In the world of free culture licences, copyleft describes licences that require derivative works to be distributed under the same licence (or, sometimes, a similar one that guarantees the same freedoms to the public).
But I noticed that, at least in the case of free software licences, copyleft licences tend to be longer and more complicated than some of the wonderfully brief so-called permissive licences. For example, the ISC licence consists of a copyright notice, a 34-word permission notice, and a 76-word disclaimer of warranties and liabilities (if I’ve counted correctly).
For comparison, I asked on a relevant mailing list several weeks ago what the shortest copyleft licence anyone knew of was. Continue reading A non-coercive copyleft licence
In philosophy, the idea of a social contract is one way of justifying the government’s authority over individuals. The idea is that you’ve somehow agreed to submit to the authority of the state in return for the state’s protection of your rights (or at least, those of your rights that you haven’t surrendered by submitting to the state’s authority).
But where can I find the terms of this social contract? What if I don’t want to agree to it? What happens if I break the contract? What happens if the government breaks the contract?
Could we come up with an explicit social contract that answers these questions? Would most people actually want to sign it? Would other people have a meaningful choice not to sign it? I think so. Continue reading An explicit social contract and non-coercive law enforcement