I am not an attorney. None of this constitutes competent legal advice. None of it.
Movement for collective creation
Typically focused around copyright, source code
Idea: License away individual rights
- Vanilla ala Creative Commons, Open Source
- "Viral" ala GPL
Adding Your Marks
## License This work is released under the "random license". Please see the file `LICENSE` in this distribution for license terms.
Copyright © 2020 Bart Massey This work is released under the "random license". Random License text yadda yadda
Every file in my program (ideally):
/* This work is released under the "random license". Please see the file LICENSE in this distribution for license terms. */
Protecting your IP
Send "cease and desist" (C&D) letter
Sue! But then you lose
If defendant is found to be non-infringing, you will have wasted time and money
If defendant is found to be infringing, you will still have wasted time and money
Note that the attorneys on both sides win either way
What happens when you accept contributions from others: all contributing parties collectively hold copyright on the work
This is a mess from an IP law point of view; also, relicensing tends to be impossible
Common alternative is "copyright assignment": contributors must assign their copyright to the organization
This is a pain in the neck and discourages contributions, especially when the organization is a commercial entity
What happens when parts of the software are under "incompatible" licenses?
What happens when parts of the software are under "compatible" licenses?
Effectively the work contains a new synthetic license
The most obvious case: if part of a work is GPL, but other parts are under some compatible more permissive license, the work as a whole becomes GPL