The Copyleft Symbol, all wrongs reserved

This week resonated on a personal level with me; it made me a little frustrated if I’m being honest. I feel like there are relatively simple solutions that the government can put into place, but doesn’t because there is too much influence from the private sector. This is more of a structural problem in my opinion; an issue with the value that government puts on private enterprise, rather than something with a complex solution.

For example, in high school I was a Linux/Microsoft graphical user interface tester in my spare time. My role was to receive and test pre-beta versions of the operating system and work with others (who were more skilled in coding) to fix bugs and suggest quality of life improvements (I was a nerd in high school). Many Linux distributions used the “Copyleft” licence, which stated that you were allowed to modify and redistribute the code to your hearts content provided that the new copy also has the same licence. The only catch was, you couldn’t make any part of the code proprietary; it had to remain free and open source. Code is essentially a form of data, and data is already considered copyrightable, so it stands to reason that parliament could easily pass a law stating that any and all information produced by any government body would be under such a licence. If government wanted to be more permissive then they could use something similar to the MIT Licence that allows for reselling, given that the proper attribution be given. This would be something that can be done using existing laws, there just doesn’t seem to be a significant political or public interest in the issue.

So with that mini rant now done, I should probably get back to working on my diversity paper.