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Re: Brief update about software freedom and artificial intelligence

Hi all,

 in these two threads

* https://lists.debian.org/debian-project/2023/02/msg00017.html

* https://lists.debian.org/debian-project/2023/02/msg00022.html

 we had the chance to confront each other about the emerging A.I. mass
adoption and about which licensing model would be useful to adopt to
protect the freedom of code, data, models, etc.

 One topic that seems to make people worry is the "fair use" which is
a legal term but not really well defined - I would use the attribute
"blurry" for it - and this could be a triky attribute to debate about
in a trial.

 I wish to add my two cents about this topic and I will follow two
main guidelines:1. historical evolution, 2. priority of legislative

 First of all, we can start with a "for absurd" reasoning and because
we do not have a clear legal definition of "fair use", then we
consider the worst case which means "everything". Well, this is
exactly the situation before the introduction of the copyright:
everything was a fair use case. Then the copyright was introduced to
grant to authors some kind of exclusive rights: moral and material
rights, both. As you can imagine, without the moral rights there would
be no material rights, indeed. However, this aspect is not
relevant for our goal here but just to underline the priority.

 The copyright was introduced to move some profit from the editors to
the authors who were starving. Thus, the material rights are about
business, commercial and marketing. Obviously these three terms were
not developed as we are used today but basically these three
activities are clearly related to the value and thus they SHOULD be
exclusive of the author for every copyrighted stuff that s/he created.
Moreover, the copyright applies even if the author does not explicitly
claim differently.

 Under this point of view, we still do not know what is "fair use" but
for certain we know what is NOT included in "fair use" otherwise the
copyright would fail in principle. Specularly, the copyleft as well.

 In fact, the copyright claims {business, commercial, marketing} are
exclusive rights of the author (all rights reserved) implicitly
considering that the author's intention is selling them otherwise no
one could legally enjoy the author's work.

 Copyleft trades these rights for something else rather than money but
freedom, something more valuable for some people. Thus, with copyleft
if you like to enjoy the {business, commercial, marketing} rights of
someone else's work, then you have to share back something about the
original work.

 Thus this equation takes place:

 copyright : money ~alike~ copyleft : freedom

 My proposal to apply the GPLv3 or AGPLv3 - not directly to an object
but - to a collection of objects using the database protection,
automatically also solves the problem of a blurry "fair use"
definition. However, to be more incisive about "fair use", it is
better to declare explicitly what is not "fair use". Otherwise, we
risk having to explain this in court. Like in this file header:


# (C) 2022, Roberto A. Foglietta <roberto.foglietta@gmail.com>
# SPDX-License-Identifier: all rights reserved, but fair use allowed
# Fair use includes test, learning and marketing but not sales, redistribution
# leasing, renting or every other commercial/business activities without the
# consent of the author. Every company or individual allowed to use this
# code behind these limitations will be listed here below, if any.

 In this specific case, I decided that marketing belongs to "fair use"
because it lets my product be known. In case of A.I. it would not be
fine because the A.I. could suggest directly or indirectly to drink a
X-soft-drink and this is marketing, clearly.

 So, in conclusion "fair use" was the standard before the copyright
introduction then "all rights are reserved" became the standard with
the copyright introduction but this creates others problems because it
was too restrictive so the "fair use" concept was introduced to relax
the copyright but "fair use" was not well defined. It was not well
defined because "{business, commercial, marketing} rights are
reserved" is enough and moreover protecting these rights is the core
reason of copyright law existence altogether.

 IMHO, the best we can do is to ask the Free Software Foundation to
write two more licenses or updates A/GPLv3 in A/GPLv4 in which it wil
clearly stated that the license applies to the composition and the
{business, commercial, marketing} rights are reserved and exchanged
for freedom. Then the license presents a "fair use" open definition in
which some rights {testing, learning} are clearly included. Everything
else should be brought back in these two categories. Finally, the
license should state that every collection item that does not have its
own specific copyright and license note/header, it is licensed under

 So, in the most simple case in which no any file report a specific
copyright note/header but just the repository, then this happens:

 - git repository A is licensed with A/GPLv4
 - the composition is under A/GPLv4
 - every file is under A/GPLv3

 Clearly, we can also have LGPLv4 as long as it makes sense every
other license could be used to create a collection-oriented version of
that license.

 Moreover, when an A.I.'s training engine hits a project repository
protected by A/GPLv4 then all the inputs before and after that hit
become part of the input collection which will be protected by A/GPLv4
and all the related consequences that I have just explained in others
e-mail here.

 Everything IMHO and hoping that it helps, R-

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