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Re: Release plans

From: Robert J. Chassell
Subject: Re: Release plans
Date: Wed, 27 Aug 2008 11:37:32 +0000

    > Robert J. Chassell writes:
    >  > "Stephen J. Turnbull" <address@hidden>, are you saying that
    >  > copyright law does not have to do with copying between people?

"Stephen J. Turnbull" <address@hidden> writes:

    > Since I have no clue what you might mean by "copying between people",
    > no, I'm not saying any such thing.

Currently, law is made by humans.  In the future, it may be made by
artificial intelligences, extraterrestrials, or others, but currently,
it is made by people to handle some of their affairs both with each
other and with non-human nature.

    > In the U.S., and I believe similarly for other jurisdictions,
    > copyright law regulates not only copying but distribution,
    > performance, and other such social activity.

My question concerned copying.

    > Er, when did you mention the "actual practice of law"?  I seem to
    > have missed it.

I presumed we were talking about what might be copied and distributed.
That would be "actual practice".  Your question about 'communitarian
freedom' does not seem to have much to do with the "actual practice of
law" world wide.

    > As for this new question you've introduced, none of those *acts* are
    > legal or illegal as such, so you seem a bit confused as to the actual
    > practice of law.

As far as I know, in the United States and other countries that have
agreed to the modern replacements for the Berne Convention, every
expression is currently owned at origination by someone, an owner (in
other words, putting a copyright notice on the expression adds legal
power), and, except for good faith copying, you may not copy it without
permission.  The GNU General Public License takes this law and says that
the owner permits you to copy, study, modify, and distribute this code
in perpetuity.

    > By the way, although studying software is specified among the four
    > freedoms, it was never made illegal by copyright law, until the
    > DMCA, and there only a very restricted subset of software is
    > illegal to study.

People in general cannot readily study binary.  That is a practical

    > [2]  My theory is that the Constitution explicitly says that these
    > franchises are intended "to encourage the useful arts", ...

The Chinese constitution is not written in English; in any case,
copyright enforcement concerns both the treaties that the Chinese
government has signed and how much they are pushed.  Like the study of
binaries, this is a practical issue.

World wide, I think we should "encourage the useful arts".  I am
concerned about the degree to which and how to "encourage the useful
arts" currently.  Compliance is a practical matter.

    Robert J. Chassell                          GnuPG Key ID: 004B4AC8
    address@hidden                         address@hidden
    http://www.rattlesnake.com                  http://www.teak.cc

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