[free-sklyarov] Copyright as a restriction

Stephen R. Savitzky steve at theStarport.org
Fri Aug 24 07:13:04 PDT 2001

Jeme A Brelin <jeme at brelin.net> writes:

> On 23 Aug 2001, Stephen R. Savitzky wrote:
> > One of the problems with many of the "open" licenses, [...]
> Um... what you want is standard copyright protection.

Basically, yes. 

> Don't LICENSE your work.  Sell it, and you'll get exactly that and nothing
> more or less.

IANAL, but I seem to remember that, strictly speaking, what one sells is
the physical medium and not the copy.  What a publisher buys from an
author, for example, IS called a license.

> > In fact, I'd like to see a license that prohibits distribution in a
> > use-restricted format; might be difficult for songs given compulsory
> > mechanical licensing (US only, I think), but feasible in other cases.
> As the copyright holder, you can do that by simply not authorizing those
> distributions.  (with exception for compulsory cases)

The authorization, or rather the contract between the author and the
publisher that contains the list of what rights are authorized, is
called a license.  And in some cases I want to pass on some rights to
the purchaser that go beyond fair use -- again that requires a license.
The GPL and BSD licenses are extreme cases of this -- they are needed
because they go well beyond the standard licenses implied by copyright.

> I can't believe we've gotten so warped by the corporate licensing of the
> past fifteen years that some people have actually forgotten that you can
> SELL COPIES and not "license content" and still receive exclusive rights
> from the public.

This is dead on.  The problem, however, is not limited to copyright: you
can hardly buy *anything* these days without running across a limited
warranty and a batch of warning stickers.  It's probably worst for
software, though.
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