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Thoughts on Copyleft

So I’ve been chewing over copyleft stuff, cause it’s been a thread of conversation around me, and I’ve been of the opinion that public domain is better than copyleft.

I’ve given it some reconsideration and I think I still feel the same way. This is ironically, an uncharitable interpretation, but in a way copyleft says, “in order to receive my charity, you must be charitable,” and I don’t think anyone has to be any sort of way to receive my charity.

Now, it’s only saying “you must be charitable in your redistribution of your changes to this thing,” but that’s because that’s the maximum “you must share” it’s really able to put onto someone.

I’m not such a big fan of “you must share,” because it implies something regulates and enforces the sharing, and well, because I don’t think it’s my position to tell someone that. I think it’s my duty to try and convince them to share, but right to make them? eh.

And I get it, copyleft is a tool in the fight against commercial organizations eating up intellectual property. I see it’s value as a tool there, I just think, bigger-picture, it’s not a great tool; it operates under an “intellectual property is real” framework which is antithetical to the origins of its philosophy. Information shouldn’t be free because it should be free, it should be free because it can’t be anything else.

And I feel like, maybe, the conversation got shifted toward fighting against commercialization of intellectual property, instead of what I remember it as being about, which was a rejection of intellectual property, as a form of property, outright.

Spelling it out like this, it sounds like the movement has become deradicalized and is largely blind to it. Which I feel is a trend across a lots of what-could-be counterculture.

Anyway, all that to say, I’ve given it some thought, and I’ll still be releasing my work under the “Creative Commons Zero” license, which does its best to release ownership of the work into the public.

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