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

Ben Finney bignose+hates-spam at
Mon Feb 11 12:37:42 UTC 2008

Alex Hudson <home at> writes:

> For example, even the cheapest independent film is realistically
> going to cost ~$100k.

I don't know why you set the lower bound so high. I've seen many
entertaining films made for $1000 or even $200. I can't imagine the
enormous wealth of films made and released (by their creators) on
YouTube et al. would cost much more than that.

> Nobody is going to buy a copy of that film at that price.

Buy a copy? No. I would think the masses of films that get made never
sell a single copy. That clearly doesn't stop them being made, though.

> They probably would spend $10 on a copy, but that's not the true
> value of the film

I deny your assumption that there is such a thing as "the true value
of the film", independent of anyone's willingness to pay for it.

> 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.

In the absence of copyright, if the film creator doesn't want people
to have copies, they shouldn't distribute it. I don't see how that
would stop films being made at all. Perhaps people wouldn't put
$100000 into a film; but films would still be made, and still be
entertaining and even worth watching.

Just because a person puts an enormous amount of money into building a
pyramid doesn't mean they have any right to see any of that money
return to them. People will decide what it's worth to them to have it
built in the first place, or to maintain it once it's built.

> 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.

I deny your implication that copyright is the only way to allow
creative endeavours to make a living. It's up to the creator to figure
out a way to make money from their labour. They just don't have any
right to impinge on others' freedom while they do so.

 \          "Writing a book is like washing an elephant: there no good |
  `\        place to begin or end, and it's hard to keep track of what |
_o__)                           you've already covered."  -- Anonymous |
Ben Finney

More information about the Discussion mailing list