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

Alex Hudson home at
Mon Feb 11 13:13:11 UTC 2008

On Mon, 2008-02-11 at 23:37 +1100, Ben Finney wrote:
> 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 set out the basis of the costs in a previous e-mail. 

Look, I've seen street performers do very entertaining things in the
street for change, from poetry to plays. That's not a serious
alternative to theatre, though. 

> 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.

If people aren't willing to put $100k into a film, what you're saying
effectively is that film as an art form is dead, because that doesn't
pay for two person-years, let alone the equipment and all the other

No commercial films would be made, and some significant proportion of
the amateur film-makers wouldn't be working either because many of them
are doing it as amateurs as their way into the industry.

Don't mistake this as me saying that copyright is required; I'm not
saying that. What I am saying is that in order to create film, people
have to have an income somehow which allows them to work on the film.
It's as simple as that.



> 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.

More information about the Discussion mailing list