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Re: The sad decline of copyleft software licenses? :(

From: Pen-Yuan Hsing
Subject: Re: The sad decline of copyleft software licenses? :(
Date: Fri, 25 Sep 2020 09:20:02 +0800
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On 9/23/20 5:28 AM, Yasuaki Kudo wrote:
I would really like to hear broad philosophical arguments concerning this.

Although I am no expert, it seems the crux of the problem is "intellectual 
property" itself?

Broadly-speaking yes. And when it comes to software, it specifically concerns copyright and patents. I think the FSF has an article (probably written by RMS) that discusses this (and recommends against using nebulous terms like intellectual property).

I wonder if there are  arguments for nullifying or limiting the extent of the 
"copyright holders' terms and conditions" in the first place.

I'm also not a legal professional but have a strong interest in what you're asking. There's indeed academic discussion on the extremely harmful effects of how draconian and long-lasting current copyright restrictions last. In my opinion, copyright rules as they are now greatly stifles creativity. I was really inspired by the book "Free Culture: The Nature and Future of Creativity" by Lawrence Lessig and "Against Intellectual Monopoly" by Michele Boldrin and David K. Levine if you want to read more on the topic. The Techdirt blog is also quite insightful.

The tricky part is that free software licenses, copyleft or not, derive their power to ensure software freedom from copyright law. So if copyright laws were to magically disappear, then the only currently existing mechanism for protecting free software disappears with them.

Is there a solution to this somewhat paradoxical situation? (honest question)

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