Re: public domain boot sector

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Ivan Shmakov

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Apr 19, 2013, 11:18:14 AM4/19/13
to
>>>>> Tony <a...@some.org> writes:
>>>>> alexf...@gmail.com says...

[Cross-posting to news:misc.legal.computing, just in case.]

[...]

>> 3. I don't want to require others to pay to me

> Why not? You aspire to be a mother Teresa?

Somehow, I'd like to ask you the same?

You've posted quite a bit of creative work to this thread
lately, which, no doubt, you now hold your copyright all over.
Somewhat surprising, however, is that you /never/ ever asked for
payment for the reproduction of your creative work -- which was
copied over to perhaps thousands of "newsservers," the Google
Groups archive, at least a handful of private news archives
(including mine, BTW), and at least a dozen of newsreaders.

Now, I wonder, how did you end up effectively abandoning your
exclusive rights like that?

[...]

--
FSF associate member #7257 http://hfday.org/

Ivan Shmakov

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Apr 19, 2013, 11:45:45 AM4/19/13
to
>>>>> Rod Pemberton <do_no...@notemailnotq.cpm> writes:
>>>>> Alexei A. Frounze" <alexf...@gmail.com> wrote in message...

[Cross-posting to news:misc.legal.computing.]

[...]

> I believe in both PD and copyrighted code. I don't believe in FOSS
> code like GPL or LGPL.

JFTR: public domain, BSD, and the usual flavors of copyleft are
/all/ valid FOSS licenses.

There's a known problem with PD, however, due to the fact that
the very such notion is notoriously absent from certain (as in:
the most of) jurisdictions worldwide. Thus, for those wishing
to disclaim /all/ their rights to the code, I'd recommend to use
the CC0 "license" instead.

> Those licenses are too restrictive to be called "open source", and
> they have an political agenda: anti-company.

I'd argue that they have no such agenda. In fact, such copyleft
licenses prohibit the further encumbrance of the code by /both/
companies /and/ individuals.

(The anti-company /sentiment/ may be due to the fact that it's
indeed the companies that may, given the opportunity to take
over the code, boost its development so that the now-encumbered
result is simply out of competition with the unencumbered one.)

Instead, I'd say that the GPL agenda is /pro-community/, for
soon after the code is published under such a license, even its
original author may find that he or she cannot "take it back"
under his or her exclusive control.

(Assuming that some such community arisen, anyway.)

[...]

> What's interesting is that a non-Socialist country like the US allows
> code without a copyright (not allowed by law, forfeited copyright, or
> copyright term has expired, etc.) which allows for code that is
> effectively owned by all Americans, or anyone else for that matter.

Only until such code ends up in a derivative work. And as soon
as it does -- poof! -- the code is now effectively "owned" by
the author of the derivative work.

[...]

>> How many strings are in a FreeBSD license?

> Not enough, IMO. There are no prohibitions against combining minimal
> term MIT or BSD licensed code with more restrictive GPL or LGPL
> licensed code. There is no "string" in MIT or BSD licensed code
> requiring that additions, changes, or modifications to the code also
> fall under the original MIT or BSD copyright. I. e., there is no
> usage exclusion for abusive open source licenses like the GPL.

That's the very point of copyleft: a copyleft license is a free
software license which explicitly disallows further restriction.

Which makes me wonder, should the BSD license /have/ such a
string, how would you distinguish it from the GPL proper?

Rod Pemberton

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Apr 19, 2013, 1:56:14 PM4/19/13
to
"Ivan Shmakov" <onei...@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:87ehe6ed...@violet.siamics.net...
> Rod Pemberton <do_no...@notemailnotq.cpm> writes:
...

[FYI, original copyright discussion is mixed within
"public domain bootsector" on alt.os.development.]

> > I believe in both PD and copyrighted code. I don't
> > believe in FOSS code like GPL or LGPL.
>
> JFTR: public domain, BSD, and the usual flavors of
> copyleft are /all/ valid FOSS licenses.

JFTR: You're wrong. Public Domain code is not licensed. Code
must be copyrighted to be licensed. Unfortunately, PD code is not
copyrighted, therefore it can't be licensed. What you meant to
say, but IMO didn't do so correctly is: the FSF and OSI consider
those forms of source code to all be legally compatible. That's
different from saying uncopyrightable code is licensed under
copyright - which is flat out wrong. Unfortunately, that's a
side-effect of memorizing and parroting the standard copyleft
rhetoric to me. You didn't actually think about what you said.

> > Those licenses are too restrictive to be called "open
> > source", and they have an political agenda: anti-company.
>
> I'd argue that they have no such agenda. In fact, such copyleft
> licenses prohibit the further encumbrance of the code by /both/
> companies /and/ individuals.
>

Unfortunately, there is now some loss of context here. "Those"
referred explicitly to the GPL and LGPL. It did not refer to all
copyleft licenses as indicated by your respnse.

