[cc-licenses] Attribution license

Greg London teloscorbin at gmail.com
Mon Oct 2 19:51:34 EDT 2006

On 10/2/06, Mark Brown <broonie at sirena.org.uk> wrote:
> a software patent can affect the freedom of the work in
> all situations while a restricted hardware platform impacts
> that platform only.

If you describe what they specifically restrict,
they are not quite so different as you present here.

A software patent only restricts the work from ever
using the specific functionality. If you don't use the
functionality, the patent does not restrict you.

A platform monopoly only restricts the work
when it is on that platform. If you dont use the
platform, the monopoly does not restrict you.

> The work itself is the important thing and that is still kept open.

Yes, if you never use the patented functionality,
the work is still open. And if you never use
the platform, the work is still open.

But it doesn't really work that way, does it.

If you use the Commons metaphor,
and if the work remains static,
if the pasture never gets bigger,
then copyleft doesn't matter so much,
because there will always be some who
make the Free version available.

But Copyleft becomes important when
someone adds to the commons,
expands teh pasture a little bit.
New derivatives, bug fixes, new features,
added on to the existing Free land,
is where Copyleft defines Freedom
as a two-way street.

You can use the Commons Freely,
but if you add to it and try to distribute
that new derivative, you cannot fence
that new space in. It must be made
part of the existing commons.

Patents are nothing more than some
new functionality. And patent law can
be used to fence it in without invoking
copyright law. So Free licenses had to
deal with patents.

Platforms are new areas as well.
New hardware, new players, new platforms,
are created to copy and distribute works
from teh Commons, they create a new
space outside the existing commons,
and the principle of Freedom being a
two way street still applies.

If you build something off of the Free
commons, whatever you build must also
be Free.

Take the Courage Vow

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