W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-rdf-ruby@w3.org > March 2014

(boring licensing thread) Re: WebID sketch

From: hellekin <hellekin@cepheide.org>
Date: Wed, 19 Mar 2014 00:36:36 -0300
Message-ID: <532910C4.3050304@cepheide.org>
To: public-rdf-ruby@w3.org
On 03/18/2014 11:18 PM, Gregg Kellogg wrote:
> How, exactly, dos UNLICENCE not favor the commons?
*** The Public Domain allows defector developers to build proprietary
code from public code, and share it without sharing the sources.  They
could pick UNLICENSED code and modify it, and sell it back to you with
some nasty feature builtin. That's how.

In contrast, the GPL still allows defectors to keep their own
modifications for themselves, but forces them to share what they
distribute.  That is to ensure that distributed code remains favorable
to the user's freedom.

Once the code is in the public domain, it's difficult to keep it for
oneself, but it's possible.  The UNLICENSE fosters the commons, and GPL
enforces the commons.

There's an ongoing discussion re: GPL vs. PPL.  The Peer Production
License is similar to the GPL but restricts commercial usage of the
software to producers.  That is, only active cooperators are entitled to
make money from their work.  That effectively cuts the middleman--i.e.,
the capitalist--from the equation, but it does not prevent proprietary
software companies to employ the same strategy, and exclude free
software developers--that is, really, anyone that is not their
partner--from contributing or using their software.

For those reasons, I prefer the GPL, even if I consider the legal
framework to be a vast field on bullshit.  In any case, if I'd like to
dedicate something to the Public Domain, I would rather use CC-0, which
talks to lawyers more effectively than the UNLICENSE.

In a perfect world, we would not use any license at all.  My take is
that we should integrate the AGPL into git init, so that the first
commit makes it free software! ,o)

Received on Wednesday, 19 March 2014 03:37:21 UTC

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