4.02.2005

Piracy, Copyrights and the GPL

My best Slashdot post of the day:

Title: Wrong Again...

Your writing/music/video is not your house. You have no fundamental right to prevent someone 6000km away from you from making a copy of a disc to one of his friends, an activity that has no direct bearing on you at all.

Copyright exists only to help the general public by encouraging production of new works. Giving "the right to redistribution" to the artist exclusively is a mere legal convenience. We shouldn't let our ethics be distorted by copyright holders' use of inaccurate terms like "theft" and "piracy".


Copyright. Get it?

You, and others, forget that your "right" to make copies (fair use) is given to you with the same stroke of the pen that gave you the responsibility to respect the owner of that copyright.

I'm not an **AA agent trolling here, I'm trying to make a valid point. The law gave you certain rights, but it also gave the producer of the work certain rights. Words like "theft" and "piracy" are over used, and I disagree with the legal tactics of the **AA (as I do the BSA's tactics and others who overstep their bounds, Orrin Hatch listening?).

However, as a music, movie, software or literary producer you've got the right to decide how and where your work gets used (within limits). You sign a deal with Sony or Time Warner, not for recording time and promotion, but so they can mass distribute your music and make those decisions for you. Otherwise you'd have to do that yourself - and you already had the music thing down.

The reason you go for GPL or FDL licenses is because you want to ensure people respect your wishes that modifications are made openly and so forth...

It really burns me to see the same people making issues of GPL/copyleft violations while attacking other people's right to copyright. Copyleft is still copyright, no matter which way you look at it.

Make copies for your friends, but don't hide behind that next time, thinking mass distribution is your right. It's this type of thinking, the application of the idea that "information wants to be free" to entertainment, that makes more restrictive laws necessary and possible. Stop! Because people crying about "freedom" the most are the ones costing us the most. I'm sure RMS thinks Microsoft is wrong for charging what they do for software - but I doubt he advocates breaking the law to demonstrate that idea.


Please, leave a comment if you disagree.

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home