[linux-elitists] Fwd: RFC: Freecell Solver Licence "Change"

Ben Finney bignose+hates-spam at benfinney.id.au
Thu Mar 19 13:41:47 PDT 2009

Rick Moen <rick at linuxmafia.com> writes:

> Some coders claim that standard permissive licences (BSD, MIT/X11)
> are "too long and too complex". I boggle every time I hear that --
> but then I've never been a fan of the Hold Your Breath and Turn Blue
> school of legal scholarship.

When they say that, I expect they're not comparing those license texts
to other license texts. They're comparing them to *no* license text at
all; the “any legalese is too much legalese” attitude.

I have a lot of sympathy with that attitude.

> Anyway, the logic appears to go: "BSD is too long. MIT/X11 is too
> long. I just want to grant maximal freedom. Therefore, I'll
> decomplicate matters by revoking the work's copyright entirely by
> act of will."

Jessica Litman has the right idea when she says, in _Digital

    “[A] number of the rules that copyright lawyers take for granted
    are so very counter-intuitive that people commonly refuse to
    believe that those could possibly be the rules.”

What people expect to work (divesting themselves and their works
effectively of the restrictions of copyright) isn't going to work, as
we've seen explored. That doesn't mean these people are *wrong* to
expect it to be that simple. The law is the one in the wrong here,

The trick is getting people to give enough of a shit to work to
*change* those laws so they get closer to expectations.

 \     “The truth is the most valuable thing we have. Let us economize |
  `\                         it.” —Mark Twain, _Following the Equator_ |
_o__)                                                                  |
Ben Finney

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