> Instead, I'd say that the GPL agenda is /pro-community/, for
> soon after the code is published under such a license, even its
> original author may find that he or she cannot "take it back"
> under his or her exclusive control.

Unfortunately, that's simply untrue.

Under US copyright law, the copyright holder has exclusive
copyrights to the original work. That means the copyright holder
can license his copyrights under any other licenses. That also
means the copyright holder can rescind any license such as the GPL
at any time whether there is a license term prohibiting it or not.
Copyright's are rights. The license isn't. There is no contract
enforcing the license terms. The copyright holder is also granted
copyrights to *ALL* derivative works which do not constitute a
new and original work in their own right, i.e., extremely major
changes. This condition is to prevent theft of copyright via
trivial modifications. That means that the vast majority of
contributions, changes, modifications by others to a GPL'd program
become the copyrighted property of the original author under US
law. So, basically, if you contribute to GPL licensed program,
you're working for free for the original copyright holder since
you've forfitted your rights to him/her due to copyright law.

As for the original author not "taking it back", first they must
prove financial losses to have a valid court case in the US.
That's unlikely for the given situation of it being free software.
But, if they could manage that, and they proved in a court of law
that others were infringing on their copyright, those who are
infringing are guilty of a crime and can be punished by the law.
However, as pointed out by an alt (anarchist, lunatic, and
terrorist) in the original a.o.d. thread, most GPL code is not
high value or high quality, or at least not perceived to be, so
it's unlikely many court cases are going to arise to test any of
these issues.

> > What's interesting is that a non-Socialist country like the
> > US allows code without a copyright (not allowed by law,
> > forfeited copyright, or copyright term has expired, etc.)
> > which allows for code that is effectively owned by all
> > Americans, or anyone else for that matter.
>
> Only until such code ends up in a derivative work. And as soon
> as it does -- poof! -- the code is now effectively "owned" by
> the author of the derivative work.

False. That's not how US copyright law works. See above.

> >> How many strings are in a FreeBSD license?
>
> > Not enough, IMO. There are no prohibitions against combining
> > minimal term MIT or BSD licensed code with more restrictive
> > GPL or LGPL licensed code. There is no "string" in MIT or
> > BSD licensed code requiring that additions, changes, or
> > modifications to the code also fall under the original MIT or
> > BSD copyright. I. e., there is no usage exclusion for
> > abusive open source licenses like the GPL.
>
> That's the very point of copyleft: a copyleft license is a free
> software license which explicitly disallows further restriction.
>

While I understand the backwards rhetoric (it does one thing but
everyone supportive claims it does another), just how do you
rationalize the extreme differences between a simple 2, 3, or 4
term license like MIT or BSD that has near zero further
restrictions while the GPL has literally pages upon pages of
restrictions? I.e., the point, which you seemed to have missed,
is that I believe the GPL and LGPL shouldn't be allowed to be
merged (linking is fine) with substantially "free-er" licensed
code like MIT and BSD. Even though the GPL is the first widely
adopted open-source license, it's _extremely_ restrictive compared
to almost all others that have come after, i.e., it's NOT a free
and open-source software license ANYMORE by comparison.

The problem of merging code with different licenses is license
pollution. When multiple authors work on the same program, a
single piece of code can have a variety of authors claiming
copyrights under a variety of license in a single source code
file. Unfortunately, this isn't legal under US law. US law only
allows a work to be copyrighted under a single copyright. I.e.,
mixing of code under different license within a single file isn't
legal. If the code for each is in different files, it's not an
issue. Normally, this causes simpler licenses like BSD and MIT to
become polluted with a number of non-legitimate GPL copyright
claims that are difficult to eliminate from the code. The problem
is it's indeterminable as to what copyright portions of the code
falls under - only one is allowed by US law. So, in effect, the
more restrictive GPL applies to the entire work until proven
otherwise, even if all but one line of code was non-GPL. So, the
GPL has become the "slap-on" license that you can't "slap-off".
It's used by GPL afficionados in an attempt to make all modifiable
code GPL whether it actually is or not. This also affects a
number of Public Domain projects currently, but would disadvantage
GPL copyright claims. The Public Domain code can't be copyrighted
under US law. It either was copyright once and can't be again, or
it is prohibited by law from being copyrighted. GPL authors have
added small snippets of code for which they've claimed GPL
copyrights. However, the work can only have a single copyright,
the original. In these cases, that "copyright" is Public Domain
and as such can't be copyrighted or have copyright claims like GPL
applied to it. I.e., if such a case ever makes it to court, the
GPL authors will forfit their claims to the Public Domain
"copyright".

> Which makes me wonder, should the BSD license /have/ such a
> string, how would you distinguish it from the GPL proper?

Honestly, I don't see the point you're attempting to make. Are
you equating or conflating the two because BSD license would
have one additional restrictive clause? Absurd.


