Why is Copyleft? Why is CC-NC?

Greg London email at greglondon.com
Sat May 1 16:58:57 EDT 2004


OK, so there's a fundamental point I just want
to reiterate.

Why is Copyleft? Why is CC-NC?

The threat to Libre projects is the
"embrace, extend, extinguish"
mentality from Market players.

You want your project to be Libre,
but you want to withold enough
rights to prevent XYZ Corp from
creating a proprietary fork that
makes your version pointless.

There are a couple of approaches to
protect your project from this problem.

(1) design your project to be a "one-off".
This basically means that your project is
short enough in scope that you don't care
what happens once you're project is finished
because you're finished with the project.
If someone embraces and extends your project,
your not around to be extinguished because
you've moved on to something else.

No protection needed cause you're not around
to feel any ill effects.

I call this guerrilla projects. You go in,
write something up, publish it, and get out
before teh competition can hit back.

use PublicDomain license.

(2) If your project is extended in duration,
takes a lot of man-hours from many contributers,
and develops over time, then you have a couple
of choices.

(2a) use All Rights Reserved, hire a bunch of
people, and sell the work to pay them.
You prevent proprietary forks by using ARR.
You still have Market Competition, but they
can't use your own work against you.

(2b) use CC-NC. develop the work over time.
license it CC-NC to prevent proprietary forks.

This allows the author(s) to sell commercial
versions of the work, which means you have
a couple of choices to deal with:

(2ai) make sure your contributers sign a
"copyright disclaimer" so they don't want a
cut of the sale.

(2aii) don't take contributions, so you don't
have to worry about claims if you sell a commercial
license to XYZ corp.

(2aiii) Vow never to sell a commercial version
of the work. You can commit yourself to this
by accepting lots of contributions, thereby
opening yourself to lawsuits from them if you
go back on your word and sell a license to XYZ Corp.
If you do this, you might as well use Copyleft
and expand the contributions you can accept.

(2b) Use Copyleft or ShareAlike. This allows
Market competition to use your project,
but prohibits them from taking it private.
Proprietary forking is prevented by license.

Now, Copyleft can still allow the author to
sell a proprietary version of teh license to
XYZ Corp, but the author would then have the
same choices as CC-NC.

(2bi) make sure your contributers sign a
"copyright disclaimer" so they don't want a
cut of the sale.

(2bii) don't take contributions, so you don't
have to worry about claims if you sell a commercial
license to XYZ corp.

(2aiii) Vow never to sell a commercial version
of the work. You can commit yourself to this
by accepting lots of contributions, thereby
opening yourself to lawsuits from them if you
attempt to sell a proprietary license of the work.

(3) Operate in a market that is immune
to embrace, extend, extinguish.

=============================
boiling it down, to protect your project
against embrace, extend, extinguish

(1) guerrilla programming.
fast attack and a Public Domain license

(2a) All Rights Reserved
It worked for 200+ years, why stop now?

(2bi) (2bii) CC-NonCommercial
Make 'em pay to embrace and extend.
Individual or small-team projects.

(2ciii) Copyleft
extensions must be given back to the
project making it impossible to extinguish.
Massive, world-wide contributions assures
the quality of the project is impeccible.

---

So, given that, the idea of CC-SA-NC
is the merging of two mutually exclusive
concepts into one totally unworkable
concept.

You cannot accept contributions if
you intend to sell proprietary licenses
and you cannot sell proprietary licenses
if you intend to accept contributions
from the entire world.

NC and SA represent two diametrically
opposed concepts and they cannot be merged.














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