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

Tomasz Ciolek tmc at vandradlabs.com.au
Sun Dec 31 02:13:55 GMT 2006

 On pain of being shouted down and derided --

the original idea of a patent was "a granted limited monopoly for useful advance
in arts and sciences" - that is, a period of time when the inventor was
able to reap rewards of thier cleverness, without fear of someone
stealing their invetion out from under them.

I suspect that our patent system has been twisted beyond all


On Sun, Dec 31, 2006 at 09:20:54AM +1100, Sam Couter wrote:
> Peter Anderson <peter.anderson at internode.on.net> wrote:
> > The fact that we have rights 
> > management laws (flawed as they may be) is clearly an acknowledgement of 
> > society's view of the ownership of ideas.
> That's not the case at all.
> Copyright began as protectionism for friends of the King. I can't see
> any evidence that the basis of copyright has changed from the principal
> of protecting the haves from the have-nots. In fact, it's getting worse
> and worse as the protection periods get longer, penalties become
> criminal penalties and unrelated to actual damages, and technological
> protection measures have legal backing even if they restrict rights we'd
> otherwise legally have.
> In any case, just because society has granted a legal right doesn't mean
> the right is intrinsic to being a live, thinking, breathing human being.
> Compare with rights to free speech and freedom of [from?] religion, for
> example. Or actual, real property rights, which do not ever expire. If
> you think copyrights are intrinsic, then providing protection for only
> limited times means you're condoning society forcibly removing rights
> after whatever they determine is a suitable time period. Now *that* is
> abhorrent. Rights do not expire at the whim of legislators and their
> owners, we are born with them and have them all the way to our graves.
> > Our efforts should be directed 
> > at correcting the flaws in the existing rights management systems.
> This I agree with. The basic concept of copyright as an incentive to
> create doesn't seem like such a bad idea really. It's just been
> completely perverted until it screws over the people who are meant to
> gain from it.
> > Given all of the above, I too have the greatest of respect for those 
> > developers of ideas who then forego their ownership rights and assign 
> > them over to the community at large.
> As Martijn said, we don't relinquish ownership rights in the majority of
> cases. There are some exceptions, such as contributions to any GNU
> project, where copyrights must be assigned, but most of the time that's
> not the case.
> Licences like the GPL depend completely on copyright to enforce the "You
> must release derived works under the terms of this licence" requirements.
> > If you accept the argument that there is no ownership over 
> > ideas then by making the idea available to the public via say open 
> > source licensing these developers are giving us nothing because they 
> > never owned it in the first place
> The current legal situation is that we *do* own the copyright, but
> that's completely irrelevant to whether we're giving anything of value.
> If we create the works with no copyright protection, we've still
> created and given something of value. Legal protection doesn't create
> value where there was none.
> -- 
> Sam Couter         |  mailto:sam at couter.id.au
>                    |  jabber:sam at teknohaus.dyndns.org
> OpenPGP fingerprint:  A46B 9BB5 3148 7BEA 1F05  5BD5 8530 03AE DE89 C75C

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Tomasz M. Ciolek	
 tmc at vandradlabs dot com dot au 
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