[License-discuss] For Public Comment: The Libre Source License

Russell McOrmond russellmcormond at gmail.com
Wed Aug 21 17:59:03 UTC 2019

On Wed, Aug 21, 2019 at 12:38 PM Moritz Maxeiner <mm at ucw.sh> wrote:

> Why does my wish for derivative works of certain software to be available
> to
> the public (and legitimate use of the law to achieve that) bother you so
> much?
> Why your fixation on "compensation"?

I am offended by any alleged legitimacy granted to the exclusive rights of
software authors being allowed to regulate private activities.   As part of
my public policy advocacy work I have always tried to convince policy
makers (bureaucrats and politicians) to carve private activities out of
copyright, and to ensure that contract law can never be abused to
circumvent the limitations and exceptions to these exclusive rights.  In
other words, I've spent decades trying to ensure the very clauses you wish
to add to your "Open Source" license would be unenforceable.

I do not consider these private activities to be legitimately considered
"works" under copyright law (any more than the code in my head before it is
typed in), so do not consider them to qualify as "derivative works".  I
don't consider your objection about the lack of distribution of "derivative
works" to apply to private activities.

Only when an entity distributes/communicates/etc their creativity to a
third party does it become a "work", and only then do you have a legitimate
say as the author of a previous work that it might have been derived from.

I am aware that some countries have laws which have been interpreted by
some to suggest that these exclusive rights apply to private activities,
and I believe it is offensive to have the OSI approving licenses that seems
to encourage the expansion of this harmful interpretation of the law.

BTW:  FLOSS stands for Free/Libre and Open Source Software --- it is an
acronym to discuss Free Software (and the FSF) and Open Source (and the OSI
and its OSD) all at the same time without having to include a paragraph of
explanation every time.  Your attempt to carve the OSI and OSD out of FLOSS
makes no sense.

Am I understanding you correctly that you reject the entire concept of
> copyright, then? Because otherwise the fact that I hold copyright makes it
> a
> legitimate concern.

I reject the concept of copyright regulating private activities.

To suggest I am rejecting copyright itself is a straw man I'm not going to
bother with.

> What is
> > the value of this hypothetical software you believe you have a right to
> > know exists as soon as someone types it into their private computer?
> You confound me and the public. I don't recall stating that I wanted to be
> informed. I want the public to be informed.

You are the overly powerful copyright holder that is demanding a private
activity be regulated by copyright law to force disclosure to a third
party, so there is no reason to differentiate you from any other third
party as it is your excessive demand that is at issue.
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