atom feed52 messages in Demon & DeCSS
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15 earlier messages
Roland PerrySep 22, 2000 2:26 am 
Jon RibbensSep 22, 2000 3:46 am 
David HoweSep 22, 2000 3:56 am 
Charles LindseySep 22, 2000 4:05 am 
David HoweSep 22, 2000 4:21 am 
Owen BlackerSep 22, 2000 4:55 am 
David SwarbrickSep 22, 2000 5:12 am 
Donald RamsbottomSep 22, 2000 5:24 am 
Donald RamsbottomSep 22, 2000 8:32 am 
Dave BirdSep 22, 2000 11:22 am 
Donald RamsbottomSep 23, 2000 7:36 am 
Owen BlackerSep 23, 2000 8:24 am 
Dave HoweSep 23, 2000 3:26 pm 
Dave BirdSep 23, 2000 4:27 pm 
Dave HoweSep 23, 2000 4:39 pm 
David SwarbrickSep 24, 2000 6:00 am 
David SwarbrickSep 24, 2000 6:00 am 
Paul CrowleySep 24, 2000 11:08 am 
Richard WattsSep 25, 2000 3:53 am 
Charles LindseySep 25, 2000 7:09 am 
David SwarbrickSep 25, 2000 10:41 am 
David SwarbrickSep 25, 2000 1:13 pm 
Philip RowlandsSep 25, 2000 2:04 pm 
Dave BirdSep 25, 2000 7:36 pm 
David SwarbrickSep 25, 2000 11:05 pm 
Charles LindseySep 26, 2000 2:00 am 
Pete ChownSep 26, 2000 2:39 am 
Richard WattsSep 26, 2000 9:40 am 
Richard WattsSep 26, 2000 9:45 am 
Dave BirdSep 26, 2000 11:43 am 
Dave BirdSep 26, 2000 12:26 pm 
David SwarbrickSep 27, 2000 3:02 am 
David SwarbrickSep 27, 2000 3:02 am 
Jon RibbensSep 27, 2000 3:46 am 
Dave BirdSep 27, 2000 7:52 am 
Dave BirdSep 27, 2000 11:54 am 
Benjamin GeerSep 27, 2000 6:42 pm 
Subject:RE: Demon & DeCSS
From:David Swarbrick (
Date:Sep 25, 2000 11:05:19 pm

-----Original Message----- From: []On Behalf Of Dave Bird Sent: 26 September 2000 03:36 To: Subject: Re: Demon & DeCSS


In article <000201c02627$727a94b0$56937ed4@compaq>, David Swarbrick:




There is in effect no concept in UK law of ownerless property. Property is that which has an owner. When a work comes out of copyright under law, it ceases to be property.

So if I say everyone may use and dispose of it as they choose, it does not cease..........?

IANAL, but I would've thought, then, that you're just granting an unconditional licence in perpetuity...

Yes. And however unconditional you express it to be, if the licensee gives no consideration, it can be revoked, and if, for example, I owe a million to the tax man, write some software which is worth a million, but then 'give it away'

This is what troubles me about America, that the state and its courts can literally steal your words out of your mouth then forbid you to copy "their" property: a piece of fascism that makes me think recourse to dynamite must be better than this.

So how about if I put...

"At this moment I grant irrevocable license and ownership to anyone interested that they can use this material & license unlimited further copies of it, asking that they include this cond'n on each copy made: since transfer may be disputed anyway if it is considered no value was received for it, the issuer (without relinquishing his ownership) asks each user to make a voluntary payment of at least ten US dollars -- in dollar bills, dollar money orders, or dollar travellers cheques -- not to him but cashable to Save The Aardvarks, a US registered charity, at POBox 4021 Arcata Calif CA70001; each such license is made under the law of the country where it is issued and, where that law includes 'public domain', the document is put into the public domain there."

The difficulty lies in the first line. To grant a licence is dependent upon keeping reserve ownership. To transfer ownership is to give away the power to set any terms for a licence.

Surely then each licensee may say, under his local law, that HIS license should not be tampered with and furthermore he has paid for it. Other thieves\\\\\\\ state agencies may say I have given away that nominal value but, if I don't have it, they may also kiss my chilblained arse for recovering it from me.

