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Sun Revises its CDDL and A Map of Groklaw
Saturday, December 18 2004 @ 06:13 AM EST

Sun has made some changes to its proposed license, the CDDL, based in part, they say, on the article we did on the draft of the license and after reading your comments and suggestions there. I thought you'd like to know. You might like to take a look at the new version. Here's what Sun's representative wrote when submitting the revision to license-discuss at opensource.org, in part:

Based on some valuable feedback from license-discuss (particular thanks to John Cowan, Rod Dixon and Chuck Swiger) and based on feedback from some open source developers, and the the Groklaw discussion, including both Pamela Jones' original posting and the community discussion, we respectfully submit an update to CDDL for OSI review and approval. You can find the updated CDDL, redline against MPL1.1, redline against the previous version of CDDL, updated "why" document, and the previous version of CDDL at: http://www.sun.com/cddl/

So, it's probably a good idea to take a look and see how the new version strikes you. You'll see that the major changes are in the paragraph we found most problematic, 6.2. I haven't yet had time to evaluate the changes myself, so we can do it together. Fair is fair, and Sun is to be commended in this instance for wanting to get it right and for listening to suggestions from the community.

A Map to Groklaw

I want to thank tangomike for noticing that Groklaw needed a map so new visitors can find their way around. So he just designed one and sent it to me, and it's lovely. So if you wonder where something is, just click on the new link "Where Is . . .?" and you'll find the map.

If you are looking for words describing the features and what you'll find here on Groklaw, check out the Mission Statement. I have just added a link on that page to the Wikipedia article about me, because it has some info on why I've tried from the beginning to maintain my privacy:

Jones reveals very little personal information, as she considers her private information is not relevant because the point of Groklaw is that no one person is as smart as an entire group. For that reason, she originally had no personal information available on Groklaw, not even her name, going by the handle PJ.

"I originally wanted to stay anonymous, in a sense, by just saying PJ. Eventually media attention and other factors made it impossible to remain just PJ but I would have if I could have. I have no desire to be famous, for one thing. And I have been creatively influenced by Scott McCloud's work. He points out in Understanding Comics (p. 45-51) in a section on iconic representation that people respond most strongly to a drawing of a character that simplifies to the point that anyone can identify with the character. I guess I was hoping for that effect. In other words, I was hoping people could assume whatever they wanted and just focus on what I said, rather than on who was saying it. For that reason, I chose PJ, because it could be anyone, either sex, any nationality, anyone and no one in particular. I wanted participation by anyone interested in the SCO story. No politics. Nothing extraneous. Just an effort to locate and provide evidence that could be useful. I knew the community could answer SCO, if they just knew what was needed. And they have."

The article on Wikipedia was done a while back, but it's still accurate. I like being nobody, a private person.

Groklaw was never a career move. What matters to me is the creative idea of Groklaw and that we've been able to execute, to present a group answer to SCO and now in other areas as well. It's always been about being effective and trying to see if a creative idea could work. And it did.

: )

If you have never been exposed to Scott McCloud's work, you might like to take a look. When I started Groklaw, I used to try to play with graphics, very much because of reading Scott's books, and because it was creatively fun, but when we moved to ibiblio, I stopped, because they ask us to be reasonable about bandwidth, for one thing, and also because as Groklaw grew, it was too time-consuming to get permissions and nearly impossible to get them in time. But I loved doing it, and in my mind, I still think of visuals I'd like to use in a kind of creative juxtaposition, mainly for humorous effect. Just another example of how creativity can be affected by IP law, as it is currently set up.

Duke University Law School's Center for the Study of the Public Domain had a contest for students, asking them to come up with a video on that theme. You can find the finalists here, and can vote for your favorites. I would direct you particularly to the "The Army, One by One," by Christopher Sims, and "Why Copyrights?" by Turner Clay to get an idea of how and why permissions have become a modern problem for artists, particularly visual artists. There are some others that I enjoyed too, by the way, but these were the two that most match what I am trying to express here.

There is a new source for photographs under Creative Commons licenses on Flickr, where anyone can post their photos and if they are under the right license, you can use them on your website without having to ask for permission.


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