[okfn-discuss] Postcode data petition - unsure.
rufus.pollock at okfn.org
Thu Oct 15 16:37:51 BST 2009
2009/10/14 Mr. Puneet Kishor <punkish at eidesis.org>:
> A response to my recent email says (I am not stating the person's name
> since the response wasn't copied to the OKFN list)
>> Control isn't freedom. Copyleft protects the latter against the
>> former. Would-be millionaires deserve no special privilege in this.
>> That said, copyleft ensures that they suffer no special disadvantage
>> as well.
> I simply don't understand this antagonism toward those who seek to
> make wealth. "Would-be millionaires" are not despicable, but in my
> view, are admirable. I am not one of them, and I don't have the
> qualities that would make me one of them, but I do admire them.
Not sure what Rob was saying here (snipped text was too short) - but
to comment on your points:
I am entirely in agreement that there should be no particular
"anti-commercial" feeling here -- commercial users (including those
created by those who may become millionaires!) are really important to
realizing the benefits of open content and data.
This is also one of the major reasons the open knowledge definition
excludes "non-commercial" restrictions. As it says in the comment on
section 8 "No Discrimination Against Fields of Endeavor" (echoing the
open source defintion):
"The major intention of this clause is to prohibit license traps that
prevent open material from being used commercially. We want commercial
users to join our community, not feel excluded from it."
> In the context of this conversation, control and freedom are not
> antithetical. And, if they were, well, then, forcing others to
> ShareAlike would be no different than any other kind of control.
Share-alike is indeed, in some sense, "forcing" people to do something
(assuming they weren't going to do it voluntarily).
But I don't see any problem with this. The crucial think we want
"openness" to deliver is the ability to freely mix material together
-- and for everyone to have the freedom to do that. A share-alike
requirement, or an attribution requirement, doesn't stop this (but
e.g. a non-commercial requirement does.
I therefore don't have any problem with share-alike -- just as I don't
have any problem with public domain :)
Moreover one thing that I must emphasize strongly is that share-alike
isn't "anti" or "non" commercial. Large number of individuals and
companies have made money directly or indirectly from GPL'd code
(think of Cygnus, Mysql, Linux ...).
Share-aliked data or content will be no different.
> Oh well. I guess ShareAlike believers and Public Domain believers
> shall never meet.
I don't think it needs to be about belief :)
Sure, those who use the two types of license often have slightly
different assumptions about the world: e.g. "share-alikers" worry more
about the material being "closed" or others refusing to share-back
(not unreasonable beliefs -- it has happened!); public domainers (or
BSDers) tends to be more concerned about the possibility (and value)
of commercial *propriertary* use etc
But this is no reason why those inclined in one direction or the other
can't respect the choices of the other party, especially given that:
a) they are both "open" licensing approaches that allow for material
to be freely used, reused and redistributed
b) there's a whole lot of proprietary material that both groups agree
should be more open!
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