Freedom or Copyright? - GNU Project - Free Software Foundation (FSF)

Alex Hudson home at
Mon Feb 11 09:38:12 UTC 2008

On Mon, 2008-02-11 at 20:18 +1100, Ben Finney wrote:
> I don't see how an author has any right to control their labour that
> extends beyond *where they put* their labour.
> Once they've given their labour in exchange for some mutual
> consideration, they have no "right" to control what the other party
> does with it; just as a person whistling a tune has no "right" to
> control what I do with that tune once it's in my head.

Sure, but "mutual consideration" doesn't mean "this is what your labour
is worth". A consideration can be much less than the actual value of

For example, even the cheapest independent film is realistically going
to cost ~$100k. Nobody is going to buy a copy of that film at that
price. They probably would spend $10 on a copy, but that's not the true
value of the film and therefore someone spending $10 on a copy of the
film shouldn't expect to have the right to do what they wanted with that
film as if it were theirs.

I'm not saying that anyone has a right to be able to do this kind of
thing profitably, but there is a balance here: if it's not possible to
do something viably for a living, then few people if any will do it. 



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