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Re: Freaky copyright laws [was: SUN RPC code is DFSG-free]

On Mon, Aug 25, 2003 at 04:42:28PM +0300, Richard Braakman wrote:
> On Sun, Aug 24, 2003 at 10:39:02PM -0500, Branden Robinson wrote:
> > I thought basically every place outside the U.S. was like that.  Several
> > times when the U.S. Supreme Court decision of _Feist v. Rural Telephone
> > Service Co._ has come up, it's been ridiculed by some Europeans.
> Can you substantiate that?  I don't remember any such ridicule.

I'm pretty sure I'm remembering the word lists argument.  Looking for
posts to this list with "aspell" in the subject line might turn it up.

If I recall correctly, U.S. legal tradition was ridiculed for not being
grounded on "sweat-of-the-brow" arguments.  In actual fact, very little
"IP law" in the U.S. appears to be grounded on that.  It's not generally
relevant to either copyright or patent law in the U.S.  I guess it sort
of applies to trademark law, where commercial interests face a "use it
or lose it" situation.  However, they don't have to "sweat" much to get
awarded a trademark in the first place, so maybe it fails there too.

I suspect that "sweat-of-the-brow" principles actually discourage the
cultivation of an intellectual commons rather than reinforcing one.

That isn't to say I find the U.S. system preferable.  No place in the
world appears to be a terribly good environment for intellectual

G. Branden Robinson                |     The power of accurate observation
Debian GNU/Linux                   |     is frequently called cynicism by
branden@debian.org                 |     those who don't have it.
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |     -- George Bernard Shaw

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