THE COPYFAIR INITIATIVE
Copyfair means “copyright fairness”. There is not real freedom without justice. As fairness is a subjective matter, creators must have the option of taking decisions about some crucial issues such as “the time of permission of the work”, “decide in which cases an economical remuneration must be paid”, and “fixing the value of the remuneration”.
The Copyfair initiative principles:
- Material Equality. Equality is not real if don’t consider variables such as the limitations of people, and their economical conditions. As in tax law, who has more should pay more. But if you incoming is under the threshold, you don’t pay. Adapted to copyright law, we could say that people who makes an economical profit above the threshold must pay, and people under the threshold should not pay.
- The right to work of creators. The right to work and get paid for your work is not negotiable. Artists, open source developers, and Commoners work very hard, and they must get paid for their work, if it is used for profitable purposes. This retribution also permits the maintenance of the project for a long term.
- The right to decide of creators. Creators should be able to decide about the most important decisions of their licenses such as time of permission, commercial uses, warranty, etc. Today, FOSS generic licenses don’t let the copyright holder, to take such decisions.
- The right of people to access knowledge, and culture. Culture and knowledge must not only benefit privileged groups. Everybody must have access to knowledge in order to build a better society. Some copyright exceptions(or fair uses) are granted in most countries. But the copyright holder can always customize or extend those exceptions through the license.
- Non discrimination.
All humans are equal in terms of race, age, gender, ethnic, color, nationality. The copyright holder can always specify their conditions, but those cannot be discriminative.
The only way to reach these 5 principles is through the creation of a single license which allows different options, and permits copyright holders, the option of taking decisions about the most relevant aspects of their copyrights.
In legal terms, the copyfair is an initiative with the purpose of creating SPECIALIZED, FAIR, FLEXIBLE, and UNDERSTANDABLE copyright licenses.
SPECIFIC. Copyfair licenses are focused in particular areas of culture, software, science, common works, P2P projects. E.g. cultural works are too diverse, so we cannot apply the same rules to wikipedia writers, bloggers, musicians, film makers, or data base producers. We should evolve from generic purpose licenses, to specific purpose licenses.
FAIRNESS. Creators must decide about the most important aspects of their copyright license such as: time of permission for commercial uses, the price of permission, which uses he consider as commercial, if the economical compensation will benefit a community for development projects, or even who collects his royalties(if applicable). However, conditions shall not be discriminatory.
FLEXIBILITY. Copyright must be flexible. As the time of copyright protection will last the life of the creator(+50), creators must always have different options. Ej: the option of getting paid if their work is used for commercial uses, such as publicity.
UNDERSTANDABILITY. Copyfair licenses must be short, simple, and use an understandable legal language, because most developers, artists and commoners are not legal experts.
FAIR COMMONS LICENSES
This is the technical part of the project. Fair commons licenses must follow the principles of the copyfair initiative bases in Fairness, specificity, flexibility, and understandability.
At the moment, the idea is to try different license models, based on a single generic license. Our first prototype is the “Fair Commons Generic License v.0”.
But anyone can create a copyfair license, if they follow the copyfair principles.