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Re: LGPL module linked with a GPL lib

On 8/3/05, Michael K. Edwards <m.k.edwards@gmail.com> wrote:
> On 8/3/05, Raul Miller <moth.debian@gmail.com> wrote:
> > I think his point is that because of the nature of ideas -- that they don't
> > exist in and of themselves, but are abstracts used to describe
> > communication between people -- that it's impossible to codify
> > property rights protecting them.  There will always be cracks
> > in the structure.
> As I understand it, no one in recent centuries has tried to codify
> property rights protecting "ideas" as such; neither copyright nor
> patent nor trademark law presents any barrier to the free
> dissemination and use of ideas, and trade secret law creates no
> property right and governs nothing but the breach of duties
> voluntarily accepted with regard to unpublished information.
> Imperfect but workable property rights have been created for original
> expression (at a rather literal level), industrial applications of an
> invention, and symbols of authenticity; how are these any less
> amenable to codification than the ownership of a parking lot, a
> skyscraper, or anything else for which a valuation must be based on
> the income that may be derived from controlling its use rather than
> the incremental cost of using it?

There's probably a lesson in here somewhere.

"information" is also a term used to describe how people

You try to draw a distinction between "ideas" and "information".
And, indeed, they are spelled differently -- they have different
physical representations.  And yet, both of these terms refer
to the same underlying concept, in this context.

If we can't even manage this issue in the context of a single
paragraph, what hope do we have of codifying protection
for newly thought up instances of this issue, in law?

Answer: codification is easy -- it's easy to put words down on
paper and call them law -- but it's unlikely that this codification 
will ever be meaningful in a general context.

Thus, no one really wants to take copyright issues to court,
because fundamentally the laws don't make sense.  When 
taken at face value, the concepts are simple enough, but 
the protected works are not real property.  As you point out, 
they're not even chattels.

(Though I challenge you to show me any cases of real
property which does not stake out a physical chunk
of the planet.  (I'm aware that you can, at least in some
cases, move dirt from one location to another, without
changing the legal definition of the property boundaries.
But my point is: you can determine those property boundaries
because of physical properties of matter, such as the fact
that mass is conserved, which do not apply in the realm of
intellectual property.))

As for xemacs and emacs:  RMS has not accepted xemacs
code into emacs because the xemacs developers would not, 
or could not, transfer copyright ownership on that code to 
the FSF.


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