[cc-licenses] Attribution license

Mark Brown broonie at sirena.org.uk
Mon Oct 2 19:04:43 EDT 2006

On Mon, Oct 02, 2006 at 03:18:53PM -0400, Greg London wrote:

> commons. A software patent monopolizes some
> functionality that wasn't in the original community project.
> DRM monopolizes some hardware platform and excludes
> the community from exercising their freedoms on that
> platform.

The distinction I see between these two cases is that a software patent
can affect the freedom of the work in all situations while a restricted
hardware platform impacts that platform only.  The work itself is the
important thing and that is still kept open.

To me a closer analogy to patents would be something like a music store
client that came with a license forbidding the user from ever exercising
any rights granted under a sharealike style license for works obtained
from the store.

> Some folks seem to view a hardware monopoly as a
> non-issue, and hopefully some real world examples
> of attempted and current hardware platform monopolies,
> such as the encrypted ink cartridges and the garage door opener,
> will better highlight that platform monopolies are a significant problem
> to Freedom.

My view is that it's not so much that they are a non-issue as that they
don't present such a fundamental problem for the freeness of the work.

I guess one thing that's worth remembering about where free software
requirements are coming from is that for a long time (and almost
certainly still today) the majority of free software was deployed on
proprietary platforms.  Actually using the source code would generally
require various tools and resources provided by the vendor and obviously
running the binaries would require the platform itself.

"You grabbed my hand and we fell into it, like a daydream - or a fever."

More information about the cc-licenses mailing list