LinuxQuestions.org
Visit the LQ Articles and Editorials section
Go Back   LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Non-*NIX Forums > General
User Name
Password
General This forum is for non-technical general discussion which can include both Linux and non-Linux topics. Have fun!

Notices

Reply
 
LinkBack Search this Thread
Old 09-26-2008, 06:06 PM   #1
FliN
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Jun 2005
Location: In the kernel.
Distribution: Debian (testing version)
Posts: 2

Rep: Reputation: 0
Richard Stallman's Lecture - Founder of GNU project


As taken from http://rezolabs.com/story/richard-stallmans-lecture, which I am the author of. I thought I would share the following, as many of you may be interested.

Quote:
Last Friday I had the privilege of seeing Richard Stallman give a lecture on "Copyright and Community in the Age of the Computer Networks". It was a rather interesting lecture, where he raised some informative points, which I agree with.

One of the examples of copyright within the age of computer networks was copyright with books. Yes, his lecture wasn't entirely computer related, it was more media related, movies, music, books and of course, software. The examples he presented were based on books in general, the fact copyright for books goes on far too long. Plus the fact authors of books tend to extend their copyright when it's about to expire.

An example he gave was, you don't see a blacksmith copyright his work and getting his grand children and what not to benefit from the work he produced as a blacksmith, in the way of getting paid for their grandparents work. This is what seems to happen with copyright and media. Authors of books are getting 75 year copyright licenses for their books, in which their grandchildren and such are benefiting from the sales of the books, ie. getting cash they did not earn.

Another interesting case is the DRM (Digital Rights Management) issue. DRM has been implemented upon a few technologies today, such as iPod, iTunes, Windows Media Player (optional) and more. What DRM does, is it restricts the user's ability to port media from one source, or device to another. Using non-DRM protected media, you are able to view the same media on any device. However, when using DRM protected media, you are only able to view the media on DRM supported devices. Companies such as Microsoft, Apple and possibly others are claiming it's better for the end user, that they have more freedom in playing music on their DRM devices. It's not though, it's restricting the end user to only be able to play their media on DRM devices, which is ridiculous. As Stallman said, people should be allowed to play media on the device of their choice, DRM protected or not. Whither it's a computer, mp3 player, or a gaming console. If the device supports the media, or you can make a hack for it to support it, you should be able to.

The lecture went on for an hour and a half, which went surprisingly fast. At the end of the lecture, there were stickers (free), GNU teddy bears and badges available for us to buy. I ended up buying a GNU teddy bear ($30 donation to FSF), and a badge ($3 donation). I also got about at least 20 stickers. The stickers were anti-(DRM, iPod, iTunes), Bad Vista, GNU, Free Software Foundation (FSF) stickers and more.

Here's some small picture's of a GNU, and FSF sticker's I got, which I placed on the cover of my laptop. I'll upload my GNU teddy bear picture once I take a photo of it, currently not sure were my digital camera is.

I'll be keeping an eye out on YouTube, and news around my university campus for an uploaded version of Stallman's lecture, as it was recorded. Be sure to check it out!
Source: http://rezolabs.com/story/richard-stallmans-lecture
Author: Me.

Last edited by FliN; 09-26-2008 at 06:08 PM. Reason: Taken image out
 
Old 09-26-2008, 07:26 PM   #2
unSpawn
Moderator
 
Registered: May 2001
Posts: 26,539
Blog Entries: 51

Rep: Reputation: 2604Reputation: 2604Reputation: 2604Reputation: 2604Reputation: 2604Reputation: 2604Reputation: 2604Reputation: 2604Reputation: 2604Reputation: 2604Reputation: 2604
Quote:
Originally Posted by FliN View Post
75 year copyright licenses (..) grandchildren and such (..) ie. getting cash they did not earn.
The point he's trying to convey must be something else entirely different. If it's not then I'm gonna burn my book RMS autographed. I don't see who actually has the right to judge what other people benefit from, as far as Art is concerned I'm glad to see there's still people willing to invest creativity and time to write books.

Author: Me.
 
Old 09-27-2008, 03:15 AM   #3
H_TeXMeX_H
Guru
 
Registered: Oct 2005
Location: $RANDOM
Distribution: slackware64
Posts: 12,928
Blog Entries: 2

Rep: Reputation: 1266Reputation: 1266Reputation: 1266Reputation: 1266Reputation: 1266Reputation: 1266Reputation: 1266Reputation: 1266Reputation: 1266
Quote:
Originally Posted by unSpawn View Post
The point he's trying to convey must be something else entirely different. If it's not then I'm gonna burn my book RMS autographed. I don't see who actually has the right to judge what other people benefit from, as far as Art is concerned I'm glad to see there's still people willing to invest creativity and time to write books.

Author: Me.
I was thinking the same thing. We barely get any money down here anyway, why restrict ourselves even further ? Everyone has the right to earn money even from their parents. Aren't my parents gonna give me some starting money so I can go out and live on my own, start my own life and family ? And am I not going to do the same for my children, even more so if I can ? Of course. This is how things work, and there's nothing wrong with it. However, I'm going to look into that lecture and see if RMS meant this, I don't think he did.