Rod Pemberton








Ivan Shmakov

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Apr 19, 2013, 7:04:45 PM4/19/13
to
>>>>> Rod Pemberton <do_no...@notemailnotq.cpm> writes:
>>>>> "Ivan Shmakov" <onei...@gmail.com> wrote...
>>>>> Rod Pemberton <do_no...@notemailnotq.cpm> writes:

[...]

>>> I believe in both PD and copyrighted code. I don't believe in FOSS
>>> code like GPL or LGPL.

>> JFTR: public domain, BSD, and the usual flavors of copyleft are
>> /all/ valid FOSS licenses.

> JFTR: You're wrong. Public Domain code is not licensed. Code must
> be copyrighted to be licensed. Unfortunately, PD code is not
> copyrighted, therefore it can't be licensed. What you meant to say,
> but IMO didn't do so correctly is: the FSF and OSI consider those
> forms of source code to all be legally compatible.

What I've meant to say is that these satisfy the
well-established definitions of both free software and open
source software (of which the acceptance of these "terms" by
FSF, OSI, Debian, etc. is a mere consequence.)

But thanks for the clarification, anyway.

[...]

>>> Those licenses are too restrictive to be called "open source", and
>>> they have an political agenda: anti-company.

>> I'd argue that they have no such agenda. In fact, such copyleft
>> licenses prohibit the further encumbrance of the code by /both/
>> companies /and/ individuals.

> Unfortunately, there is now some loss of context here. "Those"
> referred explicitly to the GPL and LGPL. It did not refer to all
> copyleft licenses as indicated by your response.

Yes. What copyleft licenses do you accept specifically, BTW?

And I'm still curious if you will insist on the "agenda" part?

>> Instead, I'd say that the GPL agenda is /pro-community/, for soon
>> after the code is published under such a license, even its original
>> author may find that he or she cannot "take it back" under his or
>> her exclusive control.

> Unfortunately, that's simply untrue.

> Under US copyright law, the copyright holder has exclusive copyrights
> to the original work. That means the copyright holder can license
> his copyrights under any other licenses. That also means the
> copyright holder can rescind any license such as the GPL at any time
> whether there is a license term prohibiting it or not. Copyright's
> are rights. The license isn't. There is no contract enforcing the
> license terms.

That would seem to suggest that the license is non-binding to
the copyright holder who issued it. IANAL, yet I doubt that.
Could you please provide some evidence proving your point?

> The copyright holder is also granted copyrights to *ALL* derivative
> works which do not constitute a new and original work in their own
> right, i. e., extremely major changes. This condition is to prevent
> theft of copyright via trivial modifications. That means that the
> vast majority of contributions, changes, modifications by others to a
> GPL'd program become the copyrighted property of the original author
> under US law.

Which doesn't seem to align with FSF insisting on the transfer
of copyright to them for any non-trivial (and /not/ "extremely
major") changes to the code they hold their copyright over.

If what you're saying is true, they /already/ hold the copyright
over all such published changes.

(And: they /have/ a lawyer.)

[...]

> As for the original author not "taking it back", first they must
> prove financial losses to have a valid court case in the US.

Indeed. However, this has become somewhat a shaky ground these
days, so I'd assume that even the lawyers employed by the
"content providers," or the state, can (and will) get it wrong.

[...]

> However, as pointed out by an alt (anarchist, lunatic, and terrorist)
> in the original a.o.d. thread, most GPL code is not high value or
> high quality, or at least not perceived to be, so it's unlikely many
> court cases are going to arise to test any of these issues.

Perhaps.

>>> What's interesting is that a non-Socialist country like the US
>>> allows code without a copyright (not allowed by law, forfeited
>>> copyright, or copyright term has expired, etc.) which allows for
>>> code that is effectively owned by all Americans, or anyone else for
>>> that matter.

>> Only until such code ends up in a derivative work. And as soon as
>> it does -- poof! -- the code is now effectively "owned" by the
>> author of the derivative work.

> False. That's not how US copyright law works. See above.

So, unless "extreme major changes" are done to the code in
question, it remains under the public domain?

Still, unlike the case of copyleft, the user of a public domain
program may have trouble altering it, or learning from it.

(My point regarding the absence of the very notion of public
domain in many other jurisdictions still holds.)

[...]

> While I understand the backwards rhetoric (it does one thing but
> everyone supportive claims it does another), just how do you
> rationalize the extreme differences between a simple 2, 3, or 4 term
> license like MIT or BSD that has near zero further restrictions while
> the GPL has literally pages upon pages of restrictions?

That's simple: the latter is more detailed.

(But I wonder if there're any specific restrictions you disagree
with or reject, and why?)

Not to mention that it has "pages upon pages" of permissions
just as well.

> I. e., the point, which you seemed to have missed, is that I believe
> the GPL and LGPL shouldn't be allowed to be merged (linking is fine)
> with substantially "free-er" licensed code like MIT and BSD.

I do not understand. Do you ask for a license which prohibits
merging of the code covered with a "less-free" GPL-licensed
code, yet /allows/ the very same code to be merged with the code
released under "less-free-still" proprietary licenses?

