Copyright vs. Community by Richard Stallman at Center for Research and Interdisciplinarity, November 2010

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Not the classical talk on free-software

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Rather, can the principle be extended to "content"?

  • what is the actual role and impact of copyright?
  • history of the copying technologies
    • changes with economy of scale (classical printing press example)
      • resulting in political power shifts
  • and now we are back to the ancient world
    • mass copying is not that advantageous
      • thus tome to question copyright at large again
  • history of the emergence of "digital handcuffs"
  • application of his own moral and ethical (even political) framework (4 freedoms + anonymity ?) by refusing to play music from musicians pressed on CD that do not respect this framework
  • platforms of control
    • Sony PS3 and remote updates, Apple AppleStore, ...
    • examples specific to book
      • Amazon "Swindle" (and 1984 remote deletion), Apple iPad, ...
        • an attack on (literary) friendship in which sharing a book is fundamental
  • "conspiracies" of companies boasting publicly about the agreements against the public usages
  • overall numerous example on the opposition copyright holder and value creator and their relationship
    • distinction between the "star" and the "normal" creator
      • yet advertised differently (PR work)

Proposal : "Reduced Copyright System"

  • 10 years of copyright from day of publication of the work
    • first rough adjustment, can be lower
    • based on discussions with author, example of scifi writer wanting... less
  • limit the breadth of copyright
    1. work of practical use
      • e.g. software, recipes, etc
      • required to control your own life
      • eq. to 4 freedoms
    2. work as other people thoughts
      • e.g. memoirs, biographies, scientific papers, etc
      • no derivative commercial use, no modification by others
      • freedom to share
    3. work of art & entertainment
      • which has a value by the impact it creates
      • risk of losing integrity by modifications
      • risk of losing significant contributions
        • should allow remix if it does not denature the initial work
  • review the repartition and mechanisms of the "Hype Industrial Complex" (publishers, majors, labels, ...)
    • tax redistributing on a square root (log, etc) function of popularity
    • voluntary payment
      • mention of Francis Muguet and the Global Patronage System
      • promote the freedom to share
  • remarks on the cost of convenience
    • see also "Il faut choisir, se reposer ou Ítre libre." Thucydide


  • based on all those example, is making money equivalent to restricting freedom?
    • no
  • existing solution to listen to music today?
    • flattr, Jamendo, ...
  • can we use the "cloud"?
    • do not even use the "nebulus" word, SaaS overall is evil
  • How to enforce the 10 years of copyright period proposed in the Reduced Copyright System?
    • not with digital handcuffs
  • Is there an entirely free stack, are you using it down to the hardware?
    • what matters is open design thus documentation should be enough
    • plus (and in contradiction with earlier point on mass production) we don't have the mean to produce "free" en masse computers
    • consequently currently using a free BIOS (maybe )
    • Campaign for Free BIOS by Peter Brown, FSF February 2010
  • If I am developing a plugin for an aGPL platform, what license should it be?
    • depends on the way the components are interacting
  • What your view on IP?
    • the expression is dangerous because it imply a possible generalization, patent law and totally different from copyright
  • Do you think "bioware" can be patented? (example of possible DNA poetry)
    • term is vague but overall one can not patent a naturally occurring sequence
  • What is your position on trademarked names of project making GPL software?
    • neither good nor bad
  • How to search freely?
    • back to the question on SaaS and on the means you have at your disposal, use a free browser
  • Would you accept a life-saving medical implant without it respecting the 4 freedoms?
    • yes if it is no modifiable thus being equivalent to a circuit
    • else no
      • but it is too easy to say so now

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Own objectives

  1. update my "ideology"

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Other reviews

To do

  1. own feeling of community fit equivalent to product/market fit
    1. thus the value in not staying static but exploring several communities
  2. because of MyBeliefs#B1 maybe I should consider his framework (4 freedoms) also as fundamental and more generally than currently
  3. see also
    1. reading notes
      1. InformationRules
      2. TheFutureOfIdeas
      3. InformationFeudalism
      4. MecaMind
    2. RMLL-LSM
    3. IRILLDays2010 especially discussions with Massimiliano Gambardella
      1. Cooperation in network as an alternative for the knowledge creation. Example of Free and Open Source Software. by Inna Lioubareva, January 2010
    4. Tools.Programming
    5. Seedea:Utopiahanalysis/Tech4Libre
    6. Seedea:Seedea.Licenses#Software
    7. Content.Economy and Elinor Ostrom
    8. Content.MyCloudTransition
    10. Richard Stallman: Copyright vs. Community (Greek Subtitles) 2007
  4. add my visualization of the locked-in model
    1. cf Graphviz