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  • aaeru1 12:12 am on July 22, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , free software   

    Eben Moglen: "Sharing is how knowledge grows. Owning is how knowledge shrinks… Sharing produces technological innovation and social benefit. Ownership does not." 

    “We began our activities in changing the law applicable to software with a political purpose in mind. The purpose was to support freedom.

    Our belief was, and remains, that only a form of knowledge sharing which permits everyone to learn is safe for political liberty as well as economic innovation.

    We don’t consider this to be our invention. We consider this to be Galileo’s invention. We consider the right to tell the truth and to share scientific knowledge without permission and without control by law to be one of the greatest achievements of European civilization.

    We regard what we do as in the main line of the activity of the people of Liberty who brought a new Europe into being in 1789. We consider ourselves to be acting on behalf of the very idea of shared knowledge and common self-improvement, which is the achievement of European science.

    We reject wholeheartedly that this is either some danger or something to be careful about.

    Every government on Earth should now be aware that the largest IT firms in the world, including Microsoft, cannot live or operate without free software. Every government on Earth is aware that no bank, no telecommunications firm, no energy company can exist or operate without free software.

    I am disappointed, I must admit, among all the things that make me happy and delighted and honored to be here today, that in 2013 we’re still talking about this. We shouldn’t be. The data are long since in. The changes in the industry have long since been registered.

    But whatever may be the case about our persisting licensing structures, the documents on which we do business, which are a tiny bit of this story, the larger principles should no longer be in question: Sharing is how knowledge grows. Owning is how knowledge shrinks.

    The GPL has demonstrated that, with respect to computer software, sharing produces technological innovation and social benefit. Ownership does not.

    The Principle of Freedom, the free exchange of technological knowledge, and the Rights of Users with respect to technology, are however not trivialities. They are the central institutions of technology that serves Human purposes in the 21st century.

    And I will close only with one more statement: Technology which doesn’t serve human purposes in the 21st century, serves inhuman purposes.”

    • Eben Moglen

    Transcript: http://lepartipirate.be/node/1891

    • Tay 4:01 pm on November 19, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Aaeru, if you find this, could you check your email? We’re having problems on Fuwanovel. Thanks!

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  • aaeru1 6:19 pm on July 11, 2013 Permalink | Reply

    Woodie Guthrie: “anybody caught singin it without our permission…” 

    A declaration on his recordings from the 1940s by folk musician Woodie Guthrie:
    ‘This song is Copyrighted in U.S., under Seal of Copyright # 154085, for a period of 28 years, and anybody caught singin it without our permission, will be mighty good friends of ourn, cause we don’t give a dern. Publish it. Write it. Sing it. Swing to it. Yodel it. We wrote it, that’s all we wanted to do’.

    Despite the declaration, these days a number of companies continue to claim copyright over Guthrie’s songs.

    • Woodie Guthrie


  • aaeru1 8:25 pm on July 8, 2013 Permalink | Reply

    “Intellectual property” in fact leads to escalation of conflict, the opposite of real property 

    Why is it that sometimes your society will respect your ownership claims to certain property?

    “Physical objects bear an inherent conflict within themselves because of their physical properties: they can only be made up of specific atoms and occupy specific space and so cannot be owned multiple times at once. Avoiding the conflict that stems from those properties is advantageous from a pure game theory perspective. Life’s much easier if we don’t have to fight each other every second of every day. That’s where the idea of property and ownership come in. A community that didn’t respect SOME form of property consensus (even if it’s just “everything belongs to the high priest!”) would not get very far.
    Legitimate property is therefore a tool for reducing conflict inherent in society. Things that are (in practical terms) abundant, like …(air when we are outdoors)… or a piece of publicly available knowledge, are not a source of conflict, therefore it makes no sense to call it anyone’s property. “Intellectual property” in fact leads to escalation of conflict, since it requires violent enforcement of unprovable claims against parts of established and otherwise uncontested property.”

    • Piotr Witold Von Fedorowski


  • aaeru1 9:02 am on July 8, 2013 Permalink | Reply

    The Stationers came up with the Idea of copyright, but with a sleight of hand. 

    “In the long history of literature, copying was a significant cost to the person or organisation requiring a copy as they usually had to provide the parchment and either the time or a scribe to carry out the copying. As a result of this, most copying of books was carried out by the church, and the noble who could afford this activity.”

