On Wed, Mar 14, 2007 at 10:22:30PM +0900, Eleanor McHugh wrote:
> On 14 Mar 2007, at 10:27, Chad Perrin wrote:
> >I also think that once you *give away* or *sell* something, it is *no
> >longer yours* and you no longer have a right, as author or  
> >otherwise, to
> >dictate how others dispose of it.  Period.  If you want to maintain
> >control of it, keep it in your possession.  Otherwise, recognize that
> >giving up possession (without explicit contractual agreements)  
> >should be
> >synonymous with giving up control.
> 
> Which if course is the main point of contention between the BSD and  
> GPL camps. If I were to release code under BSD it would ensure I  
> received recognition for the effort involved in writing it, if I  
> released under GPL it would allow me to control how distributors and  
> derivators used the code. The former is essentially a gift to the  
> community (in the same way as a named Hospital Wing) whilst the  
> latter is more akin to a feudal patent - only one where the  
> obligation is measured in source code distribution and resubmission.

Oooh . . . "feudal patent" is an interesting turn of phrase.  Is that
original, or did you run across it somewhere else?  I'm curious.

If it's your original material -- may I quote you with your blessing?


> 
> Of course I'm not sure Richard Stallman would wish to be described as  
> architect of a system of feudal governance, but that's a discussion  
> for another day ;p

I'm sure he wouldn't.


> 
> What this all boils down to at core is this: both BSD and GPL folks  
> are good, decent people. BSD folks like to give gifts to the  
> individual developer whilst GPL folks prefer to give their gifts to  
> the community of end-users - without the former the world would have  
> a lot fewer clever developers, and without the latter we'd all be  
> stuck with proprietary tools of dubious provenance.

I don't entirely agree with this.  The FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, and
other BSD-based OS projects prove that one need not exercise legal
control over distribution to ensure that the open source code stays
publicly available.  About 15,000 ports in the FreeBSD ports tree see to
that, at the very least.


> 
> Which of the two groups any one of us falls in at any given time  
> surely depends on what we're hoping to achieve with our current project?

There's some truth in that.  Of course, what I'd really like to achieve
in a broader sense is something like a hereditary public domain -- once
something goes into it, it doesn't come back out.

-- 
CCD CopyWrite Chad Perrin [ http://ccd.apotheon.org ]
"It's just incredible that a trillion-synapse computer could actually
spend Saturday afternoon watching a football game." - Marvin Minsky