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Re: [libreplanet-discuss] Direct data and derived data: chance for a dat

From: bill-auger
Subject: Re: [libreplanet-discuss] Direct data and derived data: chance for a data GPL?
Date: Mon, 27 Aug 2018 13:33:20 +0000

ah what a topic - so ideally suited for bike-shedding - i could do that
too but i will refrain and instead just answer with some cold facts

to address the OP's question directly, the GPL derives its authority
from copyright law; not from the author of the license, nor the author
of the work that uses the GPL - unless it can be shown that your tweet
to grandma saying: "mmm, i love these @nestle(TM) brand cupcakes" is a
copyright-able work of art then there are no rights that can be
retained from it, and therefore no copyleft-like principle can be
derived or enforced

furthermore, even if it were such that the data mined from these
so called "social" interactions (<190 characters? each) was
copyright-able (highly doubtful); that still would not imply that the
author has any rights to the thoughts that exists in the mind of the
reader - so there goes any claim to what emergent meta-relations or
correlations that have merely been "learned" or derived from a
collection of these things which were all voluntarily offered as public
knowledge, and offered for no purpose other than to become public

that would be like publishing a book and then demanding that anyone who
weighs that book for the purpose of calculating the average weight of a
book, must share their result - swell idea, but i dont see where you
are going to attach it's feet nor it's teeth - the author has no
exclusive rights to the information content of the book's mass,
the person measuring it would not be breaking any existing law, and
there is no defensible moral objection to the activity either

lets say i ask every "social" website i ever ever used to delete me and
evey digital bit i have ever published to their service - yay - then
some unrelated third-party data-miner-bot "learns" through the public
APIs those services expose of the conspicuous holes i left in the
membership rosters and it "derives" a new correlation: that i am the
type of person who is likely to delete all my "social" accounts - so,
where exactly would i request that new "derived" information be deleted
from? - i would presumably not even know that this happened; but i
should be fully aware that anyone (or robot) with a computer can do it -
now lets say it was not a lone data-miner but 100 of them over the
course of several years; and they are not even interested in my
information anymore, because they had already milked it for everything
it was worth years ago - then they deleted it themselves after
exhausting it of value - yay, it got deleted, just like i wanted -
right? - clearly, the notion of data harvesting being restricted to an
opt-in/opt-out basis is ridiculously naive

some nice ugly facts for the skeptical:

1 ) the internet is public and decentralized

2 ) the information you post on the internet is mostly public

3 ) the information you post on the internet is mostly trivial

4 ) anything trivial is generally not copyright-able

5 ) the information that you choose to post publicly is widely available

6 ) people who are interested in any public information will get it

7 ) people who collect sets of similar information will collect it

8 ) people who get paid to analyze correlations
    across such similar collected data sets will do that too

9 ) people do get paid very well to do that too

10) all of the above is perfectly legal and actively encouraged
    by the very services that publish your data on your behalf

11) you are not required to use any of those services

12) you are not required to publish any data to the public internet

13) you are not required to use the internet

14) you are not required to use any computer

so, what else other than that are people actually complaining about? -
where exactly is the perceived problem there? - which one of those
points do people want to regulate or legislate? - are any of those
points incorrect? - did i omit something important?

let me give an example - i can say with 100% certainty that no one
is harvesting any information that i have posted on the 'twitter'
service - can anyone guess from which one of the above points that i can
conclude such certainty? - this is not rocket science, people

furthermore, being aware of #5 alone, allows me no excuse to complain
about where the words i type into the internet end up - once those
bits and bytes leave my machine, they are forever out of my hands; and i
really do not want to take them back, nor to prevent anyone else from
reading them - if that were the case then, i would not have typed them
in the first place

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