[cc-licenses] NonDerivative NonCommercial Licenses

rob at robmyers.org rob at robmyers.org
Thu Mar 30 04:14:33 EST 2006

Quoting Greg London <email at greglondon.com>:

> Well, by "proprietary fork" or "commercial fork"
> I mean someone is able to get more rights to the
> work than is available to the gift economy project.

There is no wall between Free Software and commerce. This may mean that Free
Software is not a gift economy, although there is no wall between gift
economies and commerce either (although the interactions can be problematic).
But possibly Free Software is closer to a guild (Dave Berry) or a kind of
ironised union (me).

BSD code can easily be made proprietary. Ask Microsoft. So there are 
forks of Free Software.

And there are examples of GPL projects being moved away from their commercial
sponsors and *social* owners to the community that was previously around that
project. So there are certainly a-commercial forks of commercial GPL projects.

> There are, uhm, I'm not sure what you call them, er...
> well, I'll just call them "content forks", which are
> different than "proprietary forks". A content fork
> means someone took the original content and created a
> derivative that is distinct from the original, but is
> still under the same license.

This is a useful concept.

> The most obvious example
> I can think of is the Linux desktop fork between
> Gnome and KDE.

They are not literal forks, though. They relate historically, but then so do
MacOS and Windows. Both are examples of competing projects rather than forks.

The BSDs are the classic example of a content fork. The XFree86 fork is a good
recent example.

> Since you can prevent proprietary forks and commercial
> forks with a license and since I know of no way to
> prevent a content fork with a license (nor would I
> really want to), when I'm talking about licenses and
> forking in the same sentence, I probably mean proprietary or
> commercial forking if I didn't specify.

There is no such thing as a "commercial" fork in the accepted sense of both
words though.

- Rob.

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