sw-l-digest V1 #2411

GerardM gerard.meijssen at GMAIL.COM
Mon May 28 21:07:19 UTC 2007

There is a clear distinction between the rights of a copyright holder and
the rights of a licensee. Valerie as the copyright holder of the design of
the glyphs can license them under different licenses. The licensee is to
respect whatever restrictions there are under a license. When the license
states that you can not make it available under another license, only the
licensee is beholden to this.

One thing that Valerie can do is transfer the copyright to the "Center for
Sutton Movement Writing Inc." or to the DAC. This would in essence be a
token gesture but from a legal point of view it might give some more
reassurance. In my opinion the best thing that can be done is make all the
resources available under a Free license as the aim of the whole SignWriting
movement is to have people write their sign language, to document their
community and culture and for the kids to be better able to learn to read
and write as even the dominant written language is easier to learn when kids
can write their own language.

I would advise against defining a new license. The reason for this is that
there are too many licenses as it is and, in order to be called a "Free"
license there is a need to have it certified as such. Without such
certification there will be an uncertainty and suspicion by the people who
are not already in the SignWriting community.

I agree with Steven that SignWriting behaves like a font and that as a
consequence a license that is intended for fonts will fit the needs best.

When you consider licenses, there are different licenses for different types
of objects. There are specific licenses for software, for fonts and also for
content. What we have been discussing is a license for the SignWriting
characters. The need for this is quite different from the license for
programs and content. I would strongly urge you to see these as different
matters. For the OmegaWiki project, we have the GPL license for the software
and we make our data available under a CC-by and GFDL license. People who
take our data can choose for the content what license they want to use (or
use both).

Writing a license that is not full of legalese is a bad thing, you will need
a lawyer anyway to make sure that you indeed phrase things in such a way
that it makes sense to ... lawyers as well. I am sure I can get you into
contact with people who are really into this subject. But really I would not
go and write a new license.

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