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Re: New 'Public Domain' Licence

> On Tue, Jun 07, 2005 at 09:52:38PM -0700, Raul Miller wrote:
> > You seem to be trying to talk about this in an impartial manner,
> > but as long as you talk in terms of "minimizing all obstacles"
> > you're not doing so.

On 6/8/05, Glenn Maynard <glenn@zewt.org> wrote:
> The GPL deliberately places obstacles to code reuse: it disallows reuse by
> projects that don't release every bit of linked code (more or less) under
> a GPL-compatible license, in the hope of increasing code reuse in the long
> term. 

Agreed: it disallows reuse by one person in contexts where that person asserts 
a right to restrict reuse by other people.

> I believe that to be a simple, obvious statement of fact, and not
> one that anyone should be offended by: the GPL restricts use of code, to use
> free software as an incentive for other authors to place their own works
> under GPL-compatible licenses.

I certainly agree that the GPL does not eliminate all obstacles.

One point is that elimnating all obstacles to reuse is impossible under a
legal system which allows people to impose obstacles for reuse. 

You can't minimize "all obstacles', you need to choose decide what
kinds of obstacles you care about and which you wish to do without.

> I'll readily acknowledge myself preferring permissive licenses, and I'm
> trying to be "impartial" enough to keep the thread from degenerating into
> an argument of philosophies (or semantics), though I don't claim that my
> opinion doesn't color my speech despite my efforts.

I think that if you avoided the use of universal quantifiers I wouldn't
have objected to how you phrased things.

> My main interest in the thread was explaining how even the minor restrictions 
> of the MIT license can be cumbersome, and why a person using permissive 
> licenses might reasonable want something less restrictive.

It's certainly the case that each person brings to bear their own value
system, which results in different people making very different decisions
even though they might appear to agree when expressing why they would
make their decisions the way they do.

> > > Do you mean that it's possible that an author might claim to release a
> > > work into the public domain, but not actually have the right to do so
> > > (eg. contractually)?  That's true, but is true of all licenses ...
> > 
> > No.  Though I'll agree that that's also a possibility.
> > 
> > I gave more detail on this issue in the message you are quoting.
> I read the message, didn't quite understand what you were describing, took
> a guess and asked if that's what you meant.  Saying "no, read the message
> again" when your point didn't come across is very rarely helpful.  :)

If a work has been put into the public domain it's possible that the evidence 
that this was the case will have been lost.  This is probably not a problem for 
works that get wide exposure, but not all works get wide exposure

If the work has been incorporated into some other copyrighted material,
perhaps in conjunction with some work-for-hire, the result could be rather
complicated, legally.

Other possibilities probably exist.

In general, good documentation on matters which are legally important
is good practice.


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