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[5]: Comment by ilovebeer
by werterr on Sat 3rd Dec 2011 05:50 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by ilovebeer"
werterr
Member since:
2006-10-03

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?


Yes it is !

In a world where you could copy a bottle of milk (aka copy the information that makes a bottle of milk a bottle of milk aka a replicator ?) it should be perfectly fine to do so.

Information (any and all of it) should be free.

You could question if a store owner has the right to allow copying in his store but the general act of copying the milk itself should be no problem.

Say you buy the bottle of milk and copy it endlessly in your home. There would be nothing wrong with that ! but still the effects for the store owner is the same.

Now in that world store owners will become redundant because if we can copy physical goods there is no need for a store owner, a store (in the traditional sense) or having an original 'non-copied' version of the good.

This works in exactly the same way that the car and train replaced horses and wagons. The printing press replaced scribes etc. They simply are not here anymore because we evolved further.

Also in all these cases there where people screaming that it was so bad, the work of the devil or other rhetoric.

In the end most if not everything will be replaced by something different (and hopefully better ;) .

With the digital age, and this is a topic that is getting old now, we created an instant and infinite way to copy things. Music, Books, Code, Ideas, etc.

And there are a lot of forces that are trying, semi successfully, to keep the world from evolving the digital age to it's 'perfect-form'.

We see this in content delivery, political lobby groups, etc. But eventually this all must head somewhere. It might be delayed for a while, but in the end we either must accept copying as a basic free right where it doesn't matter what's being copied or give up the concept and end the Internet and digital transfer mediums as we know it. (if such a thing would be even possible)

So... to make a long story even longer...

I would conclude that the problem you sketch only exists in a pre-digital-age way of thinking about information.

And that we should think differently about this information. So that in the example the shop owner would not be selling the milk anymore because that becomes pointless but it might sell replication-blueprints of a endless slight variations of the milk.

Because your 50 generation replicated milk would still tasted like the first sip, and you miss all the dynamics that comes into play with non copied milk.

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