Copyfree is not dependent on copyright.
The US Copyright Office has this to say about copyright at the time of this writing:
Copyright is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States (title 17, U. S. Code) to the authors of "original works of authorship," including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works. This protection is available to both published and unpublished works. Section 106 of the 1976 Copyright Act generally gives the owner of copyright the exclusive right to do and to authorize others to do the following:
- To reproduce the work in copies or phonorecords;
- To prepare derivative works based upon the work;
- To distribute copies or phonorecords of the work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending;
- To perform the work publicly, in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and motion pictures and other audiovisual works;
- To display the work publicly, in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and pictorial, graphic, or sculptural works, including the individual images of a motion picture or other audiovisual work; and
- In the case of sound recordings, to perform the work publicly by means of a digital audio transmission.
The key to understanding copyright is the phrase "the exclusive right". Empowered by the US Constitution, federal law provides for governmental protection of theoretically limited monopoly privilege for the creator of a work over that product of the intellect. The oft cited intent of that legal protection of monopoly privilege is to provide motivation for creators of original works to continue to create. While a combination of technological innovations and social changes have led to a world in which it is increasingly difficult to enforce this monopoly privilege as well as increasingly cheap and easy for independent creators to produce, distribute, and profit from their work without the help of expensive middlemen, the copyright industry has become ever more centralized and controlling, often to the detriment of both creators and consumers of copyrightable works. As a result, we see a rise in piracy, in efforts by creators to go it alone, and in unproductive efforts such as lobbying to narrow the effective scope of doctrines of fair use, "copyright trolling" in the courts, and enhancement of unnecessary legal restrictions aimed at basic communications technologies.
In response to these changing times, some seek to reform copyright by shortening its term or reducing its applicability, others to change business law or influence corporate policy in other ways, and still others to abolish copyright altogether. While controversy rages, the Copyfree Initiative seeks to help many people in a position to do so to sidestep the issue altogether, by promoting licensing policy that does not depend on copyright at all. Whether the world would benefit best from copyright with fairer regulation, weaker copyright laws, or the abolishment of copyright altogether, there is certainly a place in the world for at least some works that do not rely on copyright restriction and enforcement to reach their full potential and serve the goals of both creator and consumer. Toward this end, the Copyfree Initiative advocates for, and supports, the use of those provisions of copyright law that enable the freeing of works from the monopoly restrictions of copyright law right here, right now, without significant reform or abolishment.