[clug] Re: A most interesting read, most interesting

Randall Crook rcrook at vtown.com.au
Sat Dec 30 03:10:29 GMT 2006

David Howe wrote:
> Sam Couter wrote:
>>> In the case of a corporation (public or private), it spends a great
>>> deal of its shareholders funds on developing ideas/products/etc.;
>>> surely the corporation has the ownership of these ideas and products.
>> In the current legal climate, they do own those ideas in some ways. But
>> that ownership is a concept created by society. It's not an inherent
>> right in the same way that rights over tangible property like houses and
>> cars are considered inherent rights.
>> You've given the exact reason why the copyright bargain has been made,
>> too: it creates an incentive for people and corporations to invest in
>> creating stuff.
>> The downside is that it also gives corporations an incentive to lobby to
>> extend copyrights indefinitely, rogering the society that gave them the
>> copyright bargain in the first place. Big problem.
> Owning ideas is a difficult concept, ideas are not tangible things.
> Creative people struggle with this notion constantly, they have to
> sell their ideas to survive. But what do they sell? As Sam has alluded
> to, you may sell a particular house colour, you might sell a shape or
> a way of doing something.
> Ideas are an alternative to what is known. I suspect that big business
> understands that ideas are their future lifeblood, devising methods to
> lock up those ideas is like taking out insurance. I believe society
> cannot afford to allow big business to be a caretaker of ideas, a
> point of view that not shared by all. The rhetoric of business is free
> markets and competition, in reality it behaves like a spoilt brat
> demanding more and more privileges in order to survive.
That is the clearest explanation of it I have heard so far... And that
finally makes sense to me now. SO basically the Copyright and Patent
laws have to seek a balance of rights for both the creator and society.
It is a real shame the both big business and society can act "evil" with
the ideas and creations the people come up with.

I suppose we need to never forget that individuals are the source of the
advances we see in culture and technology. The beauty of creation and
invention is quickly over shadowed by the struggle to claim ownership.

I sit here in front of my laptop and am constantly amazed at how the
Linux and FOSS community and the individual developers and artists can
make such a beautiful and elegant piece of technology do so many
wonderful things. Some times I think we let money and the behavior of
others blind us to the brilliance of those who create the thing we love.
The real heroes to me are the coders, artists and contributors to the
Open Source community, weather they are individuals like Linus, or
groups like the gnome and KDE teams, or the businesses like IBM, HP and AMD.

Please lets not forget them as we argue over who should own that which
they have granted us.

Please be well

Randall Crook

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