Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 29th Nov 2011 14:18 UTC
Legal The European Court of Justice, the highest court in the European Union, is kind of on a roll lately. We already discussed how they outlawed generic ISP-side internet filters, and now, in an opinion (so it's not a ruling just yet), Yves Bot, an advocate-general at the Court, has stated that functions provided by computer programs, as well as the programming languages they're written in, do not receive copyright protection. The opinion is very well-written, and relatively easy to read and grasp. Note: Brilliant quote from a comment over at Hacker News: "Copyright makes you write your own code. Patents prevent you from writing your own code."
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RE[6]: Comment by ilovebeer
by terrakotta on Wed 30th Nov 2011 18:51 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by ilovebeer"
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"It's not stealing in a sense that you take something away from someone leaving the victim with nothing.

However a digital copy is bit perfect.

Now imagine you could do this with a bottle of milk. You go to a shop, duplicate a bottle of milk and leave without paying. You claim it's not stealing as the bottle is still in the shop, yet you have a bottle of milk and the shopkeeper has an unsold bottle and no money. If everybody does this the shopkeeper will go out of business. Is this fair?
But digital copies... it may not be stealing in the classical meaning, but it has the same effect in a way.

In the event that someone learns how to duplicate physical objects without any inputs other than say energy or raw materials, then the economics of scarcity of physical objects collapse - it becomes simply a dumb idea to expect to get paid for physical objects (other than the raw materials and energy involved).

That means that the value creation shifts to other places, such as services like designing different tasting or nutritionally different milks.

To bring that back to various forms of information - the value becomes centered around the provision of hardware to handle the information, and the service of creating/modifying the information. It's no longer economically viable to expect to get paid for providing copies when the copies are created at essentially zero cost (naturally, legal and contractual life support notwithstanding).

In the event of being able to copy a physical object, the physical object looses its value. Economics is about scarcity, someone can do something for me, or can provide me with something that I can't or, creating it myself would cost me more than it costs to have him do/create/deliver it. Which is the reason one can pay someone for a service (time has become a product itself), or a skill. The shop keeper would have to find himself something else to sell instead. The creation of money as a way to pay for something stems from finding something that is DIFFICULT TO COPY OR RECREATE (hence gold, silver...).

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