Ownership in Software

Axel Schulz axel at schulz.ph
Wed Apr 21 21:26:08 UTC 2004

Ricardo Andere de Mello <gandhi at quilombodigital.org> schrieb am 21.04.04 22:28:12:
> On Wednesday 21 April 2004 19:51, Axel Schulz wrote:
> > Law and Morality is highly interdependend. To draw a clear-cut line ist
> > almost impossible. This makes the whole discussion so "messy".
> auctoritas non veritas facit legem.
> Here we have something called "MST" (something like "Movement of People 
> Without Land"). It's a movement that tries to distribute improdutive lands to 
> poor people. They make invasions in lands where nothing is produced with 
> hundreds of families and try to stay at it.
> Our constitution guarantees two rights, the right to everyone have a land and 
> the right to own a land. The conflict is that the previous owner has its 
> right to own the land, and the newcomers have the right to have a land 
> assured by the constitution.
> Juridically, the judges can decide what they want, sometimes they treat these 
> families as "organized crime", and sometimes they treat them as poor people 
> trying to get something in life.
> What I'm trying to say is that if you are studying ethical and moral aspects 
> of something, you should not be so attached to laws. I still think 
> license/patent/copyright are unethical in the sense they "cut" something that 
> should be for all mankind.
> []s, gandhi
> -- 
> Ricardo Andere de Mello
> Quilombo Digital - Presidente
> gandhi at quilombodigital.org / 55 11 3271-7928

I do my very best not do stick to law.
The idea to own something is human. Because it is human it gets a moral force. Because it has a moral force we have to deal with it. To claim to own something is moral and justified. The question society has to decide is what and how much under which conditions.

Hobbes is not the best example because he constructed his social contract out of a hypothetical state of nature. We do not live in such kind of state.

The people in your example have a right to a home. This right overrids the right of the owner. But how this is should be solved in praxis is beyond my competence. To deal in a serious way with issues also means to study them first. I didn't do that with your "homeless peolpe"-case.

"I still think license/patent/copyright are unethical in the sense they "cut" something that should be for all mankind."
Torvalds invented something which IS for all mankind. And it is there because it IS owned. Otherwise I agree with you. 

What I try to say is: To me it seems ownership in software makes sense and should be allowed.In many other fields it may be unjustified. But I can only discuss software, and believe me, that is hard enough to keep on the right track.

best regards,

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