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August 17, 2008
Re: The Death of D. (Was Tango vs Phobos)
On Sun, Aug 17, 2008 at 04:12:37AM +0100, Jb wrote:
> No-one is trying 
> to erase certain ideas / artistic works from history. We are in fact trying 
> to do the exact oposite. We are trying to create an enviroment where ideas 
> and artist works flourish.

Then why is this debate about rights? Rights are irrelevant - what
matters is the results.

If your goal is to create an environment where ideas and art flourish,
great. That's a good goal, and that is where your defence should be
focused.

Forget all this repetitive talk about rights, and talk about how the
law helps or doesn't help achieve this goal (or whatever other goal you
want to set).

Copyright law might be a valid way to achieve this goal. It might not
be. There might be completely better ways (something I'm convinced of).


Setting a real world goal for the debate lets both sides create an
objective test case for their arguments, which would let it finally come
to an adequate conclusion.

-- 
Adam D. Ruppe
http://arsdnet.net
August 17, 2008
Re: The Death of D. (Was Tango vs Phobos)
downs wrote:
> Mike Parker wrote:
>> downs wrote:
>>> downs wrote:
>>>> Mike Parker wrote:
>>>>> I'm sure we
>>>>> can agree that if you want a chair I've crafted and I want to charge
>>>>> you
>>>>> for it, then I am well within my right to do so.
>>>> Could we PLEASE keep the comparisons to physical goods out of it?
>>>> NOT. THE SAME. THING.
>> IT. IS. THE SAME. THING.
>>
>>>>> How is it that when my
>>>>> creation is infinitely copyable, I suddenly lose that right?
>>>> Because you don't lose the original anymore. This has been said
>>>> hundreds of times.
>>>>
>>> To clarify this point: you still have a *temporary* right to control
>>> the duplication of your infinitely copyable creation.
>>>
>>> But it is *not the same right* as the one that allows you to charge
>>> for the chair.
>> But it *is* the same right.
>>
>> I really didn't expect anyone to give me anything new on this. It's
>> always the same arguments back and forth. This is one of those issues
>> that people rarely change their minds about.
> 
> So ..
> 
> you are saying property right is the same thing as copyright?

No, I'm not. My assertion is that the creator of a thing has a right to 
determine if and how that thing will be distributed to others. The rest 
of the world doesn't suddenly get to decide that they can distribute the 
thing freely just because they can. If I create a PC game, I dictate if 
it's freeware or commercial -- not the users.

Copyright and property rights are different, but I do believe they can, 
and should, work in tandem. I don't agree with the current state of 
copyright law, but let me tell you how I think things /should/ be.

I think the idea of "licensing" music, movies, software, and whatnot is 
absurd. What we need is a law that explicitly defines a purchase of an 
infinitely copyable product as the purchase of "one unit" of that 
product. That particular unit is now your property. You can copy it to 
your heart's content, to CD or DVD, to multiple devices, or anywhere you 
want to use it. That's the right of property that protects the 
consumer's investment.

Copyright law comes into play be preventing you from distributing copies 
of your unit without the copyright owner's permission. No matter how 
many copies you make for your own personal use, only the owner of the 
copyright (most often the creator) gets to dictate the terms of 
distribution. You cannot sell your copies, nor can you give them away to 
your friends. For the duration of the copyright, the owner of the 
copyright has every right to profit from his creation without fear of 
competing with his own product. This right protects the investment of 
the creator.

Of course, people like to argue that they can do what they like with 
their property. If they want to sell it, they should be able to. I 
agree. If you want to give up your right to the unit you purchased and 
sell it to someone else, please do. But then you should be required to 
delete every copy you possess. From that point on, you no longer have 
any right to the unit. This is the same as selling your TV to someone else.

Once the copyright expires, then people can do what they want with it. 
This holds to the original spirit and intent of copyright law -- 
allowing the creator to profit from his work while guaranteeing that it 
will eventually be freely available for all. The gives incentive for 
people to work at creating things full time.

Again, that's how I think things /should/ be. I do understand that 
reality is quite a bit different. Copyright law has been hijacked by 
corporate lobbyists to the extent that it no longer serves the purpose 
it was meant to. The concepts of IP and licensing have gotten so out of 
control (DRM) that they turn people away from what is fair and 
appropriate, instead contributing to a culture of "I can take what I 
want and you greedy corporate asses can stuff it". So we have an 
environment where producers and consumers are focused on "protecting" 
their own rights, but few are working to protect both. In the end, it's 
more than the greedy corporate asses who get hurt by it all.

