[Foundation-l] RfC: License update proposal

Delirium delirium at hackish.org
Sun Jan 25 00:04:47 UTC 2009

Anthony wrote:
> My point of view is that the proposed license update is a violation of the
> moral rights of the contributors.  If Mike is going to deny that moral
> rights exist in the first place, then I feel the need to explain that they
> do.
The problem is that moral rights in your sense---i.e. not the legal 
construct "moral rights" that exists in some countries' laws, but a more 
general concept of morality as it relates to authorship---boils down to 
settling philosophical debates on what constitutes a "right", what 
"morality" is, and so on. You have some opinions on these matters, while 
others have other opinions, and I certainly don't expect this mailing 
list to be the place where centuries-long debates over what (if 
anything) constitutes a "moral right" are resolved. So I'm not too sure 
what the point of the discussion is.

For what it's worth, Mike's position, that there are no pre-existing 
moral rights outside those granted by laws and society, is also a 
legitimate one, and probably the dominant view in modern philosophy of 
ethics (natural-law theorists aren't too common these days, outside of 
politics anyway).

For our purposes it boils down to:
1) What, legally, can we do as far as licensing goes?
2) Of the range of options we can legally take, which should we prefer?

You can answer #2 based on a whole range of things, depending on your 
personal viewpoints on ethics, personal priorities as they relate to the 
project, preference for being credited versus not, interest in different 
kinds of reuse, etc., but for our purposes these essentially boil down 
to various people having different opinions.


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