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

Russell McOrmond russellmcormond at gmail.com
Wed Aug 21 18:46:30 UTC 2019

On Wed, Aug 21, 2019 at 2:23 PM Bruce Perens <bruce at perens.com> wrote:

> On Wed, Aug 21, 2019 at 11:16 AM Howard Chu <hyc at openldap.org> wrote:
>> I am offended by the notion that someone may benefit from code that I
>> released for free, but
>> would deny anyone else the benefit of improvements they make (privately
>> or not) to my code.
> Ignoring Howard's return umbrage, isn't this a valid point? Having put my
> own labor into making something that I choose to share with the world, *under
> my own terms, *how does it become your fundamental right to do what you
> wish with it, in private?

Copyright is a bargain struck between society and creators for a variety of
public policy purposes.  I believe the UN UDHR article 27 articulates that
bargain well https://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/

You are trying to state copyright law in reverse, presuming the right to
control culture and science is natural and any limitations on that (such as
the protection of privacy rights) is a restriction.  The participation in
and protection of culture and science in article 27 seems pretty focused on
public activities, not private ones.

Copyright holders have never had some sort of fundamental right to restrict
any activity they wish, and there are many limitations and exceptions to
copyright that describe some of those boundaries.  Copyright isn't a single
right, but a bundle of rights describing a series of activities which
copyright regulates.

I do not believe copyright holders have any legitimate reason to be granted
the ability to regulate private activities, and believe the law within each
country should clarify private activities as outside copyright.

In Canada the 2012 Bill C-11 added 29.22 "reproduction for Private
Purposes" as an exception to copyright, which is an important step in this
process towards private activities being clearly carved out.  There is also
section 30.6 which adds "reproduce the copy by adapting, modifying or
converting it, or translating it into another computer language" as an
exception relating to software.   Already I believe these demands by
copyright holders against private activities wouldn't be enforceable in
Canada, although until these types of licenses are tested in court we won't
know for certain.

>     Bruce

Russell McOrmond, Internet Consultant: <http://www.flora.ca/>

Please help us tell the Canadian Parliament to protect our property rights
as owners of Information Technology. Sign the petition! http://l.c11.ca/ict/

"The government, lobbied by legacy copyright holders and hardware
manufacturers, can pry my camcorder, computer, home theatre, or portable
media player from my cold dead hands!" http://c11.ca/own
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