At the end of the day, everyone has to make a living. Contrary to some 
assertions, I don't see that as an emotional argument. There's nothing 
illogical about the need to put food on the table. No one disputes the 
right of a carpenter to be paid for his work, nor for a doctor to be 
paid for his (though some would dispute the amount). Why, then, is it so 
difficult to accept that a software developer should be compensated for 
his work as well? Or a musician?

Some people argue that business models should change. They already are 
(apologies in advance for this being game-centric). Today, some PC game 
developers are no longer developing games for the PC. They view the 
consoles as safer territory. They are for now. You see a decline in the 
production of single player games. You see more and more games requiring 
online activation, or requiring you to be online to play. These are all 
models geared toward minimizing the damage a company suffers from 
piracy. As such, they limit the options of the end user.

My problem with piracy is not just a moral one, it's also a practical 
one. No one can say for sure where this will all lead. We could very 
well find ourselves in the Utopian paradise so many pirates spout off 
about to justify their actions, a world where people can get music, 
movies, books, and software freely while the creators can live off of 
the donations they receive from hordes of satisfied users (you'll excuse 
me if I hold some doubt that we'll see that result). But we could also 
find ourselves in a world where the independent creators, the garage 
bands and bedroom software developers, have gone the way of the dodo 
because they can't make enough to earn a living full time. A world where 
consumer rights are restricted and we have fewer options available to us 
 in how we access and use creative works.
August 17, 2008
Re: The Death of D. (Was Tango vs Phobos)
Mike Parker wrote:
> 
> No, I'm not. My assertion is that the creator of a thing has a right to
> determine if and how that thing will be distributed to others. The rest
> of the world doesn't suddenly get to decide that they can distribute the
> thing freely just because they can. If I create a PC game, I dictate if
> it's freeware or commercial -- not the users.

your train of thought here is going backwards. No one "suddenly" decided
to take away the right to control distribution from the creator.
That right never existed in the first place.

> 
> Copyright and property rights are different, but I do believe they can,
> and should, work in tandem. I don't agree with the current state of
> copyright law, but let me tell you how I think things /should/ be.
> 
> I think the idea of "licensing" music, movies, software, and whatnot is
> absurd. What we need is a law that explicitly defines a purchase of an
> infinitely copyable product as the purchase of "one unit" of that
> product. That particular unit is now your property. You can copy it to
> your heart's content, to CD or DVD, to multiple devices, or anywhere you
> want to use it. That's the right of property that protects the
> consumer's investment.

I agree with you that "licensing" music, movies, software, and whatnot
is absurd.

your idea of defining a "unit" is not implementable.

> 
> Copyright law comes into play be preventing you from distributing copies
> of your unit without the copyright owner's permission. No matter how
> many copies you make for your own personal use, only the owner of the
> copyright (most often the creator) gets to dictate the terms of
> distribution. You cannot sell your copies, nor can you give them away to
> your friends. For the duration of the copyright, the owner of the
> copyright has every right to profit from his creation without fear of
> competing with his own product. This right protects the investment of
> the creator.
> 
> Of course, people like to argue that they can do what they like with
> their property. If they want to sell it, they should be able to. I
> agree. If you want to give up your right to the unit you purchased and
> sell it to someone else, please do. But then you should be required to
> delete every copy you possess. From that point on, you no longer have
> any right to the unit. This is the same as selling your TV to someone else.
> 
> Once the copyright expires, then people can do what they want with it.
> This holds to the original spirit and intent of copyright law --
> allowing the creator to profit from his work while guaranteeing that it
> will eventually be freely available for all. The gives incentive for
> people to work at creating things full time.
> 
> Again, that's how I think things /should/ be. I do understand that
> reality is quite a bit different. Copyright law has been hijacked by
> corporate lobbyists to the extent that it no longer serves the purpose
> it was meant to. The concepts of IP and licensing have gotten so out of
> control (DRM) that they turn people away from what is fair and
> appropriate, instead contributing to a culture of "I can take what I
> want and you greedy corporate asses can stuff it". So we have an
> environment where producers and consumers are focused on "protecting"
> their own rights, but few are working to protect both. In the end, it's
> more than the greedy corporate asses who get hurt by it all.
> 
> At the end of the day, everyone has to make a living. Contrary to some
> assertions, I don't see that as an emotional argument. There's nothing
> illogical about the need to put food on the table. No one disputes the
> right of a carpenter to be paid for his work, nor for a doctor to be
> paid for his (though some would dispute the amount). Why, then, is it so
> difficult to accept that a software developer should be compensated for
> his work as well? Or a musician?

