Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 21st Jul 2007 20:58 UTC
GNU, GPL, Open Source "Copyright developed in the age of the printing press, and was designed to fit with the system of centralized copying imposed by the printing press. But the copyright system does not fit well with computer networks, and only draconian punishments can enforce it. The global corporations that profit from copyright are lobbying for draconian punishments, and to increase their copyright powers, while suppressing public access to technology. But if we seriously hope to serve the only legitimate purpose of copyright - to promote progress, for the benefit of the public - then we must make changes in the other direction. This talk by Richard M. Stallman is broken into two parts: the main talk and the question and answer sessions following the talk. Both are available in only OGG/Theora format in keeping with Stallman's wishes."
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The hazards of commenting on a talk you have not seen
by b3timmons on Sun 22nd Jul 2007 19:24 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: o_o;"
b3timmons
Member since:
2006-08-26

You obviously do not know RMS's view on the subject, since taxation is but one possible source of funding that he discussed. He also mentioned facilitating (micro-) payment systems for fans of the arts.

Copyrighted works such as software binaries can easily be thought of as "information." Economists, for example, commonly make such references, say when speaking of two distinguishing features of informational products: nonrivalry and information being able to be both input and output of its own production process. Information clearly can be defined on any of multiple levels, and, indeed, the example I have given is central to the motivation behind re-evaluating copyright today.

RMS makes proposals, just as you are free to do. He has never held an office, and his looks are as far from a politician's as imaginable, so I find his ability to impose anything highly unlikely. Devise your own software license and software, and you are free to make your own rules--you have every bit as much right as he does. Thus, to think of RMS as imposing is an insult to the many very intelligent people who recognize the value of software freedom and are paid to work on software under the GPL.

Anyone who knows what is in the talk realizes that his opinions follow from a straightforward analysis of the rights that have been bargained away by politicians to make state-sponsored limited monopolies for the the sole purpose of increasing works available to the public. Technologies such as the printing press and computer networks naturally change what the public can bargain with, so it is no wonder that copyright should be reconsidered in such a light.

Finally, all of these creations of the mind can be done for fun, as RMS often points out. Is there anything wrong with that? There is no particular reason why the distribution of other works cannot be similar to what the free software movement has encouraged for software. Indeed, if you saw the talk you would know of the obvious counterexamples to your claims, such as what authors have done in the important case of Wikipedia, the increasing number of free books, etc.

Edited 2007-07-22 19:43

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