From: Petr Kocmid (pkocmid_at_[hidden])
Date: 2001-11-21 23:49:55
> From: Paul A. Bristow [mailto:boost_at_[hidden]]
> What if my 'will' is to prevent YOU (and others perhaps) from
> using it? :-(
Well, I give you right to do anything with YOUR COPY of my work. Unlike with
"free will on the street or in the bussiness", you have absolutely no way to
do anything, legally or technically, with MY original piece of code or my
another copies of the code or other's copies of the code. This is the
central idea of FWL. I'd make an example conforming to czech law, which
makes no difference between software, artwork and work of literacy. It's
currently Authorship Law #121/2000 of the Codex (of the Czech Republic),
which I believe should be conformant to many european ones.
Imagine a sculptor made a stone statue as AUTHOR. Instead of selling it to
some gallery ("distributor publisher") he decides just to put it on the
corner of Ftp street and Http avenue, so everebody going around could enjoy
it. Doing it so, he becomes a PUBLISHER of his own work. It means he
published the work for free public use. Instead of selling to museum
(publisher who buys copyright), where everybody must pay the entrance fee
(pay to publisher for licence to "use" the work), it's available for no fee.
But he is still the author and still holds copyright. Some guy just going
around takes a photo of the statue, some other makes a painting picture of
it, yet another one puts a graffitti on it. These are "derived works" in the
sense of law just as with software. Rights to this new work has completely
nothing to do with each other or rights to "original work", BECAUSE the
author has made the work publicly available. So the photograph could decide
to sell his photo to some magazine but painter could give his painting back
to the sculptor, who in turn decides to clean up an ugly graffitti. This is
just the way any open project on the net works. The only difference is the
subtle fact the software is little more flexible in copying than piece of
stone. But it's an issue of available technology only, if graffitti man had
a S-T replicator device applied to the statue, then he could keep a copy of
his graffitti_on_statue piece of art along with him before it'll get washed
off just as easily as I take cvs snapshot of boost every week.
Ethics of the Free Will Licence is based on the principle that no one could
prevent to use what is available to everybody, nor technically nor legally,
just by the fact all others have the same rights with their own copies.
> Am I right in understanding that copyright prevents this?
Yes. And more, it' prevents any potential patenting madness from the legal
side of the coin. Copyright is required by many laws to qualify the work to
be the work by the law. It's a kind of historical consensus.
Copyright/authorship is essential part of FWL from the legal side, but the
expression of free will is essential part from the free world side. Getting
them together makes the difference.
> If so perhaps we need to say, anything EXCEPT claiming copyright?
I don't think so. There is no real need of any negativity. Just as graffitti
artist dishonours himself by his sign on the other's statue, false copyright
claimer will surely dishonour himself, sooner or later. No matter if he
makes money or glory with his steal or not, it's irelevant to the original
availability of work. More, I believe EVERY human being who performs some
creative works reuses another work of somebody else, at least in reusing
ideas. For example if you write a brand new <complex> template, do you grant
an authorship of the concept to herr C.F.Gauss in your copyright? Many of
the linar algebra algo usually found in matrix stuff is about 200-300 years
old. Eratosthene's sieve algo is more than 2000 years old. How somebody
could claim a full copyright for it in his implementation? For me, copyright
is a crazy pure nonsense. But it's included in FWL for the purpose to
connect ruling world of legal nonreality to the ruled world of natural
reality. If somebody wishes to possess the fiction of authorship, let it be.
It's just his already granted free will, nothing more. It should have very
little or no impact on the mainstream project itself. On the contrary, it
may become a simple way how to keep stuff up and running if the original
Of course, all you need to express is the public availability, the way the
work is published. No limitations about publishing. This is the essential,
so no one could claim exclusivity rights on the publishing the code later
on. Everybody has publishing rights, that's it. Within free-will-concept,
this unlimited publishing availability is already included. If somebody
publishes no-change with false copyright, just re-publish with the original
> But you are right in saying that we need to establish
> both the author(s),
> and the copyright holder (might be a company).
Some projects have a non-commercial organization behind them, often a
foundation, which holds the copyright as a prevention of legal backstrike of
heretic project deserters, what already happened. I don't think it's needed
in case of boost. Boost success is based on collective consensus, not on
indiviadual rulership, which makes any open rebellion less probable.
But on second thought, keeping copyright of some boost code by any
bussiness company is certainly not a good and stable option. In this case,
foundation could be used to transfer copyright as donation. Unless a company
decides to publish under FWL, of course, which I doubt could happen..
> > From: Petr Kocmid [mailto:pkocmid_at_[hidden]]
> > A simple license should have two parts of it:
> > 1. Statement of authorship of the work. This is needed for
> > satisfying some local laws. Under some laws, copyright and
> > authorship are quite different legal terms. Copyright is a right
> > to publish the piece of work, which is not the same as
> > authorship. If desired, copyright should be added.
> > 2. Statement of availability (nonexclusivity in copy publishing
> > rights). Here goes my invention: A Free Will License. It sounds:
> > "You can do whatever is your will with your copy of this software."
> > An example:
> > // This software has been written by Petr Kocmid.
> > // Copyright 2001 by Petr Kocmid
> > // Free Will License:
> > // You can do whatever is your will with your copy of this software.
> > Such licence reflects completely transient existential nature of
> > software copy without any restriction of every imaginable
> > manipulation with it.
BTW, Anybody has software patent for TM? Could be a real fortune in some
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