[License-discuss] [License-review] CC0 incompliant with OSD on patents, [was: MXM compared to CC0 ]

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Thu Mar 8 22:06:41 UTC 2012

Quoting John Cowan (cowan at mercury.ccil.org):
> [quoting me]

> > (3) Irrespective of CC0's merits as a fallback permissive licence,
> > the document's fundamental reason for existing is foolhardy: the
> > delusional belief that creative works can be safely magicked into the
> > public domain despite a worldwide copyright regime,
> I think this language is much too strong.  It's true that there is no
> treaty or statutory language allowing abandonment, but most proprietary
> rights can be abandoned by appropriate action.  I abandon hundreds of
> rights in personal property every week when I take the trash to the curb.
> We simply don't know how well copyright abandonment works, which is why
> CC0 sensibly provides a backup license.

Abandonment of ownership rights is simply _not_ the same as the property
entering the public domain, which term means that the creative work's
ownability has ceased permanently.  For gosh sakes, are there still
people going around believing that public domain is the same as
abandonment of rights?  Really?

Those two concepts are _very_ frequently confused by advocates of 'PD
dedications', e.g., Prof. Bernstein.  And that is a vital distinction: 
The mere fact that you have walked away from ownership of your property 
(and let's assume, for the sake of discussion, that you have done so
with actual legal effect) in no way automatically prevents a successor
from ending up with ownership:  your heirs, your creditors, etc.[1]

In forlorn hopes of not having to endlessly recapitulate this
discussion, I long ago attempted to lay out my best understanding of the
matter here:

> It's unclear that warranty claims have any teeth against something neither
> sold nor offered for sale.

True -- and yet, actual warranty protection is available with a 13-line
standard licence, ensuring that it's a non-issue.

[1] http://www3.wcl.american.edu/cni/9609/10306.html

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