no one disputes that the artist/software developer should be able to
earn a living.
> 
> Some people argue that business models should change. They already are
> (apologies in advance for this being game-centric). Today, some PC game
> developers are no longer developing games for the PC. They view the
> consoles as safer territory. They are for now. You see a decline in the
> production of single player games. You see more and more games requiring
> online activation, or requiring you to be online to play. These are all
> models geared toward minimizing the damage a company suffers from
> piracy. As such, they limit the options of the end user.
> 
> My problem with piracy is not just a moral one, it's also a practical
> one. No one can say for sure where this will all lead. We could very
> well find ourselves in the Utopian paradise so many pirates spout off
> about to justify their actions, a world where people can get music,
> movies, books, and software freely while the creators can live off of
> the donations they receive from hordes of satisfied users (you'll excuse
> me if I hold some doubt that we'll see that result). But we could also
> find ourselves in a world where the independent creators, the garage
> bands and bedroom software developers, have gone the way of the dodo
> because they can't make enough to earn a living full time. A world where
> consumer rights are restricted and we have fewer options available to us
>  in how we access and use creative works.

let us take the role of an aspiring new musician and compare:
before the age of the internet:
we need to convince some record company representative to listen to our
demo and convince him that it's worthwhile to give us a contract (in
which we give almost all our rights to the company). the company decides
what music to push to the public based on little to none musical
interests (for example if we play classical music, we would create less
sales than Brittney spears and so her music would be preferred - it's
much easier to create hype and therefore sales amongst teenagers who
listen to pop rather than to convince adults to buy classical music CDs)
Now let's consider the current "Internet" way:
we can record music with home equipment and put it on our own site. we
can shoot a home video and put it on youtube, etc.. all with little
costs. we'll tell all our friends about our new site with our new cool
music, those wo like it will tell their friends, etc..
soon (if our music is liked by people) we could go and perform in pubs
and the like and people some people will come. after growing our fan
base we can also sell merchandise on our site, and get more people to go
to our concerts and pay for tickets..

what I'm trying to say here is that allowing free distribution of music
online makes it easier for a young new artist (or software developer) to
achieve his goals (becoming a known artist). I claim that we'll find
our selves in a world where the independent creators, the garage bands
and bedroom software developers, have _NOT_ gone the way of the dodo but
rather flourish.

Another example - current state of the legal system makes it harder for
two teams of OSS to work together since they are afraid of legal
consequences. (phobos and tango)
in a more free legal system we wouldn't find ourselves waiting for more
than a year since one author is afraid of taint and possibly getting
sued in the future duo to it. the absurd is that both projects provide
freely redistributable code and yet there are still fears of taint.

If you ever watched "sliders" than you'd probably seen the episode where
they slid to a world with 85% of the population having law degrees. in
that world you had to provide a full health record and a signed and
legally approved note that you wouldn't sue just to buy a hamburger.
August 17, 2008
Re: The Death of D. (Was Tango vs Phobos)
Adam D. Ruppe wrote:
> On Sun, Aug 17, 2008 at 04:12:37AM +0100, Jb wrote:
>> No-one is trying 
>> to erase certain ideas / artistic works from history. We are in fact trying 
>> to do the exact oposite. We are trying to create an enviroment where ideas 
>> and artist works flourish.
> 
> Then why is this debate about rights? Rights are irrelevant - what
> matters is the results.
> 
> If your goal is to create an environment where ideas and art flourish,
> great. That's a good goal, and that is where your defence should be
> focused.
> 
> Forget all this repetitive talk about rights, and talk about how the
> law helps or doesn't help achieve this goal (or whatever other goal you
> want to set).
> 
> Copyright law might be a valid way to achieve this goal. It might not
> be. There might be completely better ways (something I'm convinced of).
> 
> 
> Setting a real world goal for the debate lets both sides create an
> objective test case for their arguments, which would let it finally come
> to an adequate conclusion.
> 

