iking at microsoft.com
Fri Sep 6 11:27:06 AEST 2002
I agree with your premise that copyright can be detrimental to broader interests, and the case of "obsolete but historically interesting" software is a prime case in point. However, copyright holders can choose to make things readily available without placing them in the public domain; the 'Ancient UNIX' license is a great example. If they choose not to do so, the law does allow them recourse. I doubt they would consume the resources to execute on that against individuals who are running old software for non-commercial purposes; I suspect that those who commit such indiscretions wholesale may not be treated with such latitude.
And, IMHO, those who baldly advertise their general disdain of copyright law are pretty much asking for it. -- Ian
My opinions are my own, and do not necessarily represent my employer's opinions.
From: Mirian Crzig Lennox [mailto:mirian at cosmic.com]
Sent: Thu 9/5/2002 4:56 PM
To: tuhs at minnie.tuhs.org
Subject: Re: [TUHS] Ultrix...
On Wed, 4 Sep 2002 20:15:52 -0700, Ian King <iking at microsoft.com> wrote:
>"It is a problem only if you choose to honor copyright laws." I can
> only hope that others (dis)regard your property rights, as you
> (dis)regard the property rights of others. BTW, where do you live? I
> could use a new monitor or two....
It is possible to respect property rights and yet disagree (to the
point of disobedience) with how the concept has been lately twisted by
monied interests in the United States.
The purpose of copyright is not to be a form of property; if it were,
copyrights would not expire. The purpose of copyright is to enrich
the public domain by encouraging authors to publish their works, by
ensuring them exclusive right to profit from their work for a limited
time after which time *the work passes into the public domain*. This
is plainly stated in the U.S. Constitution as the basis for copyright
law: "To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing
for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to
their respective writings and discoveries." [Article I, section 8].
In fact, the concept of "intellectual property" is a fairly recent
perversion, and the consequence has been a steady depletion of the
public domain. When a piece of software (and Ultrix is an excellent
example) is tied up in copyright long after it is of any value to
anyone beyond pure academic interest, nothing is added to anyone's
wealth, and society as a whole loses.
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