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Discussion of copyleft

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Are there differences between free software, free culture and free knowledge? We seem to be basing the definitions on free software - but is there a point where the analogy does not quite hold? Or where we might need to take a stronger stand on copyleft (for example)?

The Creative Commons (concerned with free culture) offers a range of licenses whose degrees of freedom vary, and there is a compatibility gap when we consider freedom to mix (key to free culture).

Derek Keats once explained this to me as follows:

Here are some CC licenses with most restrictive on the left, least restrictive on the right:


Now imagine over this continuum above a skewed distribution "degree of freedom" peaking at "BY-SA".

For mixing content there is a compatibility gap:


Copyleft contributes a lot to the free culture goal.

Regarding free software we find non-copylefted free software. Public domain software is non-copylefted free software - "some copies or modified versions may not be free at all".

For culture it seems to make sense to have a continuum of Creative Commons licenses.

For software we have free and non-free software and permit non-copylefted free software while preferring CopyleftedSoftware as it supports the goal of giving every user (now and in future) the freedoms implied by the term "free software".

Again, copyleft contributes much to the cause.

(Though rms has recently confirmed that the free software definition does not (and should not) require copyleft).

For free knowledge, the intent is for the knowledge to be free/libre - that the users are free to re-use, build upon and share (alike?) any knowledge they gain from a knowledge resource. Public Domain and Attribution allow the next user to lock up the knowledge in a restrictive derived work.

Is there a case to elevate the status of copyleft? Is copyleft only needed on account of the inappropriate status of copyright in the networked world of blogging, wikis, ... - the global copy/mix/share read-write culture (where the role of publishers is not so crucial for knowledge dissemination)? We need to protect and enhance the flow of resources into the commons.

Kim 12:03, 12 March 2007 (CET)

Blog about freedom and intellectual properties issues[edit]

I've started a blog about some of this stuff

I'm not making money off this or anything, I'm just interested. I'd appreciate feedback either here or on the blog as to what you think of the points I'm bringing up. --Nerd42 20:57, 25 October 2007 (CEST)