I agree with you.
if we talk about results: allowing free redistribution of information
allows young aspiring artists to go straight to the public and spread
the word about their art.
this also works for software developers with the same model. You do not
need to convince someone with lots of money to invest in you in order to
create your software. you do not need to start your own company.
Many OSS developers done just that.
i.e Linus published his kernel online, it got successful and now he's
being paid to develop his pet project. same goes for the core developers
of all OSS. the problem is greed. people think they can go write a
text-editor, patent the sh*t out of it and become billionaires. also on
the way screwing anyone else that also wanted to produce a text editor.
so yes, with OSS you won't become the next bill gates with your
software, but, we'll have more diversity of software and more people
could make a descent living by being software developers.

besides, why does it make sense that we should have a small bunch of
people controlling all software and getting all the benefits?
August 17, 2008
Re: The Death of D. (Was Tango vs Phobos)
Yigal Chripun wrote:
> Mike Parker wrote:
>> No, I'm not. My assertion is that the creator of a thing has a right to
>> determine if and how that thing will be distributed to others. The rest
>> of the world doesn't suddenly get to decide that they can distribute the
>> thing freely just because they can. If I create a PC game, I dictate if
>> it's freeware or commercial -- not the users.
> 
> your train of thought here is going backwards. No one "suddenly" decided
> to take away the right to control distribution from the creator.
> That right never existed in the first place.
> 
>> Copyright and property rights are different, but I do believe they can,
>> and should, work in tandem. I don't agree with the current state of
>> copyright law, but let me tell you how I think things /should/ be.
>>
>> I think the idea of "licensing" music, movies, software, and whatnot is
>> absurd. What we need is a law that explicitly defines a purchase of an
>> infinitely copyable product as the purchase of "one unit" of that
>> product. That particular unit is now your property. You can copy it to
>> your heart's content, to CD or DVD, to multiple devices, or anywhere you
>> want to use it. That's the right of property that protects the
>> consumer's investment.
> 
> I agree with you that "licensing" music, movies, software, and whatnot
> is absurd.
> 
> your idea of defining a "unit" is not implementable.

Why not?

> 
>> Copyright law comes into play be preventing you from distributing copies
>> of your unit without the copyright owner's permission. No matter how
>> many copies you make for your own personal use, only the owner of the
>> copyright (most often the creator) gets to dictate the terms of
>> distribution. You cannot sell your copies, nor can you give them away to
>> your friends. For the duration of the copyright, the owner of the
>> copyright has every right to profit from his creation without fear of
>> competing with his own product. This right protects the investment of
>> the creator.
>>
>> Of course, people like to argue that they can do what they like with
>> their property. If they want to sell it, they should be able to. I
>> agree. If you want to give up your right to the unit you purchased and
>> sell it to someone else, please do. But then you should be required to
>> delete every copy you possess. From that point on, you no longer have
>> any right to the unit. This is the same as selling your TV to someone else.
>>
>> Once the copyright expires, then people can do what they want with it.
>> This holds to the original spirit and intent of copyright law --
>> allowing the creator to profit from his work while guaranteeing that it
>> will eventually be freely available for all. The gives incentive for
>> people to work at creating things full time.
>>
>> Again, that's how I think things /should/ be. I do understand that
>> reality is quite a bit different. Copyright law has been hijacked by
>> corporate lobbyists to the extent that it no longer serves the purpose
>> it was meant to. The concepts of IP and licensing have gotten so out of
>> control (DRM) that they turn people away from what is fair and
>> appropriate, instead contributing to a culture of "I can take what I
>> want and you greedy corporate asses can stuff it". So we have an
>> environment where producers and consumers are focused on "protecting"
>> their own rights, but few are working to protect both. In the end, it's
>> more than the greedy corporate asses who get hurt by it all.
>>
>> At the end of the day, everyone has to make a living. Contrary to some
>> assertions, I don't see that as an emotional argument. There's nothing
>> illogical about the need to put food on the table. No one disputes the
>> right of a carpenter to be paid for his work, nor for a doctor to be
>> paid for his (though some would dispute the amount). Why, then, is it so
>> difficult to accept that a software developer should be compensated for
>> his work as well? Or a musician?
> 
> no one disputes that the artist/software developer should be able to
> earn a living.

But you want to take the choice of how they do so out of their hands.

