On 2013-02-14 11:40, Richard Fontana wrote:
Does anyone think the idea of a limited-term copyleft --
given that copyleft-next is a software-oriented license -- is a
It is an excellent idea! I'd like to think this idea has been brewing in
your mind since I mentioned it about a year ago. :-)
I had the idea when I saw @zooko's license, which is precisely the
opposite -- permissive for two years (IIRC), then strengthening to copyleft.
We're now a few years from the point where there could be
code under GPL-like licenses. I have found from $DAYJOB experience
that one occasionally has to deal with legal issues concerning
*really* old code (in a situation I dealt with today, from 1979;
admittedly that's unusual).
Yes. I view the "delayed permissive" function as an alternative way of
handling the license upgrade issue, one that removes any "or later" or
"decision proxy organization" complexities.
The idea would be to have the copyleft terms disappear after some
limited period far short of the statutory copyright term.
This is of course conceptually similar to the Creative Commons
'Founder's Copyright' idea and is related to general criticisms of
present-day copyright term duration.
I will look this up.
If anyone thinks it's a good idea, what would be a good copyleft
duration? 15, 20, 25 years?
15 years is a very long time. For example, bringing Linux 2.2 up to
shape to be commercially usable today would require a massive amount of
work. It's almost irrelevant for practical purposes what license Linux
2.2 is under.
If this is meant to have any practical effect, I would suggest 10 years
or even 5 years.
But couldn't this be up to the project licensing the software? Of
course, to make this useful in any way, the project would need to have a
clear policy that all incoming contributions would be under the same
delayed-permissive terms, so that one could look at a consistent
X-year-old tree and know that it was now permissively licensed.
Please do not hesitate to shoot this down.
Leaving that to somebody else. I am enthusiastic that this has been
For me, this kind of arrangement would be the main use of a