[OSM-legal-talk] Contact Info For Tom Hughes Regarding Public Domain Mailing List

Rob Myers rob at robmyers.org
Sun Oct 26 15:04:28 GMT 2008

Frederik Ramm wrote:
> What I 
> don't like about share-alike is the small-minded attempt to codify this 
> giving away into something legally binding. 

The intention of copyleft isn't to create a gift economy, although it
obviously does that as a secondary effect. The intention of copyleft is
to protect people's ability to use the work. Concentrating on one of the
secondary effects of copyleft, gifts rather than freedom, makes people
think economically rather than ethically, and leads to them calling a
copyleft licence "Share Alike", which really doesn't help the discussion.

> If I give you a gift, there's a certain social/moral obligation for you
> to give me a gift too, at the next comparable opportunity. You can
> choose not to and you won't be sued, maybe you have good reasons,
> whatever.

In gift societies there's not just a certain obligation, there is a
binding obligation. In societies larger than an extended family, the law
is a codification of binding obligations. So in an open society, the law
will be used to codify this. And corporations are legal entities, not
social entities.

> That being said, "for the avoidance of doubt", I do support the ODbL/FIL 
> combo; if we manage to iron out some of the issues then we are likely to 
> have something better than we have now. But that doesn't change my 
> perception that share-alike advocates are a bunch of worrywarts.

It's an accurate perception in my case at least. ;-)

- Rob.

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