>> Some people argue that business models should change. They already are
>> (apologies in advance for this being game-centric). Today, some PC game
>> developers are no longer developing games for the PC. They view the
>> consoles as safer territory. They are for now. You see a decline in the
>> production of single player games. You see more and more games requiring
>> online activation, or requiring you to be online to play. These are all
>> models geared toward minimizing the damage a company suffers from
>> piracy. As such, they limit the options of the end user.
>>
>> My problem with piracy is not just a moral one, it's also a practical
>> one. No one can say for sure where this will all lead. We could very
>> well find ourselves in the Utopian paradise so many pirates spout off
>> about to justify their actions, a world where people can get music,
>> movies, books, and software freely while the creators can live off of
>> the donations they receive from hordes of satisfied users (you'll excuse
>> me if I hold some doubt that we'll see that result). But we could also
>> find ourselves in a world where the independent creators, the garage
>> bands and bedroom software developers, have gone the way of the dodo
>> because they can't make enough to earn a living full time. A world where
>> consumer rights are restricted and we have fewer options available to us
>>  in how we access and use creative works.
> 
> let us take the role of an aspiring new musician and compare:
> before the age of the internet:
> we need to convince some record company representative to listen to our
> demo and convince him that it's worthwhile to give us a contract (in
> which we give almost all our rights to the company). the company decides
> what music to push to the public based on little to none musical
> interests (for example if we play classical music, we would create less
> sales than Brittney spears and so her music would be preferred - it's
> much easier to create hype and therefore sales amongst teenagers who
> listen to pop rather than to convince adults to buy classical music CDs)
> Now let's consider the current "Internet" way:
> we can record music with home equipment and put it on our own site. we
> can shoot a home video and put it on youtube, etc.. all with little
> costs. we'll tell all our friends about our new site with our new cool
> music, those wo like it will tell their friends, etc..
> soon (if our music is liked by people) we could go and perform in pubs
> and the like and people some people will come. after growing our fan
> base we can also sell merchandise on our site, and get more people to go
> to our concerts and pay for tickets..

> 
> what I'm trying to say here is that allowing free distribution of music
> online makes it easier for a young new artist (or software developer) to
>  achieve his goals (becoming a known artist). I claim that we'll find
> our selves in a world where the independent creators, the garage bands
> and bedroom software developers, have _NOT_ gone the way of the dodo but
> rather flourish.

I don't dispute any of that (well, except the last bit about the future 
of indies). The opportunities opened up by the internet are tremendous, 
and I've taken advantage of them myself to some extent. But you've 
missed the point entirely. I'm not saying we should disallow free 
distribution. That's rather silly. My argument is that *it's the 
creator's choice to sell his product or distribute it freely.*

Just because you like free stuff doesn't mean I have to give my stuff 
away for free. Conversely, just because I like to sell my stuff doesn't 
mean you have to buy it. If we leave things at that, we're all happy 
campers. I'll sell my stuff to people who want to buy it and you can get 
your stuff from people who want to give it away for free. But when you 
start taking my stuff without paying for it, knowing that I'm selling it 
and don't want it given away freely, now you're stepping on my toes and 
infringing my rights.

I can see you are passionate about this, but it reminds me very much of 
the debate over the GPL. This isn't a direct analogy, but the 
circumstances are similar. GPL supporters love to go on about how 
software should be free (as in 'libre'). Ultimately, they wind up 
reducing freedom by dictating that the source of any derived work be 
released under the same terms. True freedom would give developers more 
choice, like the BSD or MIT licenses do. In your arguments, you keep 
going on about how grand it would be for us to have free (as in 
'gratis', which is a different beast than 'libre' for sure) access to 
all of this stuff, but you would implicitly restrict the freedom (as in 
'libre') of the people who produce it by dictating how they should 
distribute it.

Speaking of the GPL, how do you feel about taking GPLed code and using 
it in closed-source, proprietary software that is then distributed to 
your customers freely or commercially (that is, ignoring the terms of 
the GPL altogether)? Is that just as acceptable to you as pirating the 
end product?
August 17, 2008
Re: The Death of D. (Was Tango vs Phobos)
Yigal Chripun wrote:
> Adam D. Ruppe wrote:
>> On Sun, Aug 17, 2008 at 04:12:37AM +0100, Jb wrote:
>>> No-one is trying 
>>> to erase certain ideas / artistic works from history. We are in fact trying 
>>> to do the exact oposite. We are trying to create an enviroment where ideas 
>>> and artist works flourish.
>> Then why is this debate about rights? Rights are irrelevant - what
>> matters is the results.
>>
>> If your goal is to create an environment where ideas and art flourish,
>> great. That's a good goal, and that is where your defence should be
>> focused.
>>
>> Forget all this repetitive talk about rights, and talk about how the
>> law helps or doesn't help achieve this goal (or whatever other goal you
>> want to set).
>>
>> Copyright law might be a valid way to achieve this goal. It might not
>> be. There might be completely better ways (something I'm convinced of).
>>
>>
>> Setting a real world goal for the debate lets both sides create an
>> objective test case for their arguments, which would let it finally come
>> to an adequate conclusion.
>>
> 
> I agree with you.
> if we talk about results: allowing free redistribution of information
> allows young aspiring artists to go straight to the public and spread
> the word about their art.

