is copyright evil? (Re: about

Alessandro Rubini rubini at
Sun Oct 21 14:50:35 UTC 2001

(looks like I lost this before sending. It's mostly old stuff
at this point, given futher comments that already passed, but here it is)

> If there were no copyright, nobody would have any bussiness in
> hiding source code, therefore nobody would hide it.

The business would be *exactly* in hiding source code. If I have the
program, I can't [realistically] fix bugs or add features unless I
have the source. So the software company would get the same
proprietary advantages even if copying would be allowed.

> Some ? What about music and films ?
> I think the situation is exactly opposite. With the exception of books,
> everything else has its source hidden.

Physically, you don't have the source of the book either. If you want
to make a "derived" book, you'd need the source in order to only type
in your changes (instead of all of it, plus dealing with layout).
With music you don't have the score, and with films I can't tell what
the "source" is. But I don't think it's importanto to detail what "source"
is for the different types of work.

In all cases the user's perception of the authoral work is the whole
of the work, there's nothing hidden. Even if you need to retype it all
or rewrite the score in order to make a derived work, that's pretty
easy to do. For films, you just need to produce the missing scenes to
make your derived work. And the original author has no real direct
advantage over other authors (beside details such as having the
actors and the material used in the former film).

The difference with software is that the user's perception of the
product is *not* everything the product has to offer; being able to
copy and run a program isn't enough to make a modified copy. Or even
to translate (while a film and a book is easily translated, here is
music that is "technically" different).

Disclaimer: this one of "user perception" is not an idea of mine, I've
read it, and it's poorly expressed mainly because of my English

Quello che scrivo rappresenta solo il mio personale punto di vista,
non rispecchia l'opinione di organizzazioni di cui faccio o ho fatto parte.

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