[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: Irony of RSA Encryption

Nicolás Lichtmaier wrote:
> Do you understand that patent and copyright are two completely
> different areas? In the "pure GNU GPL" world you describe, there
> would be no patents, so the RSA algorithm would have been free from
> the beginning.

MMM Maybe . . .

"Free" in the GPL sense:  yes, by definition, in a GPL regime.
"Free" in the public domain sense:  doubtful.

Under a GPL regime the same type of forced sharing that underpins
today's GPL copyleft would be applied to all intellectual property,
and <dramatic pause> it would be applied for all time.

There would be no public domain because forced sharing would never
lapse.  It would never lapse because of the potential harm in people
then creating a proprietary version.  You couldn't even optionally
place your work into the public domain for fear that someone might
abuse the freedoms you've passed on.

No-strings-attached sharing would be lost forever.

I usually think of the argument as "GPL vs. Proprietary," but when
RSA lapsed into the public domain it struck me.  By actively seeking
to replace the current patent and copyright laws with codified
versions based on the GPL, they will be killing the public domain.

Seems wrong to kill such a good friend.  Apparently, this is the
"genius" of copyleft.  So while the free software world celebrates,
RSA being "freed", it is worth remembering that it is now too free.
It is public-domain, no-strings-attached free.  It is not GPL free.

The irony I was trying to hit on in the original post is that the same
people who bring you too much freedom are usually the ones who are
vilified.  Granted, some and, often, lots of patience is required, but
it will always be possible to reap irony from this situation.

Paul Serice

Reply to: