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User talk:Mercury merlin/A modest proposal

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Commentary on 'a modest proposal'

For this piece I was thinking about the way all content is automatically restricted by default under present laws, requiring the contortions of copyleft to allow authors the option to make content and derivatives of content they have produced free and unrestricted in the sense used by Freedom defined.

A modest proposal is an attempt to envisage a regime where all content was unrestricted by default, where any restrictions could only exist for a strictly limited time and where original authors retained the final say on disposition of the content after that time (through a non-transferable right of attribution), and also where original authors had the option available to declare content they produced forever common under permanent share-alike.

More detailed commentary (section by section) to follow below:

Common domain

Common domain is essentially the existing concept of Public domain, except that I propose going with the idea of inalienable moral rights, such as attribution, as in continental Europe, and then extending that to also allow an author to assert perpetual Share-Alike in a Creative Commons sense if desired.

The attribution requirement, especially if made strict, as by the Plagiarism could become onerous for some content as multiple derivations are created, and that might need to be addressed.

The Share-alike option goes further, and is intended to still allow an author the option to make content permanently Free in a Free Content/Free Software sense. Present-day copyleft already allows this, thanks to copyright law which is effectively permanent, but since subsequent sections propose to greatly limit the duration of monopoly on copying this is necessary if the possibility of permanently Free content (whether Linux, Wikipedia, or anything else) is to be maintained.

Also, making the option of share-alike an inalienable author's right allows it to be used in subsequent sections as a limitation on the ownership of content by publishers, as will be described under that section.