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Re: [Mandrakeot] ESR gives up on Fedora



On Fri, 2007-02-23 at 21:09 +0200, Avi Kivity wrote:
> Simo Sorce wrote: 
> > You should understand that "property" is natural only for physical 
> > objects, just because possession of a physical object can be
> controlled 
> > by physical means and cannot be easily replicated. 
> > 
> > Abstract objects like ideas, but also anything that can be
> replicated at 
> > zero cost without destroying the original, can't be subject to real 
> > property. 
> >   
> 
> You mean I can't put a license on my code that says:  you may use
> this,  
> but if you change it and redistribute it you must also redistribute
> your  
> changes?

No, what I mean is that "Intellectual Property" is not natural law,
children do not understand ownership of a song, they just sing it if
they like. Children do understand perfectly ownership of an apple, just
because only one can hold the same apple, and it can be eaten only once.

"Intellectual Property" it is an artificial construct made up by
societies to achieve some goal in the belief that these rules are an
overall benefit to the society as a whole. For the American society the
goal should be to "promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts"(from
the constitution), the mean is Copyright/Patents.

You cannot physically posses a piece of code, you can physically own the
specific instance of the code you have saved on your disk. But the code
by itself is abstract, if I copy it from you, you still have your copy
and it is intact. So "taking" your code didn't leave you without it.

Property make sense only when taking something from someone leaves him
without it.

Copyright can be seen as a form of property, as if I have the copyright
on something, you don't. But you have to realize that this works at a
different level. You own the "right to copy" the code, an artifact made
by law, you do not technically own the code itself.

> Because that also means that I control what is done with my code.
> You  
> make it sound like all ideas should be in the public domain.

Ideas are technically and by law in the "public domain", as they are
abstract and you can't copyright nor patent an ideas.
Code is a different thing, see above.

Finally, can we close this thread on a devel list?
I am happy to debate around law philosophy elsewhere if you like.

Simo.
/IANAL

-- 
Simo Sorce <ssorce redhat com>
Sr Software Engineer
Base Operating Systems
Red Hat Inc.


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