more equitable if the author were also bound to the GPL, but in fact one of the prime uses of the GPL is to prevent others from selling commercial licenses while retaining one's own right to do so.
Modify the code and, as required, license it yourself under the GPL. Now you can sell commercial licenses, too.

I think he mean, "dual licensed business model". One is the GPL, the others is "as long as you pay us, you can do whatever the shit you want" license.


Title: Re: Growing the Copyfree Movement
Post by: appamatto on December 12, 2010, 06:45:11 AM
So, how many killer apps have been made impossible by the GPL and other copyleft?  We can't really know.  Want to structure Wikipedia's data, add value to it, and resell it?  Sorry, you'll need to operate at a loss and offer your data for free because of Wikipedia's share-alike license.  The fact is, we can't see all of the awesomeness that doesn't take place due to copyleft enforcement because fear of legal retribution means that none of this awesomeness can exist in the first place.

There is nothing stopping you from creating an encyclopedia based upon other licensing models.  You must start from scratch and get a group willing to create that content in some fashion with those other licenses.  Such encyclopedias did exists and still continue to exist in other contexts, even though some have folded up shop.  Wikipedia wasn't even the first electronic encyclopedia:  ever hear of Encarta?

You are also free to use Wikipedia's data, add value to it, resell it, and make money at the same time.  There are many people who are willing to do that and do so at a profit.  Nothing in the CC-BY-SA license used by Wikipedia prohibits you from making a profit, it just spells out the terms and conditions for reusing that content.  If you don't like the license, use somebody else's content.  What I see here is a complaint that you don't like the license and are expecting others who don't agree with you that perhaps they should adopt your philosophies for content usage.

If you really think there might be some sort of advantage with some other licensing model for an encyclopedia, start it up and convince some others to help out with developing content.  Pay them for it if you must, but find some way to get it to happen.

It is possible that many people who contribute to Wikipedia do so simply because they have something interesting to say and don't care about the licensing model at all.  You might get many or most of those people to join in your project too.  In fact, I know that there are some who participate on Wikipedia who explicitly do donate all of their contributions into the public domain as a whole and don't accept copyleft licenses.  There are also purely public domain images on the Wikimedia commons for you to use, including newer stuff that isn't in the public domain due to copyright expiration.  If you want to prove that having stuff in the public domain is useful and can create some useful applications:  prove it.  The content without a copyright is available for you to use if you but search for it.  Wikipedia isn't a solid wall of copyleft content as is implied here.

Thank you for the clarification about license diversity in Wikipedia.  I am basing my thoughts on the license notice at the bottom of each page, which is CC-BY-SA.

You're right that it's not effective to simply talk about what I think is a sub-optimal license, and I'm not interested in recreating Wikipedia just to prove a point.

I think that you did, however, brush off my point: it's not about what terms I want, or what terms any person in particular wants.  It's not about which particular pieces of information have which legal restrictions.  It's about the innovations that won't happen because there are restrictions on the uses of that information.

It's about not wanting to threaten people with legal ramifications or make contributors feel like they're backing freedom when they aren't.  Because really, that's what a license is: a legal threat masquerading as a platform for freedom.


Title: Re: Growing the Copyfree Movement
Post by: appamatto on December 12, 2010, 06:51:06 AM
Withholding source code via cryptography, obfuscation, or just not revealing it for a period of time is both legitimate and moral.  This is a critical component of expression, which is composed of both speech and silence.

Legally removing a modifier's right to silence effectively criminalizes a large number of possible business plans that would've benefited countless people.
One can exercise his right to silence by using GPL'ed works privately. The license provides for such use.

I'm talking about distributing what I want to others who express an interest, without being required to also share the source or meet some other requirement of a license.

Personally I don't see an incentive for someone to withhold code for a long period of time.  But, I do see the potential for many business plans such as releasing binaries to an app store 30 days before releasing the code in the public domain.  I think this type of arrangement could be the root of many an innovation in software distribution and sales, but it's hard to tell given the presence of both IP in general and the GPL in specific.


