20 February 2011

Why the License?

In case you were wondering why I have a licensing page for my blog, here’s why:

Another problem is that the current system is not only not opt-in, it is not even opt-out. This is because there is no easy way to get rid of copyright; I am even suspicious of the legal validity of creative commons licenses, and none of these would make the work truly public domain; CC0 comes close but its validity and global applicability is much more doubtful (see my post Copyright is very sticky!). So given the difficulties in making copyright opt-in, one big improvement in the law would be to at least permit people to opt out of it (or partially opt out, whatever)–basically, the copyright law could be amended to recognize the ability of a copyright holder to partially or completely give up copyright protection, by means of creative commons licenses or other manifestations of intent. I am not aware that permitting people to voluntarily get rid of automatically generated copyright law would violate any of the copyright treaties.

Even though I’m opposed to the concept and practice of IP, the simple fact of the matter is that I am literally unable to escape it, at least within the framework of the modern American legal system.  Anything I create and share is considered my property, and I can’t escape this.  In fact, that’s the worst part:  I can’t opt out of the system.

However, I can make it clear that, insofar as I have any say in the matter, I have no desire to retain control over my ideas.  I would prefer that people take my ideas, take what they find insightful, inspiring, or intelligent, and spread those ideas far and wide.  I do not want people worrying about “getting caught” or not properly citing my work, or any form of retribution.  Thus, I have placed a CC0 license on my work and have waived attribution rights.

All I want is for my work to be free, open, and shared.

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