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Re: [OT] Droit d'auteur vs. free software?

Henning Makholm <henning@makholm.net> writes:

> > In so far as *any* work has artistic character that can be so
> > violated, yes.
> Does that mean that you don't release your programs under a free
> license, or that you never thought about the license you use, or that
> you consider your choice of license to be severable from the artistic
> statement you make with your code?

It means that I think people have the right to use artistic works even
in ways that disturb or violate the sensibilities of the author.
Turning my program into spaghetti code *would* violate its artistic
merit, and *might* conceivably prejudice my reputation.  But I
*insist* that people should have this right.

> > In other words, whatever kinds of violations there are for other works
> > apply just so to the artistic value of software.
> But not, in my opinion to free software, where the freedom is an
> integrated part of the artistic statement being made. On the contrary,
> the artistic statement would often be lost if the author went on to
> consider his program improperly violated by third-party modification.
> In that case it would be the author, not the third party, who were not
> true to his original artistic purpose.

What about Marcel Duchamp?  Dammit, stop ignoring the question!  For
Duchamp, "violating" the Mona Lisa was an integral part of the
artistic statement being made.  Does that not count?  Address the
case.  So far it merely looks like you think that it's ok, except when
it isn't, and you can't or won't say which.

> > Someone turning a nicely written program into a pile of spaghetti
> > code, for example, would be just such a degradation.
> And yet, part of the artistic vision of the original work is that such
> a modification is permitted.

Nope!  For me, licensing is political, not artistic, and I do not put
my works under a given license as a component of their artistic
merit.  (Others might, but I do not.)

Licensing, for me, is an ephemeron, a thing without intrinsic
connection to the work itself.  The work itself has an artistic merit
(speaking here of *my* work) tied to the code, but not to the details
of its production or distribution.  It would retain that merit
whatever license it is distributed under.

I want the right to release my software under a free software license,
really, fully, without being forced to declare that licensing is part
of the artistic merit of the work, since, really truly, I don't think
it is.  (It might be for *other* people's work; I'm speaking here only
of my own.)

For me, the artistic merit resides in the code and the code as a
particular medium of experimentation.  License texts *might* also have
artistic merit, but since I haven't written any, it isn't relevant
here.  The act of applying a given licensee to a piece of software is
an act that, for my works at least, is no part of the artistic value
of what I write.


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