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Stefan's headers [was:Names and identifiers]

Chris Angelico wrote:
> Open source would not exist without copyright,because it is
> copyright law that gives license terms their meaning.

That statement doesn't make any sense. If there were no
copyright laws, there would be no need for licences to
distribute software.

You seem to be saying that nobody would ever release the
source of their software unless they could impose some
kind of restrictions on what people could do with it.

But I don't think that's true at all. Open sharing of
software was the *default* before people got the idea
of applying copyright laws to it. If there were no
copyright laws, people who wanted to share their source
would still do so, and people who wanted to keep it a
trade secret would still do so. The only difference is
there would be less lawyers making money out of it.

> Even if your license terms amount
> to "do what you like with this but be sure to credit me as the
> author", that's only enforceable because of copyright law.

If attribution is all that really matters, it could
be addressed by quite a different kind of law. Or
tackle it socially rather than legally. Get it out
there first with your name all over it, so that anyone
who tries to "steal" it later will receive the
appropriate level of public shaming.