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Re: [Mandrakeot] ESR gives up on Fedora

On Thu, Feb 22, 2007 at 07:03:34PM -0500, Lyvim Xaphir wrote:
>   There needs to be a balance between the right of individuals to own
> their own property (specifically in our realm of discussion,
> intellectual property) and the right of individuals to control the
> source to the operating system they run.  Currently the trend with the
> Cox's of the world is to abolish the rights of companies and individuals
> to protect their own intellectual property rights; at any cost. The
> plain simple definition of socialism is the abolition of personal
> property to another jurisdiction other than the true owner of that
> personal property; be that a dictator or a government, or a group of
> socio-fascist developers. In this case, the developers seek to take the
> decision about intellectual property rights OUT of the public domain
> (the "Market") and to FORCIBLY TAKE AWAY the right of the company or
> individual to license driver-code the way the code authors see fit.
> This is not "freedom", it is in reality a form of slavery.

Intellectual properties (be it art, code, knowledge) are not like other 
properties/goods. They are "non rival goods"; it means that a
representation, an idea, a piece of code can be reused at infinity by
the same or another person without being consumed. To maximize the
utility the non rival goods should be freely available once produced. 
So it is logical to have some regulation on the property rights of this 
kind of goods. If those goods are available freely then individuals
don't have a financiary incentive to produce them, therefore some
may be protected by some rights (patents). Also one may consider that
the producer right to define the rights on his production is above 
considerations of welfare maximization, that's the case with
artistic productions, at least to a temporal extent (before they go in 
the public domain).

Currently ideas cannot be protected, ie they are always public domain,
code and art are automatically protected (there is the fair use
exception for art) and it is the author who chose the license, and 
inventions may be patented for a given duration of time in a strictly
regulated environment. Even in the US intellectual property rights
are heavily regulated.

Public good like software is a special case of an externality, and even
in a capitalist society it may be worth regulating them, even if the
regulation is only through the definition of rights that can become
part of a market. I haven't read it, but I guess the wikipedia page has
some interesting information:

By the way socialism (as an economic system opposed to capitalism) is 
not defined by a state that owns all the properties, but the state owns 
the capital of the firms and makes the decisions about investment and 
production, instead of the capital owners in a capitalist society.


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