Is it possible to waive copyright for everything in future?

Is it possible to waive copyright for everything in future?

Postby drummyfish » 03 Apr 2019, 23:04

I have been wondering if it is possible to commit a copyright suicide by waiving all copyright for all my previous and future works by writing a statement -- possibly hand and digitally signed -- saying I apply CC0 to everything I ever create, then distributing it on multiple internet platforms including e.g. the Internet Archive so that it cannot be deleted. Why or whether I would actually do it is another topic, I am now just curious about whether it is possible. Does anyone see anything preventing me from doing this? Any interesting consequences?

Would this in theory e.g. cripple me in the sense that I wouldn't ever be able to be legally employed as a creator of copyright intellectual property? E.g. I wouldn't be able to paint art for a company creating proprietary games, since I wouldn't be able to transfer my copyright on the picture to the company since I wouldn't have any.
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Re: Is it possible to waive copyright for everything in futu

Postby Julius » 03 Apr 2019, 23:16

I don't think there is a legal way to prevent oneself from changing one's mind.

IANAL:
The only way I could imagine this working was if you did a legally binding contract with a 3rd party. But even then, at most it would allow this 3rd party to sue you for braking the contract. But since in most jurisdictions you AFAIK can not just set an arbitrary penalty on breaking a contract, the breach of contract fine will most likely be based on the actual damages caused, which unless your works become somehow famous is likely to be very low.
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Re: Is it possible to waive copyright for everything in futu

Postby Lyberta » 04 Apr 2019, 00:22

CC0 doesn't even waive copyright fully. Some retarded countries force the copyright on you.
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Re: Is it possible to waive copyright for everything in futu

Postby drummyfish » 04 Apr 2019, 00:35

I see, you made me see this is a bit tricky because:

A statement posted somewhere is different from a license attached to a work.

A license is like a contract -- it is something recognized by law to which certain rules apply, like revokability etc. In a license, you can give up revokability and specify all kinds of conditions that will apply and you can't change them. But a simple statement, not part of a license or contract, isn't probably anything legally binding. So if I post a statement, it may actually not be enforceable.

A contract with someone, as you say, could put a pressure on me to do something (release a work under CC0), but I could actually not obey it if I'd be willing to face the consequences. A contract by itself can't do anything for me I guess, it just says that I myself should have to do it.

So now I am thinking this: can I attach an irrevokable license to a work that I will create in the future, possibly not even knowing what it will be? I wouldn't post a statement, but would attach an actual license (waiver) to every single as-of-yet-non-existing work that I will ever create. Where would I put that license? I don't know. This is what I imagine may not be legally possible -- my guess is that I can attach a license to a work only when it's been created. So this may be where it all ends.

All of this is just my guess how a law works though, it may well be completely wrong. I'd be glad if anyone better familiar with law could make this clear :) Or perhaps suggest other way to approach this.
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Re: Is it possible to waive copyright for everything in futu

Postby drummyfish » 04 Apr 2019, 00:46

Lyberta {l Wrote}:CC0 doesn't even waive copyright fully. Some retarded countries force the copyright on you.


Lyberta, my country is one of them :) It's not possible to waive copyright here.

It is really ridiculously difficult to truly give up your own copyright worldwide, however CC0 has this covered, at least as much as it is possible to have something "legally covered" in this world -- there is a fallback license that applies in case of being unable to waive copyright and it irrevokably grants all rights etc. I've actually read through the text and they make all the effort to waive everything as clearly as possible, cover all possible cases and countries. That is why I recommend CC0, it really strips the work of all the copyright nonsense worldwide, if you so decide, in a pretty much guaranteed way.
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Re: Is it possible to waive copyright for everything in futu

Postby dulsi » 04 Apr 2019, 17:36

No. If you put up artwork, code, etc. somewhere without a license, I would avoid it. A document pledging CC0 written before the artwork could easily be challenged. Also if you make changes to something, your changes to the artwork may be CC0 but not the whole artwork.

What are you trying to accomplish? If it is just to release everything as CC0, release everything with CC0. If what you want is to start a movement to convince others to release everything CC0, I would create a document pledging to release everything CC0 and try to get others to signup but I would still include CC0 license with everything to let people know at specific works and not just refer back to this pledge.

(I personally would not be interested in such a movement and consider it unlikely to gain much of a following. It is a lot of work to build a movement. Don't expect to write a document and be done. RMS advocated his ideas with code, writings and talks. If you don't want to do that, I would just everything under CC0 and be satisfied to lead by example.)
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Re: Is it possible to waive copyright for everything in futu

Postby drummyfish » 07 Apr 2019, 06:33

dulsi {l Wrote}:I would just everything under CC0 and be satisfied to lead by example.


