Re: copyleft symbol

From: John Hudson (
Date: Sun May 28 2000 - 13:00:24 EDT

At 02:40 AM 28-05-00 -0800, Michael Everson wrote:

>The plain text requirement is the litmus test. We don't want to see
>assertions from the Copyleft Consortium that these things are in use by
>lots of people. We need to see software documentation made by different,
>unrelated people and organizations (I should like to see at least 10
>examples) where instead of

>"2000 Michael Everson. All Rights Reserved."

>the copyright page (or verso of the title page, if you prefer) states

>"*2000 Michael Everson. No Rights Reserved."

>or the like.

>The fact that folks are making money off the symbol makes it look even more
>logo-like to many readers of this list, I suspect. I do understand it to be
>a kind of assertion of copyright, useable in examples such as I give above;
>such use would constitute evidence.

The big difference between copyright and copyleft remains, of course, that
copyright is a legal concept in intellectual property law -- almost
universally acknowledged in national legislation and international
agreements and treaties -- while copyleft is a non-binding statement of
intent regarding distribution and modification of what actually remains
copyrighted material. Ironically, in order to make a statement of copyleft
intent you have to own the copyright. Quite apart from the question of
whether a logo -- however cute and however widely used on T-shirts, mugs,
etc. -- should be encoded in Unicode, I object to the muddying of
intellectual property laws -- already an area of widespread ignorance and
confusion -- through the propagation of a sign and a concept that have NO
legal meaning. If you want something to be public domain, sign a legal
declaration of such, otherwise you retain copyright regardless of what kind
of free distribution or modification you choose to allow under that
copyright. If you would like to see the copyleft symbol become legally
recognised as indicating deposit in the public domain, I suggest you
contact your legislative representative. At the moment, printing the
copyleft symbol in a book, in the manner described by Michael, is simply
failing to correctly identify your copyright.

John Hudson

Tiro Typeworks
Vancouver, BC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.2 : Tue Jul 10 2001 - 17:21:03 EDT