Improving Copyright (was: Re: Copyright T-Shirt)

Niall Douglas s_fsfeurope2 at
Wed May 12 21:31:20 UTC 2004

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On 12 May 2004 at 16:19, Jo=E3o Miguel Neves wrote:

> A Ter, 2004-05-11 =C3=
=A0s 20:01, Niall Douglas escreveu:
> > What about a system whereby all zer=
o-copy cost human output is
> > recompensed via general taxation? I include=
 books, music, video (all
> > television), software, blueprints, designs et=
> > 
> I've never seen such a system work. They're always pieces of art t=
> are ignored by such systems and it usually puts to much power in the
 hands of those deciding what is a work under copyrgiht.

Such a system woul=
d fail if encumbered with government intervention. 
Consider sourceforge as=
 an example of what I mean - people upload 
projects and people download th=
em. Most projects on sourceforge will 
only ever be of minority interest an=
d probably half will be near 
useless due to lack of quality or attention. =
However I think everyone 
will agree that sourceforge's structure is a grea=
t facilitator for 
cooperative work (though it could be a lot better still)=

> > Everyone puts their work on some high capacity central servers which
 > are available to all citizens who create an account on the servers.
> > =
Each copy downloaded increments a counter for the thing downloaded.
> Tech=
nically impossible to do. This conclusion is a result of my work
> with the=
 National Library of Portugal. We don't have the resources to
> manage that=

We could end world hunger tomorrow if enough political will was 
present. =
There is certainly no technical reason why not.

Same goes with the system I=

> > I doubt free software as the FSF defines it will last the co=
urse. It
> > depends too highly on there being a large body of affluent peo=
> > with other sources of income. However, its cooperative mode of
> > p=
roduction is VERY interesting and strongly hints at how all future
> > prod=
uction shall be achieved especially in the non-hierarchical
> > structure r=
equired by the likely post-collapse economy. After all if
> > companies are=
 never bigger than a few hundred people, the correct
> > way to do large di=
stributed projects is how free software currently
> > does it.
> My bank ac=
count disagrees with you when you say free software is not
> sustainable, b=
ut who cares?

You are one of a very tiny minority. I would regard myself as=
technically pretty capable yet I couldn't earn a living working like 
you =
do because I don't possess the necessary social skills such as 
gracefully =
tolerating idiots and naturally networking with the right 

Of the pe=
ople I know who do make a living from free software, they 
are either emplo=
yed by someone like RedHat and are of outstanding 
quality in the technical=
 field or they aren't particularly technical 
at all but are great organise=
rs and naturally build contacts easily.

A good proportion of people just wa=
nt to be told what to do at their 
jobs so they can serve their 9 to 5 and =
get money. These people are 
fundamentally unsuited to working with free so=
ftware which demands a 
high degree of self-leadership. Another good propor=
tion like me lack 
key non-technical "soft" skills. All together we make up=
overwhelming proportion of the workforce which hence leads to my 
tion that free software is not sustainable in its current form.

Don't get m=
e wrong - we may get twenty more years before economic 
collapse. But free =
software as the FSF defines it is intrinsically 
dependent on the current B=
retton Woods economic system and when it 
goes so will gratis computer soft=
ware except for very common things 
like operating systems and office softw=


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