> Even though the GPL is the first widely adopted open-source license,
> it's _extremely_ restrictive compared to almost all others that have
> come after, i. e., it's NOT a free and open-source software license
> ANYMORE by comparison.

That's irrelevant as long as it fits the well-known definitions
thereof. (Anyone's still free to suggest his or her own
definition, yet I doubt that it'd be adopted quickly.)

> The problem of merging code with different licenses is license
> pollution. When multiple authors work on the same program, a single
> piece of code can have a variety of authors claiming copyrights under
> a variety of license in a single source code file. Unfortunately,
> this isn't legal under US law. US law only allows a work to be
> copyrighted under a single copyright. I. e., mixing of code under
> different license within a single file isn't legal. If the code for
> each is in different files, it's not an issue.

That seem to suggest that US law equates "file" and "work,"
which I doubt is the case.

For instance, a statically-linked executable will contain all
the "creative components" right within a single file. Do you
suggest that such executables aren't "legal" under US law?

And what about a song, whose lyrics are copyrighted by one
person, yet the music by one another?

[...]

>> Which makes me wonder, should the BSD license /have/ such a string,
>> how would you distinguish it from the GPL proper?

> Honestly, I don't see the point you're attempting to make. Are you
> equating or conflating the two because BSD license would have one
> additional restrictive clause?

Indeed I do. How do you letter such a clause? Will it be like
"it's explicitly forbidden to merge this code with that under
GNU GPL"? Then, there also is "GNU AGPL," etc., and new ones
may spring at any time. Or will it be "provided that you don't
merge the code with that under a restrictive license"? Fine,
you've made it impossible to incorporate the code into non-free
software just as well, thus effectively making it copyleft,
which the proponents of "unencumbered" free software are often
point out as a "flaw" of copyleft.

Tony

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Apr 20, 2013, 12:30:25 AM4/20/13
to
In article <87ip3ie...@violet.siamics.net>, onei...@gmail.com says...
Is that a trick question?

Ivan Shmakov

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Apr 20, 2013, 2:39:39 AM4/20/13
to
>>>>> Tony <a...@some.org> writes:
>>>>> In article <kkk3hc$c15$1...@speranza.aioe.org>, kl...@unibwm.de says...

[Cross-posting to news:misc.legal.computing, just in case.]

[...]

>> To release software into the Public Domain doesn't make it free, the
>> opposite is true, everybody has the freedom to enslave it.

> Software is inanimate and therefore cannot be enslaved.

Indeed, I tend to agree with that.

However, the /users/ of software are typically "animate," and
/can/ be "enslaved." E. g., as in the case of vendor lock-in.
And by definition, free software is the one which grants its
users certain freedoms, such as the freedom to learn from it,
the freedom to improve, and the freedom to share (both improved
and unimproved versions.) Certainly, one may argue that the
choice of the term is unfortunate or misleading, but it's not
unlike arguing about a definition of velocity or momentum.

Alas, I have to admit that I have to use non-free software at
times. For instance, I have this "funny" BIOS which insists on
making a copy of itself on a hard disk -- a feature which cannot
be disabled (without re-building it, anyway; which, however,
requires vendor-specifc software for some 1000 USD or so.)

Not at all unsurprising is the fact that by writing itself to
the end of a hard disk, this BIOS both screws up the GPT's
backup, /and/ sets up a HPA incompatible with the primary copy,
thus instantly making my system unbootable.

Tony

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Apr 20, 2013, 3:28:00 AM4/20/13
to
In article <87y5cdd7...@violet.siamics.net>, onei...@gmail.com says...
>
> >>>>> Tony <a...@some.org> writes:
> >>>>> In article <kkk3hc$c15$1...@speranza.aioe.org>, kl...@unibwm.de says...
>
> [Cross-posting to news:misc.legal.computing, just in case.]
>
> [...]
>
> >> To release software into the Public Domain doesn't make it free, the
> >> opposite is true, everybody has the freedom to enslave it.
>
> > Software is inanimate and therefore cannot be enslaved.
>
> Indeed, I tend to agree with that.
>

There is only one definition of 'free software': software for which the monetary
price is zero. Nothing more to say beyond that. That is all it can be. Anything
else is bullshit. If you want to be a bullshitter, that is your perogative.

Software and source code, BTW, are different things.

Ivan Shmakov

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Apr 20, 2013, 3:34:28 AM4/20/13
to
>>>>> Tony <a...@some.org> writes:

[...]

> There is only one definition of 'free software': software for which
> the monetary price is zero.

[...]

ACK, thanks. Though I'd rather paraphrase it as follows:

There is only one definition of stubbornness, and it's the one where
I am right, and you are wrong.

