The Music in Noise

I Hate Licensing, but I'm Glad It's There - 2018-03-01

Coming from someone who uses the GPL constantly this seems kind of strange or even contradictory, but I do actually dislike licensing. It's part of that self-serving bureaucratic system of intellectual property that simply drives me nuts.

In general, with a lot of my works, I really couldn't care less about attribution. I see it as something more of a way of showing gratitude, and that often it can be a hassle (hence why it's a symbol of gratitude). However, what I really do care about is people distributing all derivatives under a free license, since that is what allows the code or art to grow and mature, as well as being simple courtesy (you benefited from code or art that was made public, you should allow others to benefit from the same freedoms you had). This is why I am also glad that licensing exists (otherwise I wouldn't be able to use the GPL in the first place).

Another issue that constantly arises with licenses are license compatibility issues (even amongst free software/culture licenses). Where you are unable to use a tool because the licenses will conflict either with your own code or (worse yet) another dependency. What's more, keeping track of all the different licenses and the requirements that each of them has also ends up being a huge hassle.

Generally, when it comes to knowledge and intellectual property, I care less about who made something and more about what that thing is. This is of course an issue in a world where special privileges may be given to those who invent a certain thing (but those that spend hours working away at it receive no such favour). However, I believe that in an ideal world we would simply share knowledge for the sake of others and expand upon it, keeping it in the public domain.

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