[OSM-legal-talk] [OSM-talk] Critical Mass for license change-over

Rob Myers rob at robmyers.org
Mon Jan 30 20:24:33 GMT 2012

On 29/01/12 23:11, Mike Dupont wrote:
> My understanding of copyleft is the idea that people who own the
> rights to their own work license it freely.

They do so in free recognition that their contingent power should not
constrain the fundamental freedom of others. That is, they recognise the
persuasive moral case for doing so.

> This is my understanding. all of my edits belong to me, 

Only under state granted monopolies with varying justifications.

> they are my
> contributions that I then willingly share with others. If I did not
> own them, how could I contribute them?

Copyleft is a general neutralization of copyright (rather than a local
neutralization, like permissive licences). Nothing more.

If we believe that copyleft is a good thing (and I certainly do) then
this involves a suspension of the privileges of romantic authorship as
embodied in the law. Despite our self interest in our authorship, our
general self interest is better server by deprecating our self interest
in our authorship.

It is reasonable to object to the ODbL on the grounds of principle as it
is not a full-stack copyleft, rather a database copyleft. But this is
because of how it affects the class of individuals that use resources
placed under it (which includes its authors...). Not because of its
treatment of our investment in our individual authorship of elements in
work under it.

This may read as polemic. That's only because it is. ;-)

- Rob.

More information about the legal-talk mailing list