Tony

unread,
Apr 20, 2013, 4:45:15 AM4/20/13
to
In article <87txn1d...@violet.siamics.net>, onei...@gmail.com says...
>
> >>>>> Tony <a...@some.org> writes:
>
> [...]
>
> > There is only one definition of 'free software': software for which
> > the monetary price is zero.
>
> [...]
>
> ACK, thanks. Though I'd rather paraphrase it as follows:
>
> There is only one definition of stubbornness, and it's the one where
> I am right, and you are wrong.


You just made yourself look really stupid.

Ivan Shmakov

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Apr 20, 2013, 5:38:34 AM4/20/13
to
>>>>> kerravon <kerr...@w3.to> writes:
>>>>> On Apr 18, 12:28 pm, "Alexei A. Frounze" wrote:

[Cross-posting to news:misc.legal.computing.]

>> My preference of BSD/MIT over the default copyright or PD or GPL is
>> simple: 1. I want to share the code

> PD is the best for that.

I believe it isn't, for there are jurisdictions lacking the very
notion of public domain.

In such jurisdictions, the code which the author declares public
domain effectively cannot be legally used at all, unless the
author also provides a "usual" license (even if one having the
very same effect as a public domain dedication would have.)

For this reason, I'd recommend using a CC0 public domain
dedication instead [1].

[1] http://creativecommons.org/about/cc0

[...]

>> 4. I want my name to remain there, which I think is a fair
>> non-monetary price to ask

[...]

> My preference is that you would receive a monetary price for your
> work, and that in turn you relinquish all copyright.

Irrespective of one's own preferences, certain jurisdictions may
require that the author is attributed for his or her creative
work or contribution. Effectively, it may not be possible for
the author to abandon his or her right to be attributed.

[...]

kerravon

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Apr 20, 2013, 7:22:18 AM4/20/13
to
On Apr 20, 7:38 pm, Ivan Shmakov <oneing...@gmail.com> wrote:
> >>>>> kerravon  <kerra...@w3.to> writes:
> >>>>> On Apr 18, 12:28 pm, "Alexei A. Frounze" wrote:
>
>         [Cross-posting to news:misc.legal.computing.]
>
>  >> My preference of BSD/MIT over the default copyright or PD or GPL is
>  >> simple: 1. I want to share the code
>
>  > PD is the best for that.
>
>         I believe it isn't, for there are jurisdictions lacking the very
>         notion of public domain.
>
>         In such jurisdictions, the code which the author declares public
>         domain effectively cannot be legally used at all, unless the
>         author also provides a "usual" license (even if one having the
>         very same effect as a public domain dedication would have.)
>
>         For this reason, I'd recommend using a CC0 public domain
>         dedication instead [1].
>
> [1]http://creativecommons.org/about/cc0

Ok, I've updated my documentation to refer to that:

C:\devel\pdos>cvs diff readme.txt
Index: readme.txt
===================================================================
RCS file: /cvsroot/pdos/pdos/readme.txt,v
retrieving revision 1.20
diff -r1.20 readme.txt
8,9c8,9
< without restriction.
<
---
> without restriction, as discussed here:
> http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/


BFN. Paul.

Tony

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Apr 21, 2013, 4:49:58 AM4/21/13
to
In article <81b67614-6c47-4276...@pl9g2000pbb.googlegroups.com>,
kerr...@w3.to says...
>
> On Apr 20, 7:38 pm, Ivan Shmakov <oneing...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > >>>>> kerravon  <kerra...@w3.to> writes:
> > >>>>> On Apr 18, 12:28 pm, "Alexei A. Frounze" wrote:
> >
> >         [Cross-posting to news:misc.legal.computing.]
> >
> >  >> My preference of BSD/MIT over the default copyright or PD or GPL is
> >  >> simple: 1. I want to share the code
> >
> >  > PD is the best for that.
> >
> >         I believe it isn't, for there are jurisdictions lacking the very
> >         notion of public domain.
> >
> >         In such jurisdictions, the code which the author declares public
> >         domain effectively cannot be legally used at all, unless the
> >         author also provides a "usual" license (even if one having the
> >         very same effect as a public domain dedication would have.)
> >
> >         For this reason, I'd recommend using a CC0 public domain
> >         dedication instead [1].
> >
> > [1]http://creativecommons.org/about/cc0
>
> Ok, I've updated my documentation to refer to that:
>
>

Starving artist? What the fuck is your problem man, you gotta kill people to get
noticed. Just ask the rob who doesn't even realize he is a chatroom. I can't
help him, even if I wanted to. I didn't mean to intrude. I didn't think I was
"time-traveling".

You are not my problem. And when you die, your sins will die with you. You know
why they will? Because they are apparent.

s_dub...@yahoo.com

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Apr 22, 2013, 4:01:03 PM4/22/13
to
On Apr 19, 12:56 pm, "Rod Pemberton" <do_not_h...@notemailnotq.cpm>
wrote:
> "Ivan Shmakov" <oneing...@gmail.com> wrote in message
>
[snipped]
I had two questions.

a. Does the author have to claim copyright? I vaguely remember angst
that (c) wasn't legally the same as the copyright symbol (U.S. venue),
thus impeding copyright claim.

b. Is the U.S. signatory to the Berne Convention?

