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Re: Alternatives to Creative Commons

Don Armstrong <don@debian.org> writes:

> [Defining terms in the license grant] is a bad idea. If GPLv2 does
> not actually mean this, you are adding an additional restriction. If
> it does, you're just wasting time. Neither option is terribly
> useful.

I see it differently. What the GPLv2 means is partly up to the intent
of the persons drafting that document, but the meaning *for a
particular work* must surely take strong influence from the intent of
the party granting license to that work.

For the term “object code” in the GPL, there is no definition, so
there is no option but to interpret what is meant; and since it's the
license *from the copyright holder* that is in question, the copyright
holder's interpretation is important.

I don't see how getting that interpretation in writing in the grant of
license is somehow an additional restriction, unless *any* such
interpretation is so; and that would mean that *any* question
resulting in an interpretation would be making additional restriction.
That position seems untenable.

In the case where the interpretation is compatible with the meaning of
the GPL, it seems worthwhile to have the copyright holder's
interpretation clearly written down, since the GPL leaves it
ambiguous. Do we not agree that written clarity of intent is highly
valuable when interpreting the license terms on a work?

> If you think this is a real problem, your only real option is to use
> GPLv3.

For the record, I think choosing a license (such as the GPLv3) whose
meaning is on this matter, without needing external clarification of
core terms, is the better option.

 \             “Experience is that marvelous thing that enables you to |
  `\   recognize a mistake when you make it again.” —Franklin P. Jones |
_o__)                                                                  |
Ben Finney

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