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Re: [gNewSense-users] patents and copyright [was: live cd]

From: Tor at Shared Genius
Subject: Re: [gNewSense-users] patents and copyright [was: live cd]
Date: Tue, 13 Jan 2009 08:20:33 -1000
User-agent: Thunderbird (X11/20090105)

Quiliro Ordóñez wrote:

2009/1/13 Eus <address@hidden <mailto:address@hidden>>

    Hi Ho!

    --- On Tue, 1/13/09, Quiliro Ordóñez <address@hidden
    <mailto:address@hidden>> wrote:

    >  No it is not. Once software is free under a free license,
    > whoever got it
    > alwasys will have that part as free software. Whoever got
    > it as nonfree
    > without copyright would be able to at least execute and
    > reverse engineer.
    > Much better than before.....don't you think.

    No, I don't think so. Reverse-engineering is much more difficult
    than just compiling the source code.

I agree on that. You still don't have the code when you have copyright. There is no advantage for us to have copyright. It's a disadvantage. If we elimintate copyright, at least we will advance one step forward.
Which is exactly why we need copyright, but /only/ until we have other means of keeping software free. Near as I can tell, the GPL and enforcement of it is the most significant reasons we are able to maintain software freedom once it is attained. If there is no copyright anyone will be able to take a free program, make some changes, (perhaps only breaking changes, if it is a big company,) and release it binary only. Since free software utilities have a habit of being the best quality tools, I think this issue could become a significant problem unless the ramifications of copyright changes are thought through.

How to fix this issue I am less sure of, however. Although I don't care for government oversight, perhaps laws requiring /companies/ to maintain the source code of old releases, and release the /complete/ source (comments included) 3-5 years after release would be an intermediary step. Of course ideal would be if non-free software could simply be banned:)

Either way, as an Artist, Musician, and Computer User, I absolutely agree that copyright is currently extremely excessive, and should at the very least be greatly decreased.


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