License and Copyright Information
My work (code, information, images, etc.) on this site is released simultaneously to the public domain and under the MIT license. Feel free to use them as you will.
While I do abide by copyright and intellectual property (IP) laws, I fundamentally disagree with basic notions of intellectual property and the licensing of it. I won’t try to refute IP here (at least for now), but my views color the way that the code on this site is “licensed”. (For more on the subject, you might read Stephan Kinsella’s book “Against Intellectual Property”.)
So, since I don’t believe that you can “own” an idea, It follows that I don’t believe that I can either. But our government posits that I have these strange rights over the ideas that originated in my mind, or rather that I timely fixed to some media) when those ideas are the right kind, etc. So, I formally relinquish these strange positive rights that I am not sure I could reasonably have ever held. All of my work is hereby entered into the public domain.
Please use this code with the reasonable understanding that I do not guarantee it’s usefulness, it’s inerrancy, or it’s future maintenance. Of course that does not cover malice. And this next point is not a requirement for your use of the code, but a simple matter of morality: don’t misrepresent the work of others as your own.
I like The Unlicense well enough that I will invoke most of it here:
This is free and unencumbered software released into the public domain. Anyone is free to copy, modify, publish, use, compile, sell, or distribute this software, either in source code form or as a compiled binary, for any [lawful (not necessarily “licit”)] purpose, commercial or non-commercial, and by any means. In jurisdictions that recognize copyright laws, the author or authors of this software dedicate any and all copyright interest in the software to the public domain. We intend this dedication to be an overt act of relinquishment in perpetuity of all present and future rights to this software under copyright law. THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.
While I do not believe in “intellectual property”, I know that there are situations where people must have a licensing scheme under which to use digital assets. Some governments do not recognize the right of a creator to release things to the public domain, and some organizations do not use things entered into the public domain due to legal concerns or simple ignorance of its working. That is why I have simultaneously released all of my work under the MIT license below. So, if working without a license is impracticable, feel free to use any of my work under the MIT License.
The MIT License (MIT)
Copyright © 2016 <David Eldridge>
Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the “Software”), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:
The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.
THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED “AS IS”, WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.
On GNU/GPL and Other Restrictive Open-source Licenses
If you believe in intellectual property, then I hope you will respect my wish that you would not re-license this code under one of the more restrictive open-source licenses like GPL, LGPL, or many of the Creative Commons licenses.
For Your Consideration…
Situation 1: CD with Mixed-license Content
Here is a mental exercise: Let’s assume…
- I have a CD with some musical tracks on it from the following artists: His Boy Elroy (that was licensed under a Creative Commons [CC] share-alike license), Dave Matthews Band, the London Philharmonic (playing music in the public domain), Taylor Swift, and David Eldridge (particularly music that I created with GarageBand—some of which is copyrighted, some of which is in the public domain, and some of which is under varying CC licenses).
Now, let’s assume three different circumstances:
- I own a license to all of copyrighted music.
- I own a license to some of copyrighted music.
- I own a license to none of copyrighted music.
Please consider the following questions:
- Who owns the CD when I own all of the ownable licenses
- Who owns the CD when I own some of the ownable licenses
- Who owns the CD when I own none of the ownable licenses
And what rights do those rights holders have in light of that ownership?
- When I own all of the ownable licenses, … What may they do to me? What may the do to the CD?
- When I own some of the ownable licenses, … What may they do to me? What may the do to the CD?
- When I own none of the ownable licenses, … What may they do to me? What may the do to the CD?