Fw: Query about GNU-GPL

Niall Douglas s_fsfeurope2 at nedprod.com
Tue Mar 29 18:36:38 UTC 2005

On 28 Mar 2005 at 20:52, Alfred M. Szmidt wrote:

> Please don't spread the confusion that code is a physical entity, you
> cannot "steal" code, it is impossible.  What you speak of are
> copyright violations, not theft.

I take the view that if person A takes a copy of something B has 
without B's permission where B loses out as a result, that is 

And yes you can steal code. If I make some program which makes all 
computers go five times faster and someone else takes that without my 
permission and makes billions from it, that is in my mind and most 
people's minds stealing.

Just because software, like most computer-representable stuff like 
music and movies, is somewhat different to physical goods doesn't 
mean you can't steal them. It still requires very significant amounts 
of resources to develop software, music and movies and not returning 
that investment is theft. In mine and most people's opinion, authors 
should be rewarded for creative works.

It's just that I disagree with the current system of 
remuneration/protectionism, not that authors shouldn't be paid for 
their work. I do not think that most software should be free of cost 
in the slightest - in fact, one of my major problems with the GPL is 
that code under it is hard to commercialise.


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