Woah! It's Stallman in Toronto!

Richard Stallman - "Copyright vs. Community" Feb. 2, 2009

0 Freedom to run program
1 Freedom to study source code
2 Freedom to distribute software
3 Freedom to contribute to the community

  • its social system is ethical
  • proprietary is unethical

What should copyright law let you do? (age of printing press vs digital age) - spent a while discussing the history and evolution of copyright

  • copyright is no longer a industrial regulation
  • reduce copyright power
  • copyright should be much shorter - stallman suggests 10 years from date of publication (more than 3 times the publication cycle)

What copyright should cover?
    Type of works:   

  • works of practical use - these works must be free, when you use these works to do your job, you do not have control over your life
    • free to publish your own version... this includes software
    • works of reference
    • educational (text books)
  • works of testimony (opinion) - commercial use and modification require permission, non-commercial free to share exact copies
  • works of art & entertainment
    • modification can destroy artistic integrity, or it can be a contribution to art
    • [shakespeare would have violated copyright]
    • commercial use and modification require permission, non-commercial free to share exact copies [same 10 years]
  • All copyrighted works must be shareable - to try and stop it, is an attack on society
  • Governments are abandoning all sense of justice in prosecuting offenders
  • A system that supports artists better
    •  A tax - distributed to artists [based on popularity in a non-linear way (take the cubed root of artists popularity)] THE GOAL IS TO SUPPORT THE ARTS
    • voluntary payments - sent directly to the artists  ["people are not the greedy bastards that economists claim that they are!"]
    • A friendly and kind PR campaign, don't accuse the public of piracy, "did you band a band this week ;)"

DRM attacks freedom

  • takes away your legal rights to use the works
  • publish the works in a secret format, so that only proprietary software can play it
  • AACS (Blue ray) is absolutely evil.  Sony PS3

intellectual property is a ridiculous term, it confusing copyright, trademark, patent, and many other laws,  each needs to be approached independently  


Nick Ruest
Associate Librarian