Title: Re: Growing the Copyfree Movement
Post by: RHorning on December 12, 2010, 11:25:45 AM
I think that you did, however, brush off my point: it's not about what terms I want, or what terms any person in particular wants.  It's not about which particular pieces of information have which legal restrictions.  It's about the innovations that won't happen because there are restrictions on the uses of that information.

It's about not wanting to threaten people with legal ramifications or make contributors feel like they're backing freedom when they aren't.  Because really, that's what a license is: a legal threat masquerading as a platform for freedom.

You are certainly entitled to your opinion on this issue, but I will say you have a long and tough road ahead if you are trying to get your political ideas turned into public policy and law, or for that matter widely accepted custom if you hate the concept of laws themselves.

What I don't understand is the attack upon copyleft principles when most of those who are involved with copyleft content development mostly support your view that substantial legal restrictions on the use of copyrighted content is wrong.  Copyleft supporters aren't your "enemy", but rather entities like Microsoft and Disney should be.  Of course I'm repeating myself now.  90%+ of the "licenses" on content (I would say 99% but copyleft licensing has made some inroads) have nothing at all to do with "freedom" or even "copyleft", but are purely to do with "proprietary" copyright restrictions.  By far and away the most common and to me the worst offender is the "end-user licensing agreement" (EULA) often seen with computer software but includes other products as well.  This is the "shrink-wrap license" where some courts have ruled that simply opening a package is the equivalent of signing and notarizing a contract.  Really, there are bigger fish to fry here, and attacking the copyleft community is only going to backfire any effort to further your cause.

Perhaps I guess the idea is to convince those in the copyleft content development community that licenses like the GPL are somehow evil and should be abandoned.  The arguments here aren't don't a good job as they aren't dealing with the causes that create licenses like the GPL.


Title: Re: Growing the Copyfree Movement
Post by: Waterfox on December 12, 2010, 02:54:25 PM
Some other popular copyright-free licenses:
http://creativecommons.org/about/cc0
http://sam.zoy.org/wtfpl/
http://unlicense.org/


Title: Re: Growing the Copyfree Movement
Post by: kiba on December 12, 2010, 03:06:31 PM
Perhaps I guess the idea is to convince those in the copyleft content development community that licenses like the GPL are somehow evil and should be abandoned.  The arguments here aren't don't a good job as they aren't dealing with the causes that create licenses like the GPL.

The right to silence are very important to us, even if we don't like proprietary software. We aren't looking to eliminate proprietary software, but a monopoly privilege.

That's a very important distinction.


Title: Re: Growing the Copyfree Movement
Post by: FatherMcGruder on December 12, 2010, 03:45:54 PM
I'm talking about distributing what I want to others who express an interest, without being required to also share the source or meet some other requirement of a license.

Personally I don't see an incentive for someone to withhold code for a long period of time.  But, I do see the potential for many business plans such as releasing binaries to an app store 30 days before releasing the code in the public domain.  I think this type of arrangement could be the root of many an innovation in software distribution and sales, but it's hard to tell given the presence of both IP in general and the GPL in specific.
You can't restrict copyleft licensing without restricting copyright protections in general, and that's kind of the point. Please, direct your ire accordingly.


Title: Re: Growing the Copyfree Movement
Post by: Waterfox on December 12, 2010, 10:25:59 PM
Copyfree.org's definition includes not-so-free licenses like BSD, which require redistributors to retain a copyright notice. With pure copyfree licenses, like CC0 or Unlicense, that's never necessary.


Title: Re: Growing the Copyfree Movement
Post by: appamatto on December 12, 2010, 11:49:55 PM
I think that you did, however, brush off my point: it's not about what terms I want, or what terms any person in particular wants.  It's not about which particular pieces of information have which legal restrictions.  It's about the innovations that won't happen because there are restrictions on the uses of that information.

It's about not wanting to threaten people with legal ramifications or make contributors feel like they're backing freedom when they aren't.  Because really, that's what a license is: a legal threat masquerading as a platform for freedom.

