Ownership in Software

Alexandre Dulaunoy alexandre.dulaunoy at ael.be
Thu Apr 22 16:21:14 UTC 2004

On Thu, 22 Apr 2004, Axel Schulz wrote:

> Hej Matze!
> Hej List,

> What do  you mean by ownership  of speech? I never  heard about this
> term. If we can first  decide what this proposed concept means/is we
> have a better point of departure for our discussion.
> No, I thought I while about your question and before I answer I have to now what you mean.
> But I give it a shot ;-)
> 1) The freedom to free speech (if you have this "speech" in mind) is
> a right. Everyone has the freedom  to perform this right (*). No one
> can deny her/him that right. If  you mean by "own" he has this right
> to free speech,  yes, ownership (of the tight  to free speech) makes
> sense.
> /Special case left aside, e.g, military secrets)
> 2) If you consider it as something what someone said in the past, it
> is  different. I know  that many  of you  consider software  as free
> speech. But I  disagree with that. Speech has  the internal value of
> being heard. Speech  shall send a message. If  source code is speech
> you should have  the freedom to send a  message and claim authorship
> to it  ;-). Everyone should have  that freedom (which also  can be a
> right).
> But,  if someone  only  distributes  the binary  file  and does  not
> publish (talk out loud) the source code, they should also be allowed
> to do so.
> In this case, ownership can be understood as the freedom to keep his
> speech confidential. This sounds  ridiculous, at a first glance, but
> it is in the dual nature of software that this makes sense.
> Maybe "speech" is only loosely applicable to software.
> I took my main ideas for  this from an article in the "Communication
> of the  ACM". It it is  called "A New View  of Intellectual Property
> and Software". [2] Their they say that software "behaves".
> But know I want to read what you think. ;-)

I  don't understand  quite  well  the thread  (maybe  I'm too  tired).
Computer programs  are writtings and  the protection of  the exclusive
rights  to these  writtings is  made via  the Berne  convention.  Free
speech can use  any way of expression.  Computer programs  is a way of
expression.   "Expression"  of  something  is  covered  by  the  Berne

The author have the rights to apply these exclusive rights in the form
he  wants[*].    (from  making   copylefted  Free  Software   to  make
proprietary software or confidential software)


[*] I don't include the various  exception of the author right (and to
some extent to the computer programs directive).

** Alexandre Dulaunoy (adulau) **** http://www.foo.be/ **** 0x44E6CBCD
**/ "To  disable the  Internet to  save EMI  and Disney  is  the moral
**/ equivalent of burning down the library of Alexandria to ensure the
**/ livelihood of monastic scribes." Jon Ippolito.

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