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Re: gpl licensing

From: Rui Miguel Silva Seabra
Subject: Re: gpl licensing
Date: Tue, 05 Dec 2006 22:19:39 +0000

Ter, 2006-12-05 às 22:21 +0100, Stefaan A Eeckels escreveu:
> On Tue, 05 Dec 2006 14:48:46 +0000
> Rui Miguel Silva Seabra <> wrote:
> > A government GRANTED and TEMPORARY MONOPOLY right is not property.
> So land cannot be property by your definition.

When you buy a piece of land, does it say your contract that it becomes
public property after 20 years (as in patents)? 90 years after you die
(as in copyright in the US)?

That's bullshit, what you just implied.

> > You can say there's "enough similar" characteristics, but there are
> > also many "totally dissimilar" characteristics so it can't be like
> > property.
> There are quite a lot of differences between real estate and stocks,
> but no-one questions that both are property. 

Stocks represent a portion of a company's perceived market value. Stock
exchange is like bingo but with a slightly bigger suicide rate.

Stocks aren't property either. You own a portion of a company, but it's
not property.

> > Immateriality, duplicability at (marginally) zero cost, non scarse,
> > etc...
> Stocks can be duplicated.

Haha. That would be the instant death of stock exchange markets, which
is strongly based on scarcity and perceived value of the item subject to

>  Water isn't exactly scarce on this planet,
> but people can own springs.

People own the land that has springs, and as consequence they have the
right to explore their land and what is on their land. They don't own

>  And mind you, good software is hard to
> find. Copies of good and bad software is something else, but the copies
> do not make the software - people do. And while they are creating
> software (good and bad) they have to buy food, and pay for lodging. So
> one way or another, software has to be something that pays for food,
> but that does not mean it should be packaged as a cereal.

Drink a glass of water, and it's gone. It's no longer a glass of water
but part of you.

Now, when you copy digital content, what happened to the original? Did
it disappear? No, it's exactly as it was before being copied.

You can keep copying, that "spring" will never dry out.

> It's all about conventions. If we, as society, accept that something
> (and it doesn't matter what that something is) can be owned, it becomes
> property. Slaves were property not because of some inherent
> characteristic, but because society considered them property. 

Well, I don't accept terms which are being force-fed into our collective
mouths, in a fierce attempt to make it an accepted convention.

> Now it is true that once recorded on a computer medium, software (but
> also novels, music, pictures etc) can easily be duplicated at near
> zero cost. That does not matter as long as there is a consensus that
> these things should be considered property.

There's another thing: the greater (but near to) than zero cost is in
over 90% on the side of the receiver.

> Some people do not believe that real estate (or certainly land) should
> be considered property. Some people consider that companies should not
> be property. What matters is what is accepted by a majority of people.

I don't understand what you mean, you don't really *own* a company, but
a set of things that effectively are the company: the trademarks, the
license to operate, a legally minimum value, shares if you're playing
stock exchange, etc.

A "Company" is a largely immaterial thing, that exists only insofar as
it's components exist. You can make a company disappear.

Ten acres of land can't disappear (except if you actually destroy the
whole world but that's a moot point), even though you can burn the
surface down completely, the land you owned is still there.

But it's probably worth less.

What you mean by "majority" of people is actually a very deep-pocketed
minority. It seems not even the sons of MPAA's CEOs find anything wrong
about downloading stuff from P2P networks (except that now they know
they have to hide it from their father -- likely after the beating).[1]

So bohoo. You're a troll.


+ No matter how much you do, you never do enough -- unknown
+ Whatever you do will be insignificant,
| but it is very important that you do it -- Gandhi
+ So let's do it...?

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