This has been mentioned before, but there's a difference between liberty 
and gratuity. It's unfortunate that we use the one word, freedom, to 
represent both in English.

> this also works for software developers with the same model. You do not
> need to convince someone with lots of money to invest in you in order to
> create your software. you do not need to start your own company.
> Many OSS developers done just that.
> i.e Linus published his kernel online, it got successful and now he's
> being paid to develop his pet project. same goes for the core developers
> of all OSS. the problem is greed. people think they can go write a
> text-editor, patent the sh*t out of it and become billionaires. also on
> the way screwing anyone else that also wanted to produce a text editor.
> so yes, with OSS you won't become the next bill gates with your
> software, but, we'll have more diversity of software and more people
> could make a descent living by being software developers.
> 
> besides, why does it make sense that we should have a small bunch of
> people controlling all software and getting all the benefits?

You're taking this argument well beyond the boundaries and entering the 
territory of ideology. No one denies that Linus was free to distribute 
Linux without charge. No one in these discussions here have advocated 
that people be prevented from doing so. And I've yet to see anyone lend 
support to the idea that all software should be controlled by a few people.

What people here have argued is that Linus had the /choice/ to release 
Linux freely. That's freedom (liberty). It was *his* choice. Not yours, 
not mine. He could just as easily have chosen to charge you an arm and a 
leg for it. We can all be happy that he didn't. But if you allow anyone 
and everyone to freely (gratis) distribute the work of others without 
permission, you are then impugning the freedom (liberty) of the 
creators. Is that what you really want?
August 17, 2008
Re: The Death of D. (Was Tango vs Phobos)
Mike Parker wrote:
>> no one disputes that the artist/software developer should be able to
>> earn a living.
> 
> But you want to take the choice of how they do so out of their hands.

Again, I do not take that choice. You claim that a software developer
has the right to decide to treat his software as a product and sell
"units" of it. I claim that such an option does not exist in the first
place. software is information, either you share it or you keep it to
yourself. beyond that there are copy-right laws that _give_ the author a
limited time-span of exclusivity. the software developer doesn't have a
right to exclusivity, he receives it from society for a limited time.
that time span should represent a balance between the fact the published
work is public domain and the need to make it worthwhile for an
individual to publish his work. current us law is 70 years after the
death of that individual is out of balance entirely.
a more reasonable amount (for software) should be 10-15 years at most.
maybe even less.
>> what I'm trying to say here is that allowing free distribution of music
>> online makes it easier for a young new artist (or software developer) to
>>  achieve his goals (becoming a known artist). I claim that we'll find
>> our selves in a world where the independent creators, the garage bands
>> and bedroom software developers, have _NOT_ gone the way of the dodo but
>> rather flourish.
> 
> I don't dispute any of that (well, except the last bit about the future
> of indies). The opportunities opened up by the internet are tremendous,
> and I've taken advantage of them myself to some extent. But you've
> missed the point entirely. I'm not saying we should disallow free
> distribution. That's rather silly. My argument is that *it's the
> creator's choice to sell his product or distribute it freely.*

Again, this choice never existed but rather manufactured artificially by
a few groups of interest.

> 
> Just because you like free stuff doesn't mean I have to give my stuff
> away for free. Conversely, just because I like to sell my stuff doesn't
> mean you have to buy it. If we leave things at that, we're all happy
> campers. I'll sell my stuff to people who want to buy it and you can get
> your stuff from people who want to give it away for free. But when you
> start taking my stuff without paying for it, knowing that I'm selling it
> and don't want it given away freely, now you're stepping on my toes and
> infringing my rights.