(b.) according to Wikipedia:
The United States initially refused to become a party to the
Convention, since that would have required major changes in its
copyright law, particularly with regard to moral rights, removal of
the general requirement for registration of copyright works and
elimination of mandatory copyright notice. This led to the Universal
Copyright Convention in 1952 to accommodate the wishes of the United
States. But on March 1, 1989, the U.S. Berne Convention Implementation
Act of 1988 was enacted, and the U.S. Senate ratified the treaty,
making the United States a party to the Berne Convention,[11] and
making the Universal Copyright Convention nearly obsolete.[12]

So, by (b.) copyright (a.) falls automatically to the author. -- even
an anonymous author, -- for a term of 50 years.

Someone might argue the legality of public domain designation prior to
the copyright end of term?
Is the authors true recourse a very permissible copyright license??

c. Is there wording in the Berne Convention as to 'Public Domain'?
(the hidden question is whether an author has abdication rights to a
work covered by the Berne Convention.)

Steve

Ivan Shmakov

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Apr 22, 2013, 4:51:00 PM4/22/13
to
>>>>> s dubrovich@yahoo com <s_dub...@yahoo.com> writes:

[...]

> But on March 1, 1989, the U.S. Berne Convention Implementation Act of
> 1988 was enacted, and the U.S. Senate ratified the treaty, making the
> United States a party to the Berne Convention, and making the
> Universal Copyright Convention nearly obsolete.

> So, by (b.) copyright (a.) falls automatically to the author. -- even
> an anonymous author, -- for a term of 50 years.

Yes. (AFAIK. IANAL.)

> Someone might argue the legality of public domain designation prior
> to the copyright end of term? Is the authors true recourse a very
> permissible copyright license??

The first's debatable, yet the use of such a license will
certainly help a lot, should the would-be "user" of such work be
under a jurisdiction lacking the very notion of public domain.

> c. Is there wording in the Berne Convention as to 'Public Domain'?
> (the hidden question is whether an author has abdication rights to a
> work covered by the Berne Convention.)

As there /are/ jurisdictions which have no notion of public
domain, I'd assume that there's no such wording in the
convention itself.

PS. Check also the TRIPS agreement.

wolfgang kern

unread,
Apr 23, 2013, 2:12:10 PM4/23/13
to

Ivan replied to Steve:

[...]
>> Someone might argue the legality of public domain designation prior
>> to the copyright end of term? Is the authors true recourse a very
>> permissible copyright license??

> The first's debatable, yet the use of such a license will
> certainly help a lot, should the would-be "user" of such work be
> under a jurisdiction lacking the very notion of public domain.

>> c. Is there wording in the Berne Convention as to 'Public Domain'?
>> (the hidden question is whether an author has abdication rights to a
>> work covered by the Berne Convention.)

> As there /are/ jurisdictions which have no notion of public
> domain, I'd assume that there's no such wording in the
> convention itself.

Sorry for I can't follow on this whole discussion,
whenever I posted a few lines of Asm-code here or in other NGs,
they were meant to help or at least meant to be point to a discussion
about programming/hardware-matters and I never expected nor asked for
payment nor copyright-comments on the lines I posted (this were always
free as in free beer and free to use as in No-Licence applied!)

Methink that publishing ideas and hints and tricks for a certain hardware
cannot imply fees of any kind. Except if you buy s book then pay for it!

Information need to be free, and no school can pass by!

Billy the Greedy may think about this different ...
and therefore he might keep the status number one as the most cursed
persons on this planet.

__
wolfgang


Rod Pemberton

unread,
Apr 23, 2013, 5:45:41 PM4/23/13
to
<s_dub...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:ebd8572e-0b52-4e0d...@j20g2000yqo.googlegroups.com...

[copyright]

> I had two questions.
>
> a. Does the author have to claim copyright? I vaguely remember
> angst that (c) wasn't legally the same as the copyright symbol
> (U.S. venue), thus impeding copyright claim.
...

> b. Is the U.S. signatory to the Berne Convention?
>
> (b.) according to Wikipedia:
> The United States initially refused to become a party to the
> Convention, since that would have required major changes in its
> copyright law, particularly with regard to moral rights, removal
> of the general requirement for registration of copyright works
> and elimination of mandatory copyright notice. This led to the
> Universal Copyright Convention in 1952 to accommodate the
> wishes of the United States. But on March 1, 1989, the U.S.
> Berne Convention Implementation Act of 1988 was enacted,
> and the U.S. Senate ratified the treaty, making the United
> States a party to the Berne Convention,[11] and
> making the Universal Copyright Convention nearly obsolete.[12]
>
> So, by (b.) copyright (a.) falls automatically to the author. --
> even an anonymous author, -- for a term of 50 years.
>
> Someone might argue the legality of public domain designation
> prior to the copyright end of term?
> Is the authors true recourse a very permissible copyright
> license??
>
> c. Is there wording in the Berne Convention as to 'Public
> Domain'?
> (the hidden question is whether an author has abdication rights
> to a work covered by the Berne Convention.)

