02 March 2006

Tilting at windmills

I'm tilting at a windmill called PJ, who is the lead author of groklaw.net. The moral of the story? pick the license most appropriate for your desires, whether you intend to publish programming code, poetry, punditry, or just the occasional spitwad. I'll idly point out that I'm publishing to the standard copyright protections.

Seems PJ is upset that some sites have put up mirrors of her content. I agree that had she simply used standard copyright, she'd have a beef. But she's used a Creative Commons License that permits one to copy, distribute, display, and perform the work and to make derivative works, so long as it is in a non-commercial setting. Now we'll pick up with my reply to PJ on Groklaw, a posting I expect to live for a few minutes before it gets thrown into the Groklaw too ugly to live trash bin. You can see what I posted. It's still alive.

Same with me. I resent it very much that these two are distorting the interpretation of the CC license to aggrandize themselves at my expense, justifying it that if I chose a CC license, they can take it to any extreme, despite knowing I don't like what they do.

I've accessed what I'm guessing is the "other" mirror, and it has this to say:

This is a probably-out-of-date mirror of the articles by Pamela Jones at groklaw.net. These articles were obtained from groklaw and are presented here with permission from Ms. Jones as per the following copyright notice attached to each article:

Groklaw © Copyright 2003-2006 Pamela Jones. All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective owners.

PJ's articles are licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Here is a local copy of the Creative Commons 2.0 (attribution, non-commercial) Public License.

Some of the articles on groklaw are not by Ms. Jones, or have substantial portions which are not by her; for these articles, there is no local copy, and the link below points directly to groklaw, unless there is specific permission in the article allowing it to be copied.

Now, according to the link on groklaw, you're using a Creative Commons license (non-commercial, v2.0). And a fairly careful examination of the mirror shows no commercial activity - not even google ads.

But to mirror it all without so much as contacting me to ask me is wrong. That is what SCO is trying to do, in my view, take the work of others, who volunteered it in a certain way and distort the terms so SCO benefits at the expense of the volunteers who wrote the code.

I'm sorry you feel this way, PJ. Please back away from the computer, and take a deep breath, then tell us how, exactly, with specificity, mirroring your articles violate the Creative Commons license that you chose? Maybe I'm just a numb-nut who doesn't know nuthing - I am an Aggie, afterall. But I don't see what the problem is, particularly when the license so chose gives them the right to copy, distribute, display, and perform the work and to make derivative works.

End Groklaw submission. If PJ chooses to respond, I'll update this entry. If not, my work won't end up on PJ's cutting room floor. And that is a nice thing about having my own printing press. I used to get annoyed at having the occasional post at Groklaw go into /dev/null. No more.

Administrivia update: My irony meter just broke. I added in a "quote of the day" panel on this blog just today, and the quote is: It is a curious fact that people are never so trivial as when they take themselves seriously. Oscar Wilde snork! I also made some minor corrections to the formatting, so that I could closely replicate what still is up on Groklaw.

Update: Here is PJ's response.
And here's my reply:

However, I am very clear that I have the right to say I give permission to the entire world except these two individuals, if I feel like it, because it's my work and I hold the copyright.

Except that you can't, and retain use of the Creative Commons license you've chosen. I'm sure you could do it, and call it the PJ's Sandbox Exclusionary License. But you'd come across as being as mean and petty as a certain convicted monopolist who argues that there's nothing discriminatory in charging a small license fee for their patent licenses. Even if that just happens to exclude almost all FOSS developers. Whoops, so sorry says the convicted monopolist.

You've licensed the individual articles in a particular fashion that specifically allows them to do this. Now you wish to argue that the sum of the whole is greater than the sum of the parts? excuse me? how does that work? is the grand total of Groklaw under a seperate and different license than the individual articles? and if it is under a seperate license, where is this that posted? or are you relying on standard copyright?

What bothered me was when I researched it and found them saying on SCOX Yahoo that mirroring all my articles would have the result of reducing Groklaw's numbers. Their reasoning was that it would force Groklaw's content on to Google, something I didn't want at the time, and then when folks searched for SCO or Groklaw, they'd find them instead of me. That is just mean, and I doubt it would pass muster in any courtroom.

Hummmm...feeding Google "scox groklaw" shows the #1 link to be the EFF press r\elease in the Merkey v. Yahoo, et al. case. The feinds!

You can't tell the judge that any license in the world gives you the legal right to do deliberate harm to someone. That's so basic.

Sorry, PJ, that's just a side effect of the license you've chosen. Would this judge rule the license is invalid? and if so, under what reasoning? so far as I recall, you wheren't coerced or deceived into using this license. As I recall at the time you decided to use this license I was afraid that the material could be used in ways deemed detrimental but within the letter of the license.

I'll allow that a judge may well rule the way you say they would. In which case, the Creative Commons License isn't worth warm snail spit.

My recommendation, if I may be so bold? drop the CC license and go solely with the standard copyright protections. That will stop the mirroring cold, and won't make you look petty.


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