    “When the printing press arrived in Europe, it not only reduced the price of books, but also made them available to many more people. This was a threat to the established order of the nobles and the church, and this resulted in a battle to control knowledge leading to control of printing. This control in England was administered by The Stationers Company and over most of the content by the church via Imprimatur.
    Both these were a means of censoring the information that was printed by the State and the Church, and were a means of controlling what authors were allowed to publish.”

    “In England, after the Censoring function of the Stationers company had been abolished, the Stationers came up with the Idea of copyright, so that the could maintain their control over the allocation of titles to printers. Note the sleight of hand in copyright, grant it automatically to an author, who has to transfer the right to the stationers to get the book published. This maintained their control over printing.”

    “The natural right of an Author is that of deciding whether or not to publish a work. By long tradition, they also have a right of attribution, that is being named as the author of a work. Modern copyright is a recent invention which was created for the convenience and regulation of the publishing industry, rather than the right of an Author to control the actual copying of their work.”

    “It is worth noting, that as far as I am able to tell, performance rights in music are an invention of the recording industry, and that under the original copyright rules, only sheet music was protectable. Again copyright is associated with the publishers, in this case record labels, rather than the creators of works.
    Given the damage it is doing to society as the publishers try to maintain their control over copying, intrusive monitoring and arbitrary take down powers, it should be abolished, or drastically weakened.”

    • printersMate

    December 31, 2012 – 11:20


  • aaeru1 6:19 pm on June 27, 2013 Permalink | Reply

    “If you cant compete against the $300 copying machine, you’re saying you can’t compete at all. because there is already several billion of them sold into the market.”

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  • aaeru1 5:42 pm on June 20, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    Rufus Pollock: Copyright is a Monopoly! (And isn’t like normal property) 

    The equation of ‘intellectual property’ (IP) such as copyright with (traditional “real”) property is frequently made, especially by those advocating its extension. However, this equation is fundamentally erroneous and results in very serious misapprehension of the nature and effect of IP. In particular, patents and copyright confer monopolies in a way that ownership of real property does not.

    How is it different?
    ‘Real’ property like an apple, a car or an acre of land can only ever be used by one person/entity at one time — in economist’s terminlogy they are ‘rival’ goods. Giving someone exclusive rights over them therefore does no harm — only one person can have it and via trade we can ensure the person who values it most ends up with it 1. Here, creating property rights leads to an efficient outcome (at least in our simple case — in more complex setups we would need to think about complementarities, transaction costs etc).

    By contrast, a copyright in, for example, a particular text confers not simply control over this or that particular book containing the text but over every instance of such a book. This is the very essence of a monopoly: being sole supplier of some good!

    And it has all of the standard consequences of the monopoly: prices rise relative to what they would have been and access is reduced relative to its efficient level in which the price equals the cost of reproduction (i.e. we have a “deadweight” loss).

    Furthermore, this cost of monopoly can be particularly serious when we have extensive “reuse” — i.e. new work builds upon old — as the monopoly inhibits not only access by users but the creation of new creative work.

    The difference then between “normal” property and “intellectual property” is the difference between giving someone control of one apple (the apple they bought say) and control of all apples. The latter results in significant harm and inefficiency while the former does not.

    Now, of course, the fact copyright is a monopoly does not mean it is per se bad. After all, we are deeply concerned with the incentives to create and the copyright monopoly helps provide such incentives.

    We may therefore be willing to tolerate the ex-post costs of a monopoly because of the ex-ante benefits it provides in incentivizing and rewarding the creation of new work. But this is fundamentally a trade-off and one which gets worse as the monopoly is extended — a completely different situation from that with “real” property.

    This point is made elegantly by Macaulay (opposing a copyright term extension in the 1840s):

    “It is good that authors should be remunerated, and the least exceptionable way of remunerating them is by a monopoly. Yet monopoly is evil. For the sake of the good we must submit to the evil: but the evil ought not to last a day longer than is necessary for the purpose of securing the good.”

    This is not something one would write about normal, ‘real’, property.

    • Rufus Pollock


  • aaeru1 6:25 am on June 19, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    Profit without Copyright: “Copies have been devalued. There’s so much of it it’s like confetti.” 

    The issue with piracy is really an issue of entrepreneurs insisting that they use a business model of printing and selling copies (that have been devalued) and not understanding why their copies arent worth as much as they think it does.

