Share-revenues as an alternative to Non-commercial
email at greglondon.com
Thu May 5 10:28:59 EDT 2005
David Christie said:
>> Greg London said:
>> But to do that, sleepycat cannot accept
>> ANY code contributions from any outside individuals.
>> If Sleepycat consisted of Alice, Bob, and Charlie,
>> then they cannot accept code contributions from
>> Dave unless they get Dave to reassign copyright
>> ownership to sleepycat.
> I agree again.
>> Which means that Sleepycat does not benefit from
>> the usual outside contributions that occur in a
>> copyleft project. Sleepycat can be USED by copyleft
>> projects, and Linux and other projects can modify
>> it and include it with their distributions, but
>> the version sold by Sleepycat does not include
>> any of these outside contributions.
> Sleepycat can include non-copyleft open source code from outside sources.
> They could include the Apache Portable Runtime (APR) if they wanted to,
> because Apache does not use copyleft.
> I believe they do engage in such contracts, e.g. their Java binding was done
> by an external contributor (I think). But yes, they have to get permission
> from such outside developers (who may even demand to be paid). Is that bad?
> It seems a good thing to me.
sure, but Microsoft can use BSD/MIT/NonCopyLeft licensed code too.
Sleepycat's copyleft license doesn't allow them special priveledge.
So, this isn't something that Share-Revenue gets because its sharealike.
ANYONE can use non-copyleft open source code, even all rights reserved folks.
> when money is involved, everything changes!
Well, I'd rephrase that "when everyone can sell the work equally,
it's a gift economy. When someone gets a monetary advantage,
it's a market economy. When it's a market economy, the number of
contributers will drop like a rock."
People don't like to contribute money to a non-profit that
spends 90% of its donations on internal salaries.
People contribute time/energy to open source because they
want the USERS to benefit, not so much the AUTHORS.
> Let us count the ways it could play out:
> 1. Bob/Charlie/Dave are open source developers who don't demand
> remuneration. They are happy if no one pays them for their contribution,
> which was motivated by needing a new feature, not by needing to feed their
> families. They can assign copyright to Alice, and leave it to her to roll it
> into her next release.
They'd be even happier if they could find a gift economy version
of the project and contribute to that.
> Of course, in this scenario Bob/Charlie/Dave must live with the notion that
> Alice may get paid (partly for their work) from future revenue-collecting
> customers. If this offends them, that would remove their incentive to make
> the contribution in the first place.
> So having imposed Share-revenues, Alice must try to be a good steward of
> those revenues, and perhaps share them with contributors who helped to
> improve her work, or she won't long have a reputation as someone worth
> If Alice is smart, she'll be careful to return all such favors somehow --
> perhaps she'll send business their way, or even (at some point) a thank-you
> check. Perhaps she'll pay annual dividends to all developers who made
> unsolicited contributions during the last year, setting aside a per centage
> of her net revenue for that purpose. Perhaps she'll donate publically to
> worthy causes dear to the hearts of open source developers. But it's up to
> her -- it's voluntary.
Do you understand that you're arguing that Alice will voluntarily treat her
private property as if it were a commons? She'll let Bob graze his cattle
on the commons if Bob contributes some labor to fix the fence around her
property. The money Alice gets from commercial revenue would be her property
in this scenario. And she "could" give some of it to Bob as a thank you.
Do you realize how un-often that happens in real life?
> 2. Bob/Charlie/Dave implement a major new subsystem to Alice's work, or
> embed Alice's original work in an entirely new application of their
> devising. They are not happy just giving this work to Alice. They may need
> to contract with Alice. Maybe even before they do the work, to be safe.
This is already available under CC-ShareAlike.
And CC-ShareRevenue will basically end up LIKE CC-Sharealike
for the following simple reason:
Alice will not lowball her default royalty on the license.
Her license will say something like
"Anyone may use this work commercially,
as long as they give me 10% of their revenue."
Well, Alice is going to set the percentage as
high as possible, at which point, Bob won't
want to pay her that much, and he'll contact
her directly and see if he can negotiate a
lower royalty. (say 8%)
At that point, Alice might as well use CC-NC-SA
and wait for Bob to come directly to her to
negotiate a royalty. Because Alice set her
royalty as high as possible (10%), the ShareRevenue
license was pointless. No one will use the
default royalty that Alice set.
It becomes a CC-NC-SA license
with some never-used language about
10% royalty and Bob contacts her
directly and negotiates an 8% royalty.
Bounty Hunters: Metaphors for Fair IP Law.
More information about the cc-licenses