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Re: [OT] Droit d'auteur vs. free software

Arnoud Galactus Engelfriet <galactus@stack.nl> said:

>I'm not sure it's entirely the right time, but the basic
>principle behind European copyright law is that you have
>by definition certain rights. Not just to "promote progress",
>but simply because you made the work. It's your intellectual

Yes, which is why European copyright law is fundamentally opposed to 
free speech.  This basis for copyright is expressly forbidden by the 
United States Constitution, despite some abusive laws and court 
rulings recently.

>Anyway, I'm just trying to explain the concept. I think it's
>being taken very far right now. Feel free to consider it
>stupid or outdated, but that doesn't make the concept go away.

I don't consider it *outdated*, I consider it *dangerous*.  It's a very 
real concept, and a very real threat to freedom of speech.  
That's why I try to explain it to people. :-)

There are other concepts which have been the basis of legal systems 
in the past which are also dangerous, and are also still very real and 

For instance: "All rights whatsoever come from the king (or government)".  
As opposed to "People are endowed by their creator with certain 
unalienable rights".

For another instance: "Some people are obviously inferior to others, 
and should be treated so by the legal system".

For another instance: "Criticizing the government obviously means that 
you are disloyal and treasonous."

Perhaps these are more obvious, but I consider the idea that an author 
has natural, basic rights of total control over his writings (beyond the 
right to be identified or not identified as the author) to be another
dangerous, anti-freedom idea.  Under the US system as envisioned by the 
Founders, some rights may be natural (such as the right to be identified 
as the author or not), but copyright, which can be used to *suppress* 
speech, is *not* natural; it is an artificial government-granted right.


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