[License-discuss] exploring the attachment between the author and the code

Gil Yehuda gyehuda at verizonmedia.com
Fri Feb 28 16:15:31 UTC 2020

I'm exploring the psychological relationship between the author of a work,
and the work. i.e. parsing the phrase "my open source code" and would like
your thoughts.

Assume I need an algorithm, say the quadratic formula. Option A
<https://github.com/spilos/Equasion-Solver> is promising and is licensed
under GPLv3. Option B
also promising, and is released to the public domain under the Unlicense.
Option C: I write my own code and publish it under a license of my choice.

Obvious differences (language, licenses, amount of work involved in
incorporating it into my larger solution) are apparent. Less obvious to
everyone but me is that Option C is "my" code, and I feel an attachment to
it. When I license it, I'm declaring terms on how I want you to use 'my'
code. Thus I'm exploring the idea of "my code" with this group, since it
informs my license choice.

   1. When I use open source code in my solution, I still feel that my
   solution is mine (even though others wrote some of it).
   2. When my code is used by others, I don't feel less attached to my
   code. It still feels mine.
   3. When an open source community modifies my code, when is it no longer
   my code (grandfather's ax problem)?

You see, I realize the quadratic formula is not mine. My coding is mine,
but I'm just encoding someone else's solution, a solution discovered
hundreds of years ago. I'm encoding it in a syntax someone else specified.
My solution may be novel to me, but not to others. So what is it that
attaches me to code such that I decide the terms under which you use it in
your solution?

Gil Yehuda: I help with external technology engagement

>From the Open Source Program Office
<https://developer.yahoo.com/opensource/docs/> at Yahoo --> Oath - ->
Verizon Media
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