[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Music Analogy was Re: [Fsfe-uk] BECTA discriminate against FLOSS?

From: Simon Waters
Subject: Music Analogy was Re: [Fsfe-uk] BECTA discriminate against FLOSS?
Date: Sun, 04 Jan 2004 18:51:32 +0000
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.2.1) Gecko/20021130

Chris Croughton wrote:
> On Sun, Jan 04, 2004 at 11:17:30AM +0000, ian wrote:
>>Its a bit like music.
> I wondered whe someone would compare it to music.  IMO music is the best
> comparison to software (RMS used it well when talking about copyright
> and patents, for instance).  Partly because I am a (amateur) musician...

I agree it is a useful analogy, but I think also we need to think about
where software and music split.

In particular I think Music is more like Games software. The key purpose
of most music is to entertain (although some use it to try and sell
stuff, or drown out unwanted noise etc).

Whilst there is a reasonably healthy free software section in the games
arena, most of the market (and it is a huge market) is proprietary.
Indeed in some areas the actual game engines are tending to free
software or commodity components, but graphics, music, plot, selection
of standard AI components are becoming the value add.

This I think highlights the issue - software is about how you do
something - what is the fastest way to render that triangle, where as
the entertainment value isn't key to the free software debate in my opinion.

If there were no copyright law protecting the computer games, sure I'd
have a lot more choice of existing games, but the game authors would
have to find a radically different business model. That isn't to say
other business models might not be a better way of developing games
software, and many of the megacorporations thrown up by the current
models aren't all that loveable.

Most of the software I'm interested in day to day is not games software
(although I'm happy to switch lifestyles with someone who does spend all
day playing games). The value add isn't typically entertainment, it is
ease of use, or functionality, or integration.

RMS amongst others suggested different copyright periods for different
types of material. Since Music doesn't directly build on each other -
you don't create a symphony by starting with a single from one band, and
 end with a single from another - a long copyright period may achieve
it's goal and help support the composer or lyricist - but even if it
doesn't the negative impact of the copyright on the development of human
civilisation isn't going to be vast.

Music also has a large and vibrant body of material which is out of
copyright by dint of age (as well as people just donating it). As far as
I'm aware no software ever written is copyright expired in most of the
western world - (Babbage?).

You can give a perfectly good concert using public domain music, even if
it is a tad old fashioned.

Attachment: pgpRci7tahE5H.pgp
Description: PGP signature

reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]