Last edited by H_TeXMeX_H; 09-27-2008 at 03:16 AM.
 
Old 09-27-2008, 06:27 AM   #4
pinniped
Senior Member
 
Registered: May 2008
Location: planet earth
Distribution: Debian
Posts: 1,732

Rep: Reputation: 50
Hmm ... GNU ... I saw a big yellow sign in a ski shop as I was riding my motorbike around today: "GNU - Get Weird". I could imagine it might have been an Apple Mac ad...
 
Old 09-27-2008, 07:09 AM   #5
ErV
Senior Member
 
Registered: Mar 2007
Location: Russia
Distribution: Slackware 12.2
Posts: 1,202
Blog Entries: 3

Rep: Reputation: 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by FliN View Post
Authors of books are getting 75 year copyright licenses for their books, in which their grandchildren and such are benefiting from the sales of the books, ie. getting cash they did not earn.
I don't have problems with that. Most books will be forgotten within a year (so author of anything that survives 75years certainly deserve payment), they'll be "pirated", and many people will read them without purchasing. And excuse me, but I think blacksmith's work often takes less time, and can't be easily multiplied. It almost looks like purpose of the lecture was to sell merchandise. Which makes me think that FSF should invent some other way to bring attention and money to their organization.
 
Old 09-27-2008, 10:10 AM   #6
crashmeister
Senior Member
 
Registered: Feb 2002
Distribution: t2 - trying to anyway
Posts: 2,541

Rep: Reputation: 47
He beat up the wrong crowd there - dunno what RMS is thinking these days.

People getting royalties for so and so long is one thing but:

You can buy a book and have anybody else you feel like read it,as often as you like,can resell it,even lent it out at a public library - try that with music.

If books would carry the same restrictions as commercial software we would still live in caves - it's really the wrong way to get a point across.
 
Old 09-27-2008, 10:28 AM   #7
ErV
Senior Member
 
Registered: Mar 2007
Location: Russia
Distribution: Slackware 12.2
Posts: 1,202
Blog Entries: 3

Rep: Reputation: 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by crashmeister View Post
try that with music.
Depends on what music you are talking about. If you are talking about mp3s, then yes. But copying musical sheets, scores, playing pieces other people played, making adaptations, etc - all this was quite common among musicians. In my area at least. But when people do the same to software and mp3s - this is often called "piracy".
 
Old 09-27-2008, 10:36 AM   #8
H_TeXMeX_H
Guru
 
Registered: Oct 2005
Location: $RANDOM
Distribution: slackware64
Posts: 12,928
Blog Entries: 2

Rep: Reputation: 1266Reputation: 1266Reputation: 1266Reputation: 1266Reputation: 1266Reputation: 1266Reputation: 1266Reputation: 1266Reputation: 1266
Quote:
Originally Posted by crashmeister View Post
You can buy a book and have anybody else you feel like read it,as often as you like,can resell it,even lent it out at a public library - try that with music.
And what if I have ? Nobody would know except the people involved. Unless it was a sting operation, but I don't think the cops would bother about it just yet, not the cops here especially.

And what about ripping music from streams or the radio ? Technically isn't that illegal ? But who would know ? Nobody but me. I should turn myself in.
 
Old 09-27-2008, 01:06 PM   #9
jay73
Guru
 
Registered: Nov 2006
Location: Belgium
Distribution: Ubuntu 11.04, Debian testing
Posts: 5,019

Rep: Reputation: 129Reputation: 129
Quote:
And what if I have ? Nobody would know except the people involved. Unless it was a sting operation, but I don't think the cops would bother about it just yet, not the cops here especially.

And what about ripping music from streams or the radio ? Technically isn't that illegal ? But who would know ? Nobody but me. I should turn myself in.
I wonder. I have recently seen two intriguing cases here in the Netherlands and Belgium. One is the local RIAA sending out netbots to check whether people are playing a song on their personal website. From what I hear the first bills are on the way.
And then there is the second one which is absolutely groteque. The copyright mob have declared that they will be sending bills to nursery and primary schools to charge them for each and every song that the kids are taught (to the tune of 2 euros a piece). Public domain apparently ceases exist as soon as a music company grabs a bunch of traditional songs and puts them on a disk...
So what is next? Companies seizing the air we breathe? I wouldn't be surprised. I actually read an interview with the CEO of some big food company - I don't remember the name - who argued that the world would be a much better place if all water resources were privatized.

Last edited by jay73; 09-27-2008 at 01:10 PM.
 
Old 09-27-2008, 01:06 PM   #10
jay73
Guru
 
Registered: Nov 2006
Location: Belgium
Distribution: Ubuntu 11.04, Debian testing
Posts: 5,019

Rep: Reputation: 129Reputation: 129
Never mind. Double post.
 
