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Fedor Zuev <fedor@earth.crust.irk.ru> writes:

> 	The same (see above) point is not correct for political
> speech.  Unlimitedly modifiable political speech is _not_ a normal
> mode of operation and never was. 

Political speech has been around for about two thousand, six hundred
years, at least, in substantial written form.  Going as far back as,
say, Demosthenes.

Throughout the first two thousand, three hundred years of that time,
it was unlimitedly modifiable.  The notion of copyright is a late
development.  Even then, however, it was not applied to political
advocacy, which continued to be distributed without copyright for a
very long time.  Such things as, for example, the Lincoln-Douglass
debates or Thomas Paine's "Common Sense" were not copyrighted.

Copyright on political advocacy only became regular around perhaps

So let's make the following table:

                   Computer Programs               Political Writing

Started                 1950                            600 BC
Copyright legally clear 1976                        AD 1700
Copyright not uncommon  1980                        AD 1900
Today                   2003                        AD 2003

So you are right that copyright came about late in the game, and was
not the normal thing for computer programs.  But guess what!  It came
about even later for political writing.  That is, for the fifty-three
years (roughly) of software, copyright has been legally clear for
twenty-seven (about half), and frequent for twenty-three.

By contrast, of the twenty-six centuries of political writing,
copyright was legally clear for only the last three, and has been
frequent for only the last one.

Copyright is thus a FAR more typical reality for programs than for
political writing.


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