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Re: New 'Public Domain' Licence

On Wed, Jun 08, 2005 at 12:09:28AM -0700, Michael K. Edwards wrote:
> On 6/7/05, Glenn Maynard <glenn@zewt.org> wrote:
> > It's not so much projects that are actually around for 35 years.  Rather,
> > if you maintain a project for, say, three or four years, I reuse large
> > chunks of it in my own project, and my project outlives yours.  Decades
> > later, you (or your heirs) have a change of heart, and revoke the license
> > you originally granted to me for your project, which I require to use your
> > code in mine.  You don't control 50% of my work, but you easily control
> > 50% of the work you licensed.  If I want my work to remain free, I have
> > to excise your code from it--which, decades later, probably won't be
> > possible.  It's a textbook failure of the "tentacles of evil" test.
> This whole line of argument is a canard based on a failure to research
> the meaning of "authorship" under US law.  See Aalmuhammed v. Lee (
> http://www.law.cornell.edu/copyright/cases/202_F3d_1227.htm ), and
> observe that the 17 USC 203 termination right is reserved to _authors_
> and their heirs, not contributors of any quantum of expression that
> might by itself be copyrightable.

I integrate your MP3 decoding library into my media playing software.  The
author of the MP3 decoding source code is very clear: you.  I can only reuse
that library due to the license granted to it.  That license is revoked.  I
can no longer use the MP3 decoder[1]; if it's affected my work enough that
I can not excise it from my code (so my work is not a derived work of the
library), it's up a creek.  This isn't a case of you contributing patches
to work that I'm the author of; it's you authoring an independent work, and
my integrating your work into mine--one of the most fundamental parts of
free software.

[1] or, for the nitpickers, "can no longer distribute my work which is
derived from the MP3 decoder".

Glenn Maynard

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