Yes, this is what I am doing -- as I say, this is just a question out of curiosity, I am not planning to start movements at this moment.

It would definitely be a bit of rebellion, but another reason for me would also be e.g. convenience, since I really don't want any copyright and currently I am forced to post an explicit statement of CC0 to every little thing I posts, such as even paragraphs of text I write on forums, edits to other people's works in collaborative discussions etc.

Related thing: On Wikipedia there are templates, used by many editors, that state CC0 for all their contributions (even future ones) -- do you think this kind of statement can be challenged as well? (I use the template on my userpage, bottom of page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Drummyfish)
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Re: Is it possible to waive copyright for everything in futu

Postby Julius » 07 Apr 2019, 10:58

drummyfish {l Wrote}:Related thing: On Wikipedia there are templates, used by many editors, that state CC0 for all their contributions (even future ones) -- do you think this kind of statement can be challenged as well? (I use the template on my userpage, bottom of page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Drummyfish)


They are just that... statements.

"Putting something under" CC0 (or any other license for that matter), just tries to clarify the enduser contract up front. In the end what legally matters are the terms of use at the time of handing the thing over to another person.

So if you attach a license document to your stuff you only form a legally binding contract at the time the other person downloads the files (or streams them etc.).

By stating somewhere that you put all your current and future work under the CC0 you do a similar thing but expose the end user to more risk as that person has to trust you not changing your mind in the mean time, instead of being able to point to an actual license in the files downloaded.

However if it would come to a court case that person could probably point to your statement if it was publicly published somewhere or if there are whitnesses that at the time of the download it was public somewhere, so it amounts to a similar thing as including the license. It is just much less secure for the user.

In the end the open source movement (but not the Free Software one!) largely draws its strength from clear legal reuse clauses and thus in effect reducing the transaction and collaboration costs. Thus putting a statement out there doesn't hurt, but I would still attach a clear license statement with each file so the the user doesn't have to search for the conditions of usage.
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Re: Is it possible to waive copyright for everything in futu

Postby drummyfish » 07 Apr 2019, 14:08

Definitely, I try to attach very clear terms to things I publish, as close to it as possible (e.g. right in the source code rather than in a separate file.). The issue to me is what you pointed out: that the reuse of my works nowadays puts a defacto burden of proof on the reuser when it comes to copyright -- they have to keep a proof I gave a file to them under CC0, otherwise -- since copyright is automatic and implicit -- I can sue without any proof, and they're put at my mercy I won't do it. This situation kind of kills one purpose of CC0 -- the encouragement of reuse, which should be easy, without having to undergo any hassle at all. Currently you have to archive the page with CC0 attachment to the work, keep the link, hope the archive won't seize to exist etc.

So basically I would very much like to achieve a situation when public domain is the default and the burden of proof is on the author -- since copyright comes really into play in a real small minority of works intended to be used commercially. Legally I would like copyright to be something you have to register as e.g. a trademark, and distributing a copyright notice with a copyrighted work would be mandatory... instead of having to distribute a waiver for a work NOT in copyright. Change in legislation like this is unrealistic, so in this thread I am exploring this way of "doing it on my own". If a reuser only ever has to keep one statement/license/proof per author, as opposed to per work, that would be a big improvement.
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Re: Is it possible to waive copyright for everything in futu

Postby Lyberta » 07 Apr 2019, 20:06

drummyfish {l Wrote}:I can sue without any proof


Not in the US.
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Re: Is it possible to waive copyright for everything in futu

Postby drummyfish » 07 Apr 2019, 21:07

Lyberta {l Wrote}:Not in the US.


Do you please have any tl;dr of this? It looks very interesting, but the video is kinda long and comments not so helpful.
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Re: Is it possible to waive copyright for everything in futu

Postby Lyberta » 08 Apr 2019, 07:18

You can't sue in the US unless you register your copyright.
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Re: Is it possible to waive copyright for everything in futu

Postby drummyfish » 08 Apr 2019, 14:22

Well, that could maybe be a step towards what I was saying -- mandatory registration of copyright -- but at this stage this doesn't seem to make sense. If I understand correctly, you always have an automatic copyright, but if you want to sue someone, you have to make a registration of it? What's that good for? Proving you're the author of the work? That would have to be done in the court anyway, even without registration. Maybe I'll watch the video to see what it's about. Thank you for sharing it.
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Re: Is it possible to waive copyright for everything in futu

Postby Lyberta » 08 Apr 2019, 21:48

Apparently it's some kind of legal shenanigans that are US only.
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