Monday, July 21, 2008

Licensing Content

Now, I am not a lawyer (so I don't know what information can be licensed and what can't), but as far as I know the fact that I have specified no license for the use of content on this blog does not mean it is public domain, or similar.

So, I just wanted to make a quick post about what license the content of this blog is provided under.

All the information on this blog is DUAL LICENSED,
1. If you plan to use it for personal or non-profit purposes you can use it under the Creative Commons "Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0" license.

2. In the case you plain to use it for _any_ other purpose, e.g.:
   a. use the information in any commercial context
   b. implement this information in your non-GPL application
   c. use this information during a Penetration Test
   d. make any profit from it
   you need to contact me in order to obtain a commercial license.

Seems only fair to me :)

P.S. Since realistically the chance of me finding a violation is slim-to-none, and the chance of me actually doing anything about it (e.g. going to court, etc), is even smaller, this is more a statement of my will for the information than anything else.


Anonymous said...

I guess the bigger question is, can you retrospectively license what you've already posted?

kuza55 said...

Like I said; IANAL, but I think that by posting something without licensing info, it doesn't go into the public domain (or at least that's what I recall reading a while ago), and I don't think any rights are given away.

I will definitely look into it more thoroughly, but I'm pretty sure that in the absence of info all rights are reserved.

kuza55 said...

According to wikipedia (, copyright is granted whether it is declared or not, and given the copyright holder has those rights unless they explicitly give them away, I'd say it is possible to "retrospectively license what you've already posted", simply because it is a clarification of the license, rather than an attempt to regain control after giving the rights away.

Though wikipedia ( also notes that 'the lack of notice of copyright using these marks may have consequences in terms of reduced damages in an infringement lawsuit — using notices of this form may reduce the likelihood of a defense of "innocent infringement" being successful'.

If you have any opinion to the contrary I'd love to hear it of course...

Anonymous said...

I'm 14 now I'll do what I want.

kuza55 said...

Yes, "dirty fucking whitehat", I'm sure you will do what you want, as I said, there's no hope of me actually stopping anyone who plans to ignore this post *shrug*.

-Pat said...

Usual IANAL applies, but here's where you stand, as far as I understand the laws, and assuming you're in the states...

Everything you post, unless you explicitly say otherwise, automatically is assigned "Copyright, all rights reserved" to you. That's the default case. (in short, you sure as hell can retro-actively license it however you want. In fact, you're really loosening up the rules, not being more restrictive in any way.)

The CC allows you to dual-license it if you want, so you can legitimitaly say "if you want to use this commercially, call me and we'll make a deal."

What is covered by the license, however, is only your writing. So people can re-use your ideas without worrying about copyright law, just not copy it word-for-word. As well, people can use any ideas in their programs, GPL or not, as it is only the source code that can be copyrighted. (ideas and general algorithms are handled by the slippery slope of software patents)

So if you post code, explicitly state that it is GPL (you can still dual-license that, if you wish). This does not, however, stop people from re-writing the same algorithms, so long as they can show they developped the actual code independantly. Finally, nothing short of a patent prohibits anyone from reading your ideas, and running with them and writing code, on their own, based from it.

I'm not trying to ruin you, I just want you to know (as far as I can tell, of course) what control you do or don't over what you're posting here. Finally, your last paragraph, about this being more "this is how I feel about you using this" than "this is here for legal purposes" probably does the most to show the honest people the 'spirit of the law.'

kuza55 said...

Hmm, thanks Pat, good point about patents.

You're probably right, though admittedly it's a bit disappointing that a specific patent is necessary (since it's way too much effort).

Anyway, I'm kind of amused this got much more of a reaction than almost anything else I've posted.

Anonymous said...

Come on Alex, tell more about what set you off here. Let's have the real goss!