[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
Re: [Fsuk-manchester] Copyright opinions
Re: [Fsuk-manchester] Copyright opinions
Tue, 1 Dec 2009 22:07:20 +0000
On Tue, Dec 01, 2009 at 08:55:57PM +0000, Luke Taylor wrote:
> Naturally a copyright of (say) 10 years would mean that Linux 2.0.37
> and GCC 2.95.2 and any other free software published more than 10
> years ago would have their copylefts expire.
Fair does, it’s in the commons. It only works if all software is
subject to the same rules though.
> RMS suggests that this would be acceptable if proprietary software had
> to surrender their source if the distribution was more than 10 years
Whatever the copyright term is, I believe that the source should be
Copyright allows exclusive right for copying and redistribution of works
for a period of time. After that the work is in the public domain for
others to reuse and build upon. Software, especially compiled, becomes
pretty much useless unless you have the source code to work with, so
when the copyright term ends, software may become inaccessible.
> 1) Have I understood how this works correctly? Would everything based
> on Linux 2.0.37 (ie. 2.6.31-15 ) become effectively BSD's or just the
> older incarnation?
Not even BSD license variants: There’s no requirement to keep the
license, or copyright notices with a work that’s out of copyright.
> 2) Would you oppose a law to reduce all copyright to 15 years (with no
> clauses forcing proprietary software to surrender the source code)?
I would welcome it. Out of copyright is almost free. The 15 years of
copyright allows reciprocal freedom to be enforced, and is more than
enough time for free works to gain and keep hold.
> Yes it would harm free software a bit
Out of copyright software is free software. As long as all software is
subject to the same rules, I think it sort of balances out: Proprietary
software becomes free sooner, already free software loses requirements
for reciprocating freedoms sooner. This is much better if source code
is available, but if not, software can be reverse engineered.
> (Or a lot? I honestly don't know how useful a 15 year old kernel would
> be to a modern proprietary developer) but think how much culture would
> be freed! Novels/music/plays/art etc.
I think different types of works should be subject to different
Software changes or loses value so rapidly that a short copyright term
(5 years) would benefit all, and at the same time authors will still be
able to gain from the exclusive copyright. The incentive to create is
If you reduce the copyright for written works to the same short term,
there may be not enough incentive for many to create them.
I’d like works to be ultimately free, but somewhere there is a sweet
spot between the amount of good quality works produced and the copyright
term: This is the copyright balance.
> 3) If your answer to (2) is no, what about 25 years? How many years would you
Any reduction is better than none. Baby steps.
If there is an easy and good way to define a major change to software (I
don’t think changes to SLoC (source lines of code) would be a good
measure) I think a very short copyright term, say one or two years,
would be sufficient, with major developments on top of existing software
being afforded a similar short (or shorter) copyright term.
That way, copyright might be used as an incentive not just to create
software, but enhance it too. This instead of being offered a larger
incentive to reinvent the wheel each time.
A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a
simple system that works.—John Gall
Description: Digital signature
- [Fsuk-manchester] Copyright opinions, Luke Taylor, 2009/12/01
- Re: [Fsuk-manchester] Copyright opinions,
Simon Ward <=
- Re: [Fsuk-manchester] Copyright opinions, roy.evison, 2009/12/02
- Re: [Fsuk-manchester] Copyright opinions, Simon Ward, 2009/12/05
- Re: [Fsuk-manchester] Copyright opinions, roy.evison, 2009/12/07
- Re: [Fsuk-manchester] Copyright opinions, MJ Ray, 2009/12/07
- RE: [Fsuk-manchester] Copyright opinions, Luke Taylor, 2009/12/07
- Re: [Fsuk-manchester] Copyright opinions, Simon Ward, 2009/12/07
- Re: [Fsuk-manchester] Copyright opinions, roy.evison, 2009/12/09
- Re: [Fsuk-manchester] Copyright opinions, Simon Ward, 2009/12/10