You do not have to publish your work. you can keep it for yourself.
either you give to society or you don't. that's your choice.
> 
> I can see you are passionate about this, but it reminds me very much of
> the debate over the GPL. This isn't a direct analogy, but the
> circumstances are similar. GPL supporters love to go on about how
> software should be free (as in 'libre'). Ultimately, they wind up
> reducing freedom by dictating that the source of any derived work be
> released under the same terms. True freedom would give developers more
> choice, like the BSD or MIT licenses do. In your arguments, you keep
> going on about how grand it would be for us to have free (as in
> 'gratis', which is a different beast than 'libre' for sure) access to
> all of this stuff, but you would implicitly restrict the freedom (as in
> 'libre') of the people who produce it by dictating how they should
> distribute it.

I do not object to OSS that is sold for money (again with the Red hat
example). there is no conflict here with this at all.
another way to look at it is this:
an MP3 file is just information and should be available online, at the
same time there is nothing that prevents the musician to charge money
for his performance. a singer "produces" music by singing (for example).
he does not "produce" MP3 files.
Why don't you pay for each song you here on the radio for example?
when you go to a restaurant do you pay for the taste, the smell or the
food itself?

> 
> Speaking of the GPL, how do you feel about taking GPLed code and using
> it in closed-source, proprietary software that is then distributed to
> your customers freely or commercially (that is, ignoring the terms of
> the GPL altogether)? Is that just as acceptable to you as pirating the
> end product?

I feel that the GPL is a necessary evil. It's a hack on top of a broken
system. Ideally, there should be no need for it at all.
Currently the GPL is the exception to the rule. the default is
Closed-source. I'd want it to be the default while closed source would
be the exception.
to answer your question: yes it's wrong to subvert the GPL. The parallel
you're trying to draw here however is not acceptable to me. these are
two separate issues.
August 17, 2008
Re: The Death of D. (Was Tango vs Phobos)
Jesse Phillips wrote:
> On Sun, 17 Aug 2008 03:59:08 +0300, Yigal Chripun wrote:
>> There are no inherit rights that allow the author to control
>> distribution. The way it actually works is this: a) you came up with new
>> exciting idea/poem/article/software/etc.. b) either you keep it to
>> yourself or you publish it. c) once it was published it is in the public
>> domain. you cannot tell me: I have an idea such as <some idea> BUT since
>> I just told you my idea it is mine alone and you cannot use it. If you
>> do not want me to use your idea just keep it for yourself and don't tell
>> anyone about it. This is what Coca-Cola does with its secret recipe.
>> (it's secret!)
> 
> Yeah, they are natural rights given by nature. A farmer produces corn, 
> and low and behold he has control over distribution of it.

Unless someone else decides to take away that corn by force. Which is my 
right, given by nature, if I can pull it off.

The notion of property requires some enforcing mechanism, whether it be 
brute force or legal convention (and the law is backed up by brute 
force). But physical property doesn't require any great amount of 
communication; I live in a place, and I actively prevent other people 
from living there.

Intellectual property is a much more recent invention. For example, 
William Shakespeare didn't publish any of his plays. One of the few 
early English playwrights to publish their own works, Ben Johnson, was 
ridiculed for having done so -- it was polite and properly modest to 
allow others to publish your works, with no compensation to you.

Intellectual property began, I believe, with Renaissance monarchs 
promoting particular manufacturers by giving them monopolies. If an 
enterprising entrepreneur created a new product, the rights to 
manufacture that might be restricted to one individual in the king's 
favor. This was not any notion of fairness or protection for inventors; 
it was simply nepotism.

In recent times, intellectual property has been extended to cover nearly 
everything you can think of, and it's transformed into a system intended 
to protect content creators. This is progress. One can argue that 
insufficient thought has been given to issues such as remixing 
copyrighted works, or orphaned copyrights, or patents intended only to 
generate lawsuits. (I would.)


(Also, it's "lo and behold", not "low and behold".)
August 17, 2008
Re: The Death of D. (Was Tango vs Phobos)
Yigal Chripun wrote:

> You do not have to publish your work. you can keep it for yourself.
> either you give to society or you don't. that's your choice.

See my other post, you are making an artificial distinction yourself between
private and public information. If you think some information truly
can/should be private, then you also need to accept that the author can
keep it private given some condition (ie that you can get access by
paying).