You are certainly entitled to your opinion on this issue, but I will say you have a long and tough road ahead if you are trying to get your political ideas turned into public policy and law, or for that matter widely accepted custom if you hate the concept of laws themselves.

What I don't understand is the attack upon copyleft principles when most of those who are involved with copyleft content development mostly support your view that substantial legal restrictions on the use of copyrighted content is wrong.  Copyleft supporters aren't your "enemy", but rather entities like Microsoft and Disney should be.  Of course I'm repeating myself now.  90%+ of the "licenses" on content (I would say 99% but copyleft licensing has made some inroads) have nothing at all to do with "freedom" or even "copyleft", but are purely to do with "proprietary" copyright restrictions.  By far and away the most common and to me the worst offender is the "end-user licensing agreement" (EULA) often seen with computer software but includes other products as well.  This is the "shrink-wrap license" where some courts have ruled that simply opening a package is the equivalent of signing and notarizing a contract.  Really, there are bigger fish to fry here, and attacking the copyleft community is only going to backfire any effort to further your cause.

Perhaps I guess the idea is to convince those in the copyleft content development community that licenses like the GPL are somehow evil and should be abandoned.  The arguments here aren't don't a good job as they aren't dealing with the causes that create licenses like the GPL.

I think you're mischaracterizing my "attack" on the GPL.  There are clearly licenses that are worse.

I don't think you're right about the causes of the GPL.  The GPL is from an era when the BSD system was under legal attack, and there wasn't a developed tradition of public domain or permissive licenses.  Now, there are exceedingly healthy commercially- and community-supported non-copyleft projects, many of which will replace their more restrictive GPL counterparts.

I think the two "causes" of the GPL today are 1) the viral requirement of useful GPLed components and 2) the notion that the GPL is a tool for freedom.  I think the second is a faulty notion; it can be argued that there are eras where swords are tools for healing, but thankfully we're long out of harm's way on that one.

About the copyleft community: I'm not really going to dissuade anyone who has investment in the GPL.  My goal is really to be a voice for those who hadn't really thought about the issue deeply or didn't notice the viable alternatives but are attempting to produce the least amount of legal threat to their fellow man.


Title: Re: Growing the Copyfree Movement
Post by: appamatto on December 12, 2010, 11:54:59 PM
Some other popular copyright-free licenses:
http://creativecommons.org/about/cc0
http://sam.zoy.org/wtfpl/
http://unlicense.org/

Thanks for the links.  I didn't realize that the wtfpl and the unlicense were actually public domain dedications.  I had thought about using the cc0 previously, the main advantage of which is that it falls back to a permissive license in places where that is necessary.

I decided against cc0 because it a much more involved license and I think that disallowing disclaimers of copyright is absurd.  Where are these jurisdictions, really?  And if someone used my public domain software in these jurisdictions, who would they face legal threat from?


Title: Re: Growing the Copyfree Movement
Post by: ribuck on December 13, 2010, 11:40:14 AM
... And if someone used my public domain software in these jurisdictions, who would they face legal threat from?
One threat is from heirs of the original author, who claim that because the coypright disclaimer is unlawful, they retain the copyright and are therefore "owed" a lot of money.


Title: Re: Growing the Copyfree Movement
Post by: appamatto on December 16, 2010, 05:26:04 AM
... And if someone used my public domain software in these jurisdictions, who would they face legal threat from?
One threat is from heirs of the original author, who claim that because the coypright disclaimer is unlawful, they retain the copyright and are therefore "owed" a lot of money.

Is this related to estoppel?  Even if the copyright disclaimer is unlawful, it was clearly intended by the copyright holder, and I don't see how a person could seek to benefit by showing that they are in contravention of the law.


Title: Re: Growing the Copyfree Movement
Post by: ribuck on December 16, 2010, 10:47:44 AM
Even if the copyright disclaimer is unlawful, it was clearly intended by the copyright holder

Exactly. Unless it's something with enormous monetary value (say, the Beatles back catalog), a simple one-sentence dedication to the public domain works perfectly in practice.