Old 09-27-2008, 02:25 PM   #11
H_TeXMeX_H
Guru
 
Registered: Oct 2005
Location: $RANDOM
Distribution: slackware64
Posts: 12,928
Blog Entries: 2

Rep: Reputation: 1266Reputation: 1266Reputation: 1266Reputation: 1266Reputation: 1266Reputation: 1266Reputation: 1266Reputation: 1266Reputation: 1266
Quote:
Originally Posted by jay73 View Post
And then there is the second one which is absolutely groteque. The copyright mob have declared that they will be sending bills to nursery and primary schools to charge them for each and every song that the kids are taught (to the tune of 2 euros a piece). Public domain apparently ceases exist as soon as a music company grabs a bunch of traditional songs and puts them on a disk...
So what is next? Companies seizing the air we breathe? I wouldn't be surprised. I actually read an interview with the CEO of some big food company - I don't remember the name - who argued that the world would be a much better place if all water resources were privatized.
Oh my ... are you sure. That's insane. Well, guess we should stop teaching kids songs. But if they really want to play, fine with me. Whatever they take from me by force, I'll take double from them for free.
 
Old 09-27-2008, 07:52 PM   #12
pinniped
Senior Member
 
Registered: May 2008
Location: planet earth
Distribution: Debian
Posts: 1,732

Rep: Reputation: 50
I think RMS is getting back to what is reasonable. Life of author +75 years is a joke. The books thing is not necessarily a bad example. There are some excellent textbooks from the first half of the 20th century and they were very expensive when they were first printed. Now I can get reprints of many of these books for about $16 because anyone can republish them now and some publishers have decided to do some (limited) runs. One exception to that seems to be my favorite series on Calculus; the set of three books cost me almost $500.

The Mickey Mouse act (or at least that's the nickname) extended copyrights and prevented Mickey Mouse from becoming public domain and thereby allowing anyone to make, distribute, and sell copies of old Mickey Mouse cartoons and make MM figurines and what-not. How long has Walt Disney been dead? The Disney corporation still makes a fortune through its exclusive control of work made over 60 years ago. If Disney wants to continue making money, let them innovate rather than collect money thanks to people long gone.

So rms means what he says. I haven't heard him make a statement about patents in general, but he has always hinted that he's against all patents, not just software patents - I can't agree with him on that; traditional patents are still of some value.
 
Old 09-28-2008, 03:26 AM   #13
unSpawn
Moderator
 
Registered: May 2001
Posts: 26,539
Blog Entries: 51

Rep: Reputation: 2604Reputation: 2604Reputation: 2604Reputation: 2604Reputation: 2604Reputation: 2604Reputation: 2604Reputation: 2604Reputation: 2604Reputation: 2604Reputation: 2604
Quote:
Originally Posted by pinniped View Post
So rms means what he says. I haven't heard him make a statement about patents in general, but he has always hinted that he's against all patents, not just software patents - I can't agree with him on that; traditional patents are still of some value.
Maybe you could define what you see as "traditional"? If you mean the administrative side of the patent system, documentation declaring somebody "invented" something, *is* the value itself, then I wouldn't object to that (except maybe whose established legal authority it is anyway?). But do for instance pharmaceutical companies invest $some_ludicrous_amount in research out of altruism? Or because a patent is of strategic value, allowing them to superficially creating market shortage and reap rewards in the order of ten times their investment? Is patent hogging a way to make sure we all may benefit from inventions or an investment, just another way to raise the market value of a certain company?
 
Old 09-28-2008, 04:34 AM   #14
pinniped
Senior Member
 
Registered: May 2008
Location: planet earth
Distribution: Debian
Posts: 1,732

Rep: Reputation: 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by unSpawn View Post
Maybe you could define what you see as "traditional"?
The history of patents goes back to Great Britain during the Industrial Revolution. The idea was that if you spent time and money developing a mechanism (understood at the time to be a mechanical device) which had some value on the market, you were entitled to a short period of exclusive control over the production and sale of the mechanism you had invented. So if you created a new steam engine and changed some parts found on your competitor's device and these changes were actually an improvement, you could patent those bits. The patent mechanism is also claimed to give inventors the opportunity to find a manufacturer and to benefit from their invention - otherwise someone would make a copy of an inventor's plans and build something without paying a cent to the inventor - and who would waste time and money inventing something if only other people would profit. History of course is full of stories of inventors being screwed over by someone who does have money - it's the stuff movies are made of - little guy invents something and dies a stinking penniless drunk while someone who already has lots of money buys the rights to his invention for a bottle of rum and becomes famous and wealthier.

The important things about a patented item were that it was a physical device (for example, floppy disk, but not software), and it could be manufactured or reproduced by "a person skilled in the art".

SO - in the olden days, patents were indeed valuable and I think they still have some value today. A big drug company may spend a few tens of millions developing a drug - so if they have a monopoly on its sale for 17 years, so what? In the USA the patent laws have something in them about a "reasonable fee" - so in principle if someone asks for too much and just doesn't budge, you can say the request is not reasonable and produce that item anyway. In practice I think it will be a nice sunny peaceful world where all people get along well long before the government would say that a patent holder (note I didn't say the inventor) is told that they are demanding too much and that the government is naming the price at which their invention can be licensed - or worse still, declare the invention to be in the public domain.

One thing people must understand with patents AND with copyrights is that these are not inalienable rights of a citizen (at least not in the USA, UK, Australia) - they are concessions made by the government in good faith and on behalf of the citizens of that nation. So Walt Disney