People keep arguing that we're subject to B.C., automatically and
unconditionally, usually *vehemently* so by EU citizens. But,
that's not the way they apply the copyright law here. It's as if
the B.C. doesn't exist here. I.e., treaties don't seem to
override State and Federal law. My understanding, (which could be
incorrect) is that a court case has to go to special US court that
handles international laws for B.C. to apply. There is generally
no reason for a copyright case to go to an international court.
Normally, Federal laws apply, since people file their copyright
cases in Federal courts. This is so their copyrights can be
enforced across State boundaries. However, you can also apply in
State courts where State laws would apply. But, your rights are
limited to State law, and the results of your case is limited to
the territory of that State. That causes a problem for your court
case if the copyright infringement occured in another State than
yours. So, most people file in Federal courts. Perhaps, they
file their case in international court if infringement occurs
outside the US... (?)


Rod Pemberton





Rod Pemberton

unread,
Apr 23, 2013, 5:48:28 PM4/23/13
to
"Ivan Shmakov" <onei...@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:8738umd...@violet.siamics.net...
> >>>>> Rod Pemberton <do_no...@notemailnotq.cpm> writes:

[...]

Sorry for the delay, my video card died, darn BGAs unsolder
themselves when they get hot.

I'm going to snip alot. I really didn't want to get into this
topic in the first place as noted in the a.o.d. thread. I've
discussed it much in the past. I just wanted to restate my
opinions to my a.o.d. "friends" and move on. I'm not sure where
you came from ...

> > I. e., the point, which you seemed to have missed, is that I
> > believe the GPL and LGPL shouldn't be allowed to be
> > merged (linking is fine) with substantially "free-er"
> > licensed code like MIT and BSD.
>
> I do not understand. Do you ask for a license which prohibits
> merging of the code covered with a "less-free" GPL-licensed
> code, yet /allows/ the very same code to be merged with the code
> released under "less-free-still" proprietary licenses?
>

No.

Basically, I want a single license, similar to BSD or MIT, that
would require any changes, modifications, additions, etc by
licensees to comply with the original copyright and license terms,
i.e., prohibit changes, modifications, additions, etc by under
other licenses.

The problem is "slap-on" GPL licenses which cause license
pollution. E.g., say the original code is BSD or MIT, then along
comes "Mr. FSF" who makes some trivial changes. He doesn't want
to release his code additions under the original BSD or MIT
license terms. So, he slaps on GPL license. Now, the code has
two licenses on the same file(s).

As for FSF requiring contribution of copyright, that's probably
for separate files, but if not, then they're probably just
covering their bases.

> > The problem of merging code with different licenses is
> > license pollution. When multiple authors work on the
> > same program, a single piece of code can have a variety
> > of authors claiming copyrights under a variety of license
> > in a single source code file. Unfortunately, this isn't legal
> > under US law. US law only allows a work to be
> > copyrighted under a single copyright. I. e., mixing of code
> > under different license within a single file isn't legal. If
> > the> code for each is in different files, it's not an issue.
>
> That seem to suggest that US law equates "file" and "work,"
> which I doubt is the case.
>
> For instance, a statically-linked executable will contain all
> the "creative components" right within a single file. Do you
> suggest that such executables aren't "legal" under US law?
>

a) No. (see below)
b) You're conflating two things: source code (protected by
copyright) and executable (not ...).

> >> Which makes me wonder, should the BSD license /have/ such a
> >> string, how would you distinguish it from the GPL proper?
>
> > Honestly, I don't see the point you're attempting to make.
> > Are you equating or conflating the two because BSD license
> > would have one additional restrictive clause?
>
> Indeed I do. How do you letter such a clause? Will it be like
> "it's explicitly forbidden to merge this code with that under
> GNU GPL"? Then, there also is "GNU AGPL," etc., and new ones
> may spring at any time. Or will it be "provided that you don't
> merge the code with that under a restrictive license"?
...

> Fine,
> you've made it impossible to incorporate the code into non-free
> software just as well,

Untrue. You're equating "merging" and "linking".

(I'd swear in one of the numerous past conversations I've had on
copyrights, all these exact issues, expressed nearly identically
too, came up previously with someone else ...)

