[linux-elitists] California Copyleft Research Initiative of 2001

Heather star@betelgeuse.starshine.org
Sun Jul 1 12:10:16 PDT 2001

> OK, so, I've been thinking that it'd be a good idea to get the drop on
> Microsoft if and when they propose to stop GPL'd output of
> publicly-funded research.
> The idea is to draft a California Copyleft Research Initiative of
> 2001, which requires ALL state-funded research be put under some
> sort of copyleft license to preserve its freedom. The reasons are
> apparent to anyone on this list, but could easily be enumerated:
>         * it's only fair that taxpayer-funded research be made openly
>           available to all individuals and businesses
>         * research must be kept open, and not slightly modified and
>           locked up
> The reason to do an initiative rather than, say, lobby legislators, is
> that a grass-roots movement and a petition drive could actually garner
> media attention and support of the public. Legislators would
> completely ignore a bunch of wild-haired geeks without deep pockets.
> It'd be cool to do it on a nationwide level, but sadly our federal
> government doesn't have a direct democratic mechanism like initiatives
> and propositions.

No, but citizens in each state can develop an individual campaign to lobby
their Reps and Senators to support a bill with the features.  If the
campaign organizers stay in contact with each other, I think they call that
a PAC...
> It'd be great to get an act like this actually passed. However, the
> most important thing is to identify "copyleft" with "fair", "open" and
> "good" to the public eye. I think if we get this spread out to LUGs in
> CA and try to encourage people to do public petition drives (even for
> a couple of days), we could get great visibility and media attention.

"fair" unless defined, is merely pleasant buzz.  Hmm.  I recently commented
to someone (don't recall who, now) about how Public Domain (in my not-a-lawyer 
opinion) was supposed to be, the copyright holder of this item is now The
Public.  Therefore anyone who can be considered The Public in the u.s. has
all the defined copy-rights towards a thing in the public domain.
	(rants about large companies going to briefcase-war once every
	12 years so they can continue to own a cartoon, ellided.)

By raising this consciously in the fashion you propose, we would be *actively*
rather than passively declaring this, and the copyright holders would be 
The Taxpayers ( ~= The Public?) and the copyright terms would be GPL.  Hmm.
Maybe better to look at the OPL (which the linuxgazette and some other LDP
things are under) as it is aimed more at the squishy details of things that
get published in paper forms.

(warped thoughts of the software piracy checkers being sent in to take away 
your research manuals because you are being flaky on your taxes, so you are
losing your license to them until you pay up.)

"open" unless defined, is the loophole they (whatever invisible they of
the future) could skate through on.

> That way, when a proposal comes out of Certain Quarters to stop
> copylefted research, it would sound like the evil machinations it
> really is.
> So anyways: anyone know a lawyer who could draft an initiative on
> short notice (in the next week)?
> ~Mr. Bad

Why don't you ask the FSF and EFF if they could get behind it?

* Heather * 
When confronted by a difficult problem, you can solve it more easily by
reducing it to the question, "How would the Lone Ranger handle this?"

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