-- 
Lars Ivar Igesund
blog at http://larsivi.net
DSource, #d.tango & #D: larsivi
Dancing the Tango
August 17, 2008
Re: The Death of D. (Was Tango vs Phobos)
Yigal Chripun wrote:
> Mike Parker wrote:
>>> no one disputes that the artist/software developer should be able to
>>> earn a living.
>> But you want to take the choice of how they do so out of their hands.
> 
> Again, I do not take that choice. You claim that a software developer
> has the right to decide to treat his software as a product and sell
> "units" of it. I claim that such an option does not exist in the first
> place. software is information, either you share it or you keep it to
> yourself. 

Someone else already pointed out to you in this thread your confusion 
over the difference between 'freely available' and 'free of charge'. 
When an entity, like a government, tells you what kind of information 
you can and cannot have access to, that information is no longer freely 
available. If I'm the only person in the world who knows something, I 
might just want to make a tidy profit off of telling it to someone else. 
Nothing whatsoever gives you the right (or, at least at present, the 
ability) to pick it from my brain -- it's available for a price. I might 
even choose to tell it freely, being the good citizen I am. But it's 
/my/ choice.

Commercial software (which I still say isn't information) *is* freely 
available. If it weren't, you wouldn't be able to buy it because no one 
would be allowed to sell it.

> 
>> Just because you like free stuff doesn't mean I have to give my stuff
>> away for free. Conversely, just because I like to sell my stuff doesn't
>> mean you have to buy it. If we leave things at that, we're all happy
>> campers. I'll sell my stuff to people who want to buy it and you can get
>> your stuff from people who want to give it away for free. But when you
>> start taking my stuff without paying for it, knowing that I'm selling it
>> and don't want it given away freely, now you're stepping on my toes and
>> infringing my rights.
> 
> You do not have to publish your work. you can keep it for yourself.
> either you give to society or you don't. that's your choice.
>> I can see you are passionate about this, but it reminds me very much of
>> the debate over the GPL. This isn't a direct analogy, but the
>> circumstances are similar. GPL supporters love to go on about how
>> software should be free (as in 'libre'). Ultimately, they wind up
>> reducing freedom by dictating that the source of any derived work be
>> released under the same terms. True freedom would give developers more
>> choice, like the BSD or MIT licenses do. In your arguments, you keep
>> going on about how grand it would be for us to have free (as in
>> 'gratis', which is a different beast than 'libre' for sure) access to
>> all of this stuff, but you would implicitly restrict the freedom (as in
>> 'libre') of the people who produce it by dictating how they should
>> distribute it.
> 
> I do not object to OSS that is sold for money (again with the Red hat
> example). there is no conflict here with this at all.
> another way to look at it is this:
> an MP3 file is just information and should be available online, at the
> same time there is nothing that prevents the musician to charge money
> for his performance. a singer "produces" music by singing (for example).
> he does not "produce" MP3 files.
> Why don't you pay for each song you here on the radio for example?
> when you go to a restaurant do you pay for the taste, the smell or the
> food itself?
> 
>> Speaking of the GPL, how do you feel about taking GPLed code and using
>> it in closed-source, proprietary software that is then distributed to
>> your customers freely or commercially (that is, ignoring the terms of
>> the GPL altogether)? Is that just as acceptable to you as pirating the
>> end product?
> 
> I feel that the GPL is a necessary evil. It's a hack on top of a broken
> system. Ideally, there should be no need for it at all.
> Currently the GPL is the exception to the rule. the default is
> Closed-source. I'd want it to be the default while closed source would
> be the exception.
> to answer your question: yes it's wrong to subvert the GPL. The parallel
> you're trying to draw here however is not acceptable to me. these are
> two separate issues.

They very much are the same thing. When you take GPLed source, compile 
it into an executable, and distribute it without adhering to the terms 
of the GPL you are violating the conditions set forth by the copyright 
holders. A recent court decision[1], applying specifically to the 
Artistic License (but which will likely apply to other OSS licenses), 
clearly defines violation of such a license as copyright infringement. 
Both scenarios involve distribution of copyrighted material in a manner 
not permitted by the copyright holders.

I've always been perplexed by how some software developers can be so 
adamant at adhering to OSS licenses while being so cavalier about 
pirating software. It's such a counterintuitive thing. Once upon a time, 
I would have simply argued that your opposition to subverting the GPL 
while in support of subverting copyright law is illogical. Now I can add 
that it's contradicted by the courts.

[1] http://lessig.org/blog/2008/08/huge_and_important_news_free_l.html
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