In this article, I explore The Official Chraki Language intellectual property claims and licenses, and how those licenses relate to contributors and their respective works.

The Official Chraki Language Qua Intellectual Property

It is Asher Wolfstein’s (me, the creator of Chraki) conviction that intellectual property is an important philosophical matter and that respecting such property is of high moral importance. as a creative entity, I always strive to respect the rights and the nature of the individual at all times. An individual must be able to determine what the product of his creative efforts, no matter how intangible, are associated with, how they are disseminated, and to whom they are attributed if that individual is to remain intellectually and productively free. It is with this in mind that I have constructed what I believe to be the fairest and most useful policies in the development of (The Official) Chraki Language.

What Do I Mean By “Official?”

In order for the Chraki language to grow, and innovate, it is most useful to have some form of a standard on which to draw judgments.

Programmers (and others) discovered this for instance in the technological industry. When a programming language was introduced, along with a compiler and platform, it was only as useful as it was compatible with that particular platform in that particular dialect. You might have a language such as “BASIC,” but with it fifteen different flavors of BASIC that all worked slightly differently in different contexts. This made it difficult to “port” or “globalize” programming knowledge and data because not everything worked everywhere.

Likewise, the world wide web as we know it today is based on the idea of many standards, including HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP), and HyperText Markup Language (HTML). There are specification documents that provide in elaborate detail the formatting and mechanisms of these and other technologies with little to no ambiguity. This enables web browsers and other programs, to communicate over a heterogeneous global network without having to worry about the details of some random format from some random region.

It is in this idea and spirit, and only in this spirit of portability, exchange, and innovation, that I define an “official” version of the Chraki language. This website (and all its subdomains) detail the standard in so many ways of what the Chraki language is in an “official” capacity. This capacity sets the stage for an entity, this website, to be considered canonical and standard, overruling in terms of ultimate validity with regards to “official” Chraki, any other independent versions. Think of this website as an equivalent to an ISO or ASCII standard when it comes to Chraki.

One is, of course, free to build on this standard (see licenses below) and develop their own systems, and perhaps variations as they see fit. However, these changes and variations will not be considered “official” until submitted and approved to the governing website body (https://chraki.dev/). This brings us then to the matter of contributors and their contributions.

Who Owns Chraki?

The simple answer to this question is that I, Asher Wolfstein, hold the copyright and other rights to the creative work known as Chraki, being the symbols, syllabary, and any other material considered part of the Chraki canon (this website.)

Released Under A Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 License

I have decided to exercise my rights as the author to license all of this material using an Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike International (CC BY-NC-SA) license. Attribution is to be in the form of a URL (to be announced) which will detail all individuals who have contributed to the project. I have made an informal addition to the license. I have added what I call an “anti-force” clause (in continuing development) which I detail below.

Contributors And Contributions

Since Chraki is meant as a community project, as any language expected to be used by others would be, that means that many individuals may hopefully contribute to it besides me. The key here is that all contributors retain their rights and claims to the intellectual property they contribute to the project. When a contribution is made canonical (“official”) the contributor/rights holder agrees to grant Asher Wolfstein or other rightful administrators of the project, the irrevocable right to publish/reproduce/use the material in any way (both commercial and non-commercial). If a contributor does not agree to grant these rights, their contribution will not be included.

Likewise, the contributor retains the right to use their contributions as they see fit since they still retain copyright. This means that a given contribution, but no more, can be employed by the contributor in any way they see fit, including for commercial purposes, without recourse from the Chraki project.

Non-Commercial?

For personal, educational, research, artistic, and other purposes, material (including software) that falls under the Official Chrak BY-NC-SA License is free to use without restriction. For commercial purposes, a separate commercial license needs to be obtained.

This is not for my own purely personal profit. I declare all proceeds from commercial use to be put towards the continued development of the project.

I debated with myself on whether to structure it this way as opposed to making the entire body of the material public domain or simply under a “Creative Commons” share-alike and then simply asking for donations. While it is possible that this may be a direction the project goes in the future, for now, with the sole idea of funding the project in mind, commercial licenses will be negotiated. It is hoped that this model can streamline development and funding hand in hand.

What would constitute commercial use?

Selling materials that reproduce the content of this site, including symbols, articles, pictures, videos and such for a profit would be considered a commercial use. This includes reproductions on shirts, posters, and in books, computer games, videos, and more.

My Intentions For The Project

My intention for The Official Chraki Language project is to provide a place where respectful creative endeavors can be made around the idea(s) of Chraki in such a way that they are made freely available to be used and mixed while also ensuring the (financial) sustainability of the project. It is that ideal that has guided me to make the licensing decisions I have made.

I am committed to building a project that can be useful to everyone in the future while still being able to “provide for itself.” I do not intend to run the project in a closed/opaque way or purely for my own purely personal gain (and detriment to the project). In the future, as the project develops, we should be able to develop and form further, creating more democratic and nuanced social structures for its administration.

The “Modified” License

As I wrote above, the entire Official Chraki Language project materials (as detailed on this site) are copyright Asher Wolfstein and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike International (CC BY-NC-SA) license. However, there is an additional requirement that I ask of others in regards to the property. I don’t have this requirement in legal writing. This is just my own personal appeal.

Anti-Force

I firmly and absolutely believe that people must be able to exercise their rights inherent in their individualism as a point of objective morality. In order to flourish physically, psychologically, and spiritually, individuals must be free to be held responsible for the consequences of their actions. It follows then that individuals must be able to dispose of the fruits of their efforts as they see fit. To do this they must be able to volunteer their consent and their actions without coercion. This is what I call freedom.

There are currently many parts of our collective societ(ies) that do not follow this train of thought. Many individuals every day are coerced by, ultimately, threats of violence and detainment into arbitrarily doing what others feel is required of them. The basis for this coercion has always been, and will always be, simply that a larger population with larger capacities for violence and harm has decreed it. The most obvious example to me are taxes, where individuals are required to give up a portion of the fruits of their efforts to some overarching entity without question for any purpose that the entity sees fit.

To me, and my endeavors, the absolute depravity of this set-up is completely unacceptable. I do not live this way, nor do I ever endeavor to treat others this way. People to me are not things, slaves, dependents, but rather exciting bundles of awesome with whom I can cooperate on a positive basis.

While I can’t necessarily control the governments of the world or their respective constituents, I can control what I do and make and how I offer it to the world. It is with this conviction that I make an appeal for an additional “un-written” clause in the license that I call the “Anti-Force Clause.”

The Actual Anti-Force Clause

The actual anti-force clause reads as follows:

The individual employing the (intellectual) materials that are covered by this license (The Official Chraki Language) agrees to be bound by the following restrictions:

  1. The individual may not employ the materials in such a way as to render coercive force on another individual or entity.
  2. The individual may not employ the materials in such a way as to oppress another individual’s freedom (defined as the ability for the individual to dispose of the efforts of their actions as they see fit.)
  3. Any modifications, additions, or other “remixes” of the material as published and disseminated by the individual are also under the terms of this clause, otherwise further dissemination is not allowed.

The applicaton of these requirements and what actions or uses constitute a violation of these requirements is up to the discretion of the original license holder: Asher Wolfstein.

These philosophical points and beliefs are not up for debate to me, and because I am the originator of the project and am responsible for it these are my terms and will continue to be the terms of the project in perpetuity.

Photo by The Nigmatic on Unsplash