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I like how the west is worried about copying/pasting some code and whether that would lead to some obscure licensing issue in the future where lawyers battle it out for 4 years, costing $3M in attorney fees; while some engineer in Shenzhen going off and copying stuff without any worries and infact openly teaching others in his team to learn how to cook some copy pasta.

IMO software licensing and patent litigations, all this nonsense of patenting a concept or workflow or some stupid idea someone had, hampers society tremendously.

David Beazley did an amazing and entertaining talk about software licensing litigations and what kind of things happen during this process: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZ4Sn-Y7AP8

When I write any code, I take 2 options: 1) Don't share it publicly or 2) Completely release it as public domain. No need for MIT license or any of that crap. Here, just take the code and go win the world, I don't need any credit. Ask yourself how you've benefited from someone crediting you if at all it comes back to you. The world is a large place and just let it go. I am gonna die in 40 years and whatever I do will be totally irrelevant - if my name appears in COPYRIGHT 2020 MR. FERMI ENRICO. YOU MUST CREDIT ME. in some notice that a lawyer with thick glasses is scanning through after I am dead. What an amazing legacy that I am leaving behind.

Furthermore, we need have some respect for people that want to keep code private. Not everyone is interested in open sourcing their work - but somehow that's looked down upon. Why!? It is their work and respect it, there are so many people with pitch fork entitlement. Closed source is OK. They deserve it and hope they can be financially rewarded for the hard work. I see the open-source ecosystem as a double sword edge - we got some cool stuff out of it and everyone shares that base to build off of. But then there is also socialism of code - no one wants to improve it because its not their job, then the open source volunteers are blamed for the quality of their library where these guys are just doing it for fun in their free time - literally no right to get angry at them. Now, everyone is sharing the same shitty unmaintainable library 8 layers deep in their package.json file. The devs are overloaded, issues are piling up on Github and the dude in Shenzhen has already finished the project and his gadget is in prod.

We gotta be more agile lol.






> Not everyone is interested in open sourcing their work - but somehow that's looked down upon. Why!? It is their work and respect it, there are so many people with pitch fork entitlement.

The pitchfork entitlement, to my observation, is reactionary to the force of law backing something that should be an individual's responsibility if they want to keep it secret but not supported by the threat of government-sanctioned violence.

Contrast another industry where secrecy is key. A magician never reveals their secrets, and there's material value in being able to pull off a trick that nobody else can. But what's the ramification if somebody figures a trick out and publishes it? It certainly isn't a crime. The worst of person might face is sanction from a magician's guild.

Given that we have a world where somebody can be sued for taking apart a physical artifact that they own and discovering secrets of its implementation, sharing those secrets, and modifying the thing based on knowledge of those secrets, the pitchforks are somewhat understandable.


Interesting point, I would say "Well done reverse engineering my foo.bin, that's a fine job. You wanna work for us?" or "Great, they've reverse engineered our IP. Time for us to put boosters on and out compete them by sheer hard work, more IP and see if they catch up."

Often times reverse engineering is harder than building the damn thing in the first place.


> But what's the ramification if somebody figures a trick out and publishes it? It certainly isn't a crime.

Um, actually it can be. Many magic tricks can be both copyrighted and patented.

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/teller-wins-lawsui...


As the article points out, magic tricks per se are not copyrightable. What are copyrightable are performative works, that may include magic tricks.

The distinction is subtle - it means you're perfectly free to "steal" an (unpatented) method, provided you use it in a different act.


Funny enough Teller, from Penn & Teller fame is attempting to use copyright to prevent his tricks from being revealed.

That's a slightly different case. It's not the stealing of the method that Teller objects to - it's the stealing of the act. The aesthetic, the script of the performance. Which I think is fair - it's an exceptionally artistic act, and performing it as one's own is rather like performing a song written by someone else without crediting them.

I don't think magical methods can be copyright. At best, they can be patented. It's not even clear that the copycat act uses the same method! But that's besides the point completely.


> When I write any code, I take 2 options: 1) Don't share it publicly or 2) Completely release it as public domain. No need for MIT license or any of that crap. Here, just take the code and go win the world, I don't need any credit. Ask yourself how you've benefited from someone crediting you if at all it comes back to you.

I had a similar philosophy in my youth, and it still resonates with me. Hanging around Slashdot and doing oss development, I learned enough about IP law to understand that it's not as simple as we'd like.

There's actually a risk that your unlicensed code will be picked up by somebody in a jurisdiction with different IP laws than you're familiar with. They can copyright the code (did you say "free for any use or modification?), and issue C&D to anybody hosting your code online. You could find yourself in a very awkward position where you published it first but they've done so in a legally defensible manner. CC0 and MIT are prudent licenses -- not to ensure that you get credit, but to cover your own ass.


I can get behind CYA license use. I think all of them have some kind of a clause - “You have no rights to sue me and no implied warranty” sounds logical.

I use MIT for everything. I don't like coercive licenses, but that CYA is important.

America is the Land of the [Lawyers'] Fee. I can't remember the site, but someone has a site, dedicated to all the stupid, ridiculous, double-facepalm lawsuits the US "enjoys."

It is quite common for people to be [successfully] sued for trying to help someone else.

I remember taking a CPR class, where we were told that, if we gave CPR, we could be sued.

So there's actually a reason why someone might stand back, and watch you die...


+1 We gotta get this lawyer gig economy shutdown. What a waste of human talent.

Hrm... I wouldn’t really glorify what Chinese software companies do. Tencent literally has Github repos that are existing open source projects, iterated on a little bit, with all of the copyright notices and license replaced. (Or, at least one of them is this, anyway. I kind of don’t want to specify which to avoid drama for the specific developer, but if you google names of repos you’ll eventually find one library that, under the exact same name, already existed, with some oddly identical code.)

Will this lead to huge, science-fiction-like conglomerates? Within a company, there are no licensing restrictions. So copying code, or other media like videos or pictures, stops being an issue.

Option 2 specifically public domain isn’t an option for people form some countries like Australia or Germany. They cannot put anything public domain. So please license things and go with MIT or Unlicence if you want it as free as possible.

How do you completely public domain without a license, seeing as things are considered copyrighted by default?

It interesting though, but AFAIK you there is a certain incompatibility between UK law and Public Domain license. I think you cannot revoke your own rights on the code, according to their law.



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