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 WereCatf on Tue 29th Nov 2011 21:02 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by ilovebeer"
WereCatf
Member since:
2006-02-15

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?


I atleast do get what you're trying to imply, but the analogy is barely limping forward on one foot; you're still trying to apply physical properties to something that isn't physical. And this whole article isn't even about a finished product at all, it's about the idea of a product.

An obvious shortcoming would be that in reality the shopkeeper wouldn't give access to the 'milk' before getting paid. Sure, there would be some people who copy the 'milk' from someone else who've bought it, but the fact remains that there'd also be people who paid for it, too.

And then the ideological shortcomings: what if the shopkeeper was selling a vague description of a product, not a finished product nor instructions how to make one? Say, the description would be e.g. "a hollow carton box inside which you pour a dairy product", would it be alright then to deny anyone else selling a product with similar properties even when the manufacturers of those products had never even heard of this shopkeeper?

Or how about this: is it right to erode rights of majority just for the misdeeds of the few?

Alas, these things are hardly ever straightforward.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[6]: Comment by ilovebeer
by MOS6510 on Tue 29th Nov 2011 21:16 in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by ilovebeer"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

I know the article isn't about downloading music/warez/stuff, but people started about whether copying is stealing or not.

Bytes aren't physical, unlike the milk bottle, but I'm trying to illustrate that that's the whole point: it's digital, so it can be copied perfectly. Hence there is no need to steal something by removing it from the owner in to your own possession. If you copy it you have it. Wether it's music or software.

It's also not about the owner having it and then losing it, it's about having it, but unable to sell it because people copy it.

Now regarding vague ideas, I have nothing against people doing their own thing. I should be allowed to code my own version of OS X. I don't think I should copy the artwork or sell it pre-installed on a computer with a piece of fruit on it, but if people have ideas I should be able to create my own version.

I have seen some generally described stuff that has been labeled IP, making it look very silly. Like the hyperlink or the one click buy. That's stuff we can do without.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[7]: Comment by ilovebeer
by JLF65 on Tue 29th Nov 2011 23:56 in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by ilovebeer"
JLF65 Member since:
2005-07-06

You're clearly unfamiliar with the term 'artificial scarcity' - look it up sometime. Some people are currently making money selling things that have no (or little) intrinsic value. Time always eliminates these 'jobs', and it's a good thing. Society shouldn't spend more on things than what they are worth. That's inefficiency, and pulls everybody down (except for a scant few getting rich off said inefficiency).

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[7]: Comment by ilovebeer
by CapEnt on Wed 30th Nov 2011 11:34 in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by ilovebeer"
CapEnt Member since:
2005-12-18

I do get your point: you are worried about the people that will lose their jobs.

But thats the point! Technology advances, and made several business models and professions obsolete throughout the history.

And what happened? Nothing special. New professions arrived, with even more jobs than before.

Holding the progress in the name of protectionism of a dying business model is even worse than the jobs that will end due it.

If we protected every dying business from the future itself, we would still be using near unchanged XIX century technology, and living the horrendous lifestyle from that era.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[6]: Comment by ilovebeer
by microbe on Wed 30th Nov 2011 12:58 in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by ilovebeer"
microbe Member since:
2011-11-30

It doesn't really matter if the end product is physical or digital. If the original producer doesn't get a reward for product, eventually that will drive the gifted programmer/producer away to do something completely different (no milk!). Modern society isn't a static set of developers and occupations. It's an organic result of behavioral models, which has been in place for decades.

Reply Parent Score: 0

RE[7]: Comment by ilovebeer
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 30th Nov 2011 13:54 in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by ilovebeer"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

If the original producer doesn't get a reward for product, eventually that will drive the gifted programmer/producer away to do something completely different (no milk!).


So? Who gives a flying fcuk? This happens all the time. Blacksmiths are virtually gone. The horse business has collapsed completely (compared to the pre-car era). The oil industry will eventually collapse. Coal mines have been shut down in The Netherlands in the '60s due to progress in other fields. And so on.

This is called progress. Deal with it. If a new technology makes your business model unsustainable - find new business models. Or are you in favour of taxing cars that do not run on fossil fuels just to protect the oil industry?

Reply Parent Score: 3