[sword-devel] conversations with Stallman

Chris sword-devel@crosswire.org
Sat, 22 Dec 2001 18:34:20 +1100

>>Yes but things that are wrong because they are against the
>>law, not because of some deep moral principle, can be
>>changed through the political process. That's why it's important
>>not to call it theft or piracy when it's not theft or piracy.
>  I don't understand, how is stealing intellectual property
What intellectual property? There is no such thing. There are 
copyrights, patents and
trademarks - that's all.

> not theft? I 
>don't know of any time God has advocated rebelling against any reasonable 
>law. Thus, if God doesn't advocate it, isn't it a deep moral priciple?
I am not an American, but let's look at the US constitution. The 
founders, somewhat reluctantly
allowed for copyrights and patents for a reasonable time to promote 
innovation. That
reasonable time was 14 years. Now copyrights are extended to longer than 
a person's
lifetime and retrospectively. That does not promote inovation, and it is 
a theft from
the public domain.

You've got to remember that no idea, song, story came about in 
isolation. Everything
was built on top of the shoulders of previous giants. When you copyright 
and take exclusive rights to it, you are taking from these previous 
giants without giving
back. Copyrights and patents were supposed to run out quickly as a way 
to give back
and also as a platform of material for the next innovators.

As it happens there is an interesting article today about this very