More exactly, they may claim that they own MY right to circulate further copies. But, if I have successfully transferred to others THEIR right to circulate copies, this is somewhat moot for stopping the circulation of copies (or their in turn licensing new distributors and **THEIR** right to circulate copies). At very least each new distributor would surely need to be challenged in his own jurisdiction. Thieves finding an empty safe may injure me for circumventing theft, but the theft itself is prevented.

I do not envisage voluntarily contracting debts then giving away the value which could pay for them, but I am talking about circumventing outright theft of property where I contracted nothing.

One paradox with the above situation is that if I give the license unconditionally then I cannot instruct the licensee in any way.... the only thing that mandates his honesty is the existence of many rival licensees who will mostly comply. Copyleft is better. (Doing it the above way also loses control completely: you can't complain if it turns up in distorted form, or as part of a commercial product).

In article <>, Charles Lindsey <> writes

Would David like to give us his opinion of the interpretation of the Gnu Public Licence under UK law? Ostensibly it purports to allow copying of the specified work by anyone, subject to a requirement that the same licence is attached to any (possibly modified) copies made.

"CopyLeft" works in a different way. I as originator CONTINUE TO OWN THE DOCUMENT. I license it for use under particular conditions, and subject to those conditions being included in any sub-licensing, and I CAN INSIST ON THOSE CONDITIONS BECAUSE I AM STILL THE OWNER.

In other words, if someone starts selling copies of my freely-licensed material to the unwary who don't know how to get it free, then I can sue them for breach of my copyright -- that was not included in what they were licensed to do. It follows that, if I owe creditors the value of the work, then ownership can be taken from me. I doubt that would end licenses already granted long before the debt existed.

Strawb would have to enlighten us whether the sub-licensing would need payment to charity so there was a consideration. However I believe the license says "this license is granted under the laws of the USA where the license text was drafted", and such is not needed there.

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Actually, if I can have a second bite of the cherry, it is probably best to jurisdiction-shop and use public domain first of all then add the extra safeguards.

"This document is published in conjunction with the site owners on, in America, under American law, where all copyright ownership is renounced into the public domain. If you copy a version from a territory which does not have public domain, then the issuer irrevocably GIVES each interested person their own share in ownership to use this document plus issue further copies and ASKS that they choose to put this same term on all copies they issue; the issuer does not currently have debts which are likely to be satisfied by the value of this copyright, but has undisputed ownership at this time in the issuing country. If ownership is disputed in your country's law, then it may forbid you to issue your own copies. If you copy a version from a territory without public domain then the transfer might not be recognised without payment, so in such cases the issuer ASKS each new owner to send at least ten dollars (in dollar bills, travellers cheques, or money orders) as voluntary payment for it not to him but cashable to Save The Aardvarks, a US registered charity, at blah blah blah."

While this would not stop authorities from stamping their foot and saying "we have seized ownership here by force", it would probably make any such supposed ownership worthless because of the impossibility of cancelling all the other existing ownerships. They cannot stop you placing a copy in America which is public domain in America; after that they can say "but we have seized ownership in Britain", and see how far it gets them.

What is the situation if you get something shipped from a place where Joe says he properly has rights to distribute to you, into Britain where Bill says he owns the rights for all copying in Britain? an interesting one, I suspect. Does the Berne convention say or imply that what is properly copied in the copying jurisdiction, a signatory country, is then proper to have and re-sell in a receiving country which disputed the right to make copies there?? Surely that is all they could do, stop copies being issued there but stand by and watch them being legitimately imported from abroad.

Could they break the original issuing into public domain in America; almost certainly not. It would be valid and continue there. They could try to seize control of copying domestically, but that would merely result in the loggerheads situation above.

I love the sound of bullies getting their heads stomped in the morning!

- -- . ___ . '-|:::|@\-[x]/__/| .-|:::|@\ ||--|"" . |__|/ ||--|"" . '-|:::|@\ (")"""-. .-|:::|@\ --+--.(")"""-' || |"" ||""| || |"" ' ' |""|

DEMOCRACY: two wolves & a lamb LIBERTY: a lamb with a kalashnikov voting what's for lunch contesting the vote

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