Re: GNU Public Licences Revisited (again)




> The point is that your proposal is to make such exotic methods
> necessary, when they are not necessary now.

Exotic methods? You think being paid for actual work done is exotic?
Riiight.

In the history of humanity, your copyrights and patents are a far more
exotic aberration, and your apparent belief they're some sort of
intrinsic right instead of a limited deal* between you and other
members of society is not all that common either.

* a deal your fellows anyway intend to break with Digital Restrictions
Management and laws bought to enforce it (laws bought since
it's cryptographically pretty absurd).

> And they do not have a good record,

They do not have a good record? The history of copyright and patent is
monopoly handed down by feudal authority to preserve power.

The history of information freely shared is mathematics, science, much
of high art, and of course the open software that drives vast swathes of
the net and modern commerce.

> so your bland assertion that they will work perfectly
> well is hardly going to be convincing to any artist or other

What I say doesn't matter. There are artists, mathematicians,
scientists, programmers and engineers (not that any of those are
mutually exclusive) already doing it of their own accord.
Science exists despite patents and copyright, not because of them, as
good scientists are, thankfully, coming to understand.
http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/journals.html
http://www.plos.org/about/openaccess.html

Every human being is a potential artist and creator, and every act of
creation builds upon what has gone before. Creators do the maths,
realising that if A does 5, B does 6 and C does 10, by sharing
information, they ALL have 21 - information simply isn't like physical
property, you give someone information and you still have it, as
Jefferson rather more eloquently pointed out in the past.

It's not communism to thus choose to share information without coercion,
it's straightforward enlightened self interest, business as usual. The
only thing that takes coercion is stopping people passing on
information.

Nowhere have I argued that C shouldn't be free to sit in the corner,
clutching his 10 to his chest where no one else can see it and probably
mumbling to himself - but he has no right to expect A and B not to go
ahead and make their own 10 anyway, nor copy a 10 they come across, nor
pay someone to make 10 - C still has his 10.

I've paid several times more for open software over the years than
closed software (in kind (i.e. source/bugfix contributions) and with
what passes for "money" these days) - open software is far more
valuable to me. (I avoid "piracy". I've already said I think it best
to let the fruits of those who would restrict others wither on the
vine, even "pirated" copies of windows are a net win for microsoft as
Bill Gates has indicated he understands - better they're "pirating"
windows than using linux.)

> Besides, you still haven't answered the question of what IP rights an
> author should have.

Again with the I"P"... "What IP rights an author should have"
is debate-framing pure and simple - I disagree with some aspects of the
"property" properties and regard "IP" as an invalid propaganda term.
None the less I have proposed a right:

I HAVE proposed "attribution"*, so that people know who to pay for new
services of authorship, and who to choose to pay for existing released
information if they want to reward the correct person, and so that
authors can establish reputation. It shouldn't be a transferable
"property" right, just an extra right: Transferability would be pretty
damn stupid for attribution rights (it's pretty damn stupid for
copyright and patent too, but that didn't stop 'em).

* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attribution
"Attribution is often considered the most basic of requirements made by
a license, as it allows an author to accumulate a positive reputation
that partially repays their work and prevents others from claiming
fraudulently to have produced the work"

Attribution probably should be waiveable, otherwise people would try to
use it as a justification for tracking down publishers of "seditious"
information published anonymously or pseudonymously* ("we only want to
'reward' them, honest!"), and free publication of "seditious"
information is necessary for a free society (seditious information is
technically banned in Ireland along with blasphemous and indecent
material, of course, but we never had the essential freedom the USA is
busily throwing away in the name of temporary safety.)

There's also the question over whether anything much needs to be
done by a state to secure someone such a right or whether it's something
they can secure largely for themselves with cryptographic techniques
(probably for pseudonymous works, they'd pretty much have to secure it
by themselves).

> After all, doesn't forcing you to publish the author's name clearly
> infringe on your right to freely use information,

Well, duh, every law is a restriction on freedom, but no more than a
BSD or MIT open source licence. It certainly doesn't make it difficult
to use the information as information, or build upon it (you'd
just both be authors of the derived work). Hence any right to be
identified as author being an *extra right*, just a rather less
egregious one.

I really don't know what your point is beyond dishonest argument - I've
already said I don't argue against all rights lumped together under the
misleading banner I"P", you're just building men of straw to knock
down: I've already happily "conceded" that attribution should probably
exist, even proposed it, why do you seem to expect me to argue
_against_ it? Right to attribution is obviously quite different from
power to restrict dissemination.

You appear to have merely decided the balance of power should lie with
those most willing to deny others information and allow others to deny
others information. Exclusivity of information and the existence of an
ability to possess exclusive information beyond natural means of
nondisclosure appears to be more important to you than the value of
information in itself, we're right back to "not enough for you to
win, everyone else must lose".

(Even worse if copyrights and patents are transferable, because then
people purely out to restrict others can buy up the rights to do so).

"Beware of he who would deny you access to information, for in his heart
he dreams himself your master." - Sid Meier.

(Preemptively: no, that is not an argument for forced disclosure, just
saying not to trust those who don't disclose.)


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