For merging, any changes, additions, or modifications to licensed
code in a single file are in all in the same file and IMO should
have a single license. For linking, each file is separate, each
can have it's own license. E.g., a source file from BSD or MIT
when compiled can be linked with a source file from GPL when
compiled which is linked with a source file from a proprietary
license when compiled. The issue I was complaining about is when
the BSD or MIT, GPL, and proprietary licensed code all end up in
the same source file. Basically, if someone wants to make GPL
changes to BSD or MIT code, they'd have a few choices 1) put the
GPL code in it's own file 2) put the GPL code in with other GPL
code 3) decide to "rebrand" the code as BSD or MIT and put it in
with the BSD or MIT code it modifies. That way, the BSD or MIT
code can be separated from the GPL code and commercial code,
easily. If one file or multiple files has code under multiple
licenses, it can't be separated out by license. I call the
inability to *not* separate code by license because it's has
multiple licenses: license pollution. E.g., say I'd like to build
a project purely using BSD code. I've found a program that I need
code from. One of the source code files has the critical code.
Originally, it was released as BSD, but someone has made GPL
changes. However, the original project can't be located anymore.
How do I re-use the code I need and guarantee the code is purely
BSD? That's the issue. If the BSD code and GPL code aren't in
separate files, then it can't be done. That's why there is a need
for a license that prohibits merging unless it falls under the
original terms. Did that clarify the issue finally?


Rod Pemberton


Ivan Shmakov

unread,
Apr 24, 2013, 3:48:57 PM4/24/13
to
>>>>> Rod Pemberton <do_no...@notemailnotq.cpm> writes:
>>>>> "Ivan Shmakov" <onei...@gmail.com> wrote...

> Sorry for the delay,

There's hardly any need to apologize: you weren't under an
obligation to respond to begin with.

Indeed, I seem to understand the problem you're having. What I
don't understand, however, is how GPL (and not, say, particular
GPL proponents or users) makes this issue any worse (than any
other non-BSD license in existence), /and/ how a specific
license (unless a copyleft one) could help one to resolve it.

[...]

> The problem is "slap-on" GPL licenses which cause license pollution.
> E. g., say the original code is BSD or MIT, then along comes
> "Mr. FSF" who makes some trivial changes. He doesn't want to release
> his code additions under the original BSD or MIT license terms. So,
> he slaps on GPL license. Now, the code has two licenses on the same
> file(s).

How is it going to be different from, say, "Mr. Proprietor," who
makes trivial changes and slaps on a "free for non-commercial
use only" (or any other, for that matter) license?

[...]

> b) You're conflating two things: source code (protected by copyright)
> and executable (not ...).

I'm not a copyright law expert, but I find it hard to believe
that an executable (or any other form of binary code) somehow
escapes copyright.

First of all, the binary code results from a "trivial" (as in:
non-creative) transformation of the source, and thus should be
covered by the very same copyright as the source. Also, would
there be no copyright on binaries, how'd it be possible for the
proprietary software vendors to demand a per-copy payment for
binary software distributions (which is quite a commonplace)?

[...]

>> Fine, you've made it impossible to incorporate the code into
>> non-free software just as well,

> Untrue. You're equating "merging" and "linking".

I didn't say that the non-free software developers will
necessarily /link/ against a BSD-licensed file. On the
contrary, I see nothing in the BSD license to prohibit them from
"merging" their own non-free changes into the very same file
instead, and distributing the result under a non-free license as
a whole. (And please note that there /are/ non-free software
packages, which are distributed as source code bundles.)

Two more things to mention:

* "linking" as a term may become inapplicable when it comes to
libraries for /interpreted/ languages, and similar cases;

* occasionally, it may make sense to ship the most part (or the
whole) of the package's source concatenated into a single file
(check, e. g., SQLite.)

[...]

> Basically, if someone wants to make GPL changes to BSD or MIT code,
> they'd have a few choices 1) put the GPL code in it's own file 2) put
> the GPL code in with other GPL code 3) decide to "rebrand" the code
> as BSD or MIT and put it in with the BSD or MIT code it modifies.
> That way, the BSD or MIT code can be separated from the GPL code and
> commercial code, easily. If one file or multiple files has code
> under multiple licenses, it can't be separated out by license. I
> call the inability to *not* separate code by license because it's has
> multiple licenses: license pollution. E. g., say I'd like to build a
> project purely using BSD code. I've found a program that I need code
> from. One of the source code files has the critical code.
> Originally, it was released as BSD, but someone has made GPL changes.
> However, the original project can't be located anymore. How do I
> re-use the code I need and guarantee the code is purely BSD? That's
> the issue. If the BSD code and GPL code aren't in separate files,
> then it can't be done.

I seem to understand the inconvenience. However, to reiterate
it once more, GPL is /no different/ in that respect to any other
license whatsoever, and there's little sense in singling it out.

> That's why there is a need for a license that prohibits merging
> unless it falls under the original terms. Did that clarify the issue
> finally?

Yes.

Tony

unread,
Apr 26, 2013, 2:07:35 AM4/26/13
to
In article <kl6j16$mt4$1...@newsreader2.utanet.at>, now...@never.at says...

> Information need to be free, and no school can pass by!

That's a lame attempt at trying to justify property taxes to pay for your kids.
Dude, you use your dick, YOU must be responsible for the result. How much do you
owe?

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