[cc-licenses] Creative Commons & Copyleft question?

Greg London teloscorbin at gmail.com
Tue Aug 29 11:45:29 EDT 2006

On 8/28/06, Charles Iliya Krempeaux <supercanadian at gmail.com> wrote:
> And, yes I know you guys have put alot of work into defining the what you
> call a "derivative work" and what you call a "aggregate" in legalese.  But
> it seems like a choice you guys made.

It's based on what the law says, not what we say.
Aggregate and collective works are legal concepts,
not just some choice we made.

> To me, all "aggregates" are "derivative works".

And the law says otherwise.

> The GNU LGPL puts more limits (than the
> GNU GPL) on how copyleft can propagate through derivative works.  In other
> words, with the GNU LGPL, there are less types of "derivations" that would
> spread the copyleft (than the GNU GPL).

You have that entirely backwards.
GPL is more restrictive than LGPL.

LGPL will allow you to take a copyleft LIBRARY
and link it with proprietary libraries.

GPL says that anything you link with must be GPL.
If you link your GPL library with any other code, the
result must be GPL'ed code.

(In both cases, this assumes you distribute the resulting code.)

> Correct me if I'm mistaken.  But I was under the impression that CC-SA does
> NOT propagate, and thus is NOT copyleft.

Er... What?
The very point of ShareAlike is that it is a copyleft license
that propagates. All derivatives of a CC-SA work must also
be CC-SA.

> My interest is NOT in any "gift economy" experiments.
> I'm interested in liberty.

What do you think a copyleft license does other than to
guarantee the liberty of the work? That's its only purpose.

> I believe that the enforcement of copyright law is immoral.

Well, you're wrong. Copyright and copyleft both solve the
same problem in different ways. The problem is getting
people to create new works.

Copyright solves the problem of encouraging individuals
to risk creating new works by offering them the possibility
of a monetary reward.

Copyleft solves the problem by allowing communities
to create works together, spreading out the risk to the
point where individuals can make minor contributions
and still forward the project, and creating a work that
is the reward itself.

Copyright may have terms set too long and rights
from the DMCA may be too powerful, but the concept
of copyright is quite legitmate.

You might as well be arguing that private land ownership
is immoral.

> I see copyleft as making the world as if copyright law did NOT
> exist.   As a way of kind of opt'ing out of copyright law.

Copyleft licenses only exist inside of copyright law.

And they both solve the same problem in different ways.
And depending on the project, one way often works
better than the other. Not because of morality, but
because of the terrain of the proposed project.

> I see the spreading of copyleft (in the world we live in) to be a preferred,
> because it undoes what copyright law forces upon me and others.

Copyright doesn't force anything on you.
If Disney creates a work under copyright,
you aren't forced to do anything with that work.

You can boycott the work if you wish.
But if you wish to get a copy of the work,
you have to follow the law.

If you don't like that, then don't buy it.
If you don't like that, then make your own
works and give them away for free.

But no one is forcing you to buy those works
or to engage in the copyright world.

> Again, I'm NOT interested in any kind of "gift economy" experiment.  (As I
> explained above) I'm interested in liberty.

Right, because if I wrote a book and sold it All Rights Reserved,
that would -so- impinge on your precious liberty.

> The "Free Software' camp is interested in liberty.  From the "Free Software"
> camp's point-of-view, if it all leads to better software development
> practices, then great... but that's besides the point.  They do it all for
> reasons of liberty.  That's it.

Political motivations. Sure. You're going to put Microsoft out of business
because Microsoft is immoral to use copyright? You're going to put
Disney out of business because Disney is immoral to use copyright?
Let me know when you've accomplished that goal.

Until that point, your political motivations are irrelvant from any
functional point of view. Your "Free" camp operates
-exactly the same- as any other Gift Economy "experiment".
People make individual contributions to a project under a
copyleft license which protects the work as it progresses.

You're not special simply because you wave a flag of "liberty"
while you're doing it. People contribute to FLOSS projects for
a multitude of reasons. Your reason isn't special or any
better than anyone else's reason.

> I want copyleft licenses that help me undo what
> copyright forces on me and others.

Did Disney force you to watch Mickey Mouse
when you were young? Did the RIAA burst into
your house and force you to buy their records?

Unless anyone actually forced you to pay for
copyright works, then you're simply using
highly charged emotional language in spite
of reality.

> Also, I believe that one can still (have a working
> business model and) make a living in such a
> situation.  (The "Free Software" world already has many
> success stories.)

so, you're pursuit of liberty is achieved when you
can make  money.

> I think we just need a Creative Commons Copyleft license with a bit stronger
> terms for propagating the copyleft.  (A model similar to the duo of the GNU
> GPL and the GNU LGPL seems good.)

Except neither GPL nor LGPL says the license must propagate
to collective works. Tell you what, you talk to the
folks at GNU. They're real big on liberty. And you tell
them they need to change teh GPL so that it propagates
through collective works. When they agree to that,
lemme know, and we can talk some more.

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