    Whereas in the 20th century, printing copies required giant printing press which costs hundreds of thousands (if not millions) in investment capital. in the 21st century, the commoner can buy one for several hundred. So there was a paradigm shift. For something like $300 and a $20 monthly internet connection, u can rival the output of a factory from 20 years ago.
    What happens when every household can produce as much as what costed millions to produce a decade ago? It creates an abundance.
    Because basic economics tells us that prices tend towards marginal costs. The marginal costs for producing a copy is now $0.00001, so cheap, that people are willing to produce it for free. That’s why it is free, not because people stole it, but because competing printers bid each other down repeatedly until the price of it hits rock bottom.

    There’s so much of it it’s like confetti.

    The problem is that entrepreneurs are stuck in the 20th century business model, they want to sell confetti but they don’t understand why consumers don’t want to buy that anymore. Therefore, the fix to the problem is simply to produce things that haven’t been devalued yet. Like your labour. The act of creating a new movie or a new video game is always going to be scarce, because I cannot pirate a movie into existence. I have to offer to pay the artist to motivate him/her to exchange his or her services in creating new movies.

    That is why you are seeing in post-netflix world, a market that is mass-emigrating over to this model of production. Just the other day we saw crowd funding exceed $10 million http://www.polygon.com/2013/6/10/4410436/chris-roberts-celebrates-star-citizens-10-million-crowdfund
    In 2012, kickstarter, just one private player alone, has facilitated for more funding to the arts than the entire National Endowment of the Arts!

    Of course, I’m not saying the first hundred copies that the artist sells is not extremely valuable. But once it is sold into the world, there is no enforcement ability capable of preventing purchasers from manufacturing more copies for their friends & neighbours (short of a totalitarian police state).

    That is why even in the absence of scarcity of copies, you can still make money. Just because the copies have been devalued, it does not mean that there is no business model.
    Apart from selling your labour, you can also sell:

    • Immediacy (i want it in my folder here as soon as it comes out. I will pay $3).
    • Personalization (i want u to record a brand new version of this track just for me)
    • Support (i want 24/7 support for this piece of software. I want online play.)
    • Accessibility (i want it on all my platforms. i want it on smartphone)
    • Convenience (i dont want to fiddle with file transfer. u do that for me)
    • Embodiment (i want a boxed copy. i want it to line my shelf)
    • Generosity (i want it bcuz u are so generous. i like how u sold me $400 worth of games for $25)
    • Attention (https://sharingisliberty.wordpress.com/2012/07/30/attention-economy/)
    • Patronage (i want to pay you. i like how 95% of my money goes to u)
    • Transparency (i like how u tell me how much u make, other sellers dont tell me this, aka humble bundle)

    ^ None of these things can be pirated.

  • aaeru1 3:40 am on June 6, 2013 Permalink | Reply

    Russian Hacker Creates Unauthorized PC Port of Xbox game: The Dishwasher VS 

    A Russian hacker who goes by the name of "Barabus" created an unauthorized Windows PC version of Ska Studios’ Xbox 360 game The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile and released it last week. [Destructoid.com] [Polygon.com]

    So this is my take:

    “What has happened here is that, the owner had invested his time and energy to make changes to his own copy, and in his generosity, he shared those changes to his friends and community, but that this kind of production is held as a state-granted ‘exclusive privilege’ (aka monopoly) of the copyright holder. The holder of the monopoly has been given the power to crush any competitors who competes against him in the porting of this game.

    If this was true free markets, we say that the Russian hacker who ported the game has outcompeted the devs by providing this service faster and cheaper than the devs could do it themselves. But in monopoly land, doing so is an infringement on somebody’s privilege to be the exclusive provider of this service (copyright infringement). But infringement itself does not constitute moral wrong because he invades no one else’s property. He merely modifies his own legitimate property for which in normal circumstances, he would have had the right to do, but that that some of these rights to his own property has been seeded over to the copyright holder in the hopes that it will "promote the progress of ‘knowledge’ and useful arts" See US constitution copyright clause.

    “US Federal Court of Appeals (8th Circuit), in 2012:

    “Congress’s protection of copyrights is not a “special private benefit,” but is meant to achieve an important public interest: “to motivate the creative activity of authors and inventors by the provision of a special reward, and to allow the public access to the products of their genius after the limited period of exclusive control has expired.” [ca8.uscourts.gov]

    I’m not making this up. Hit Ctrl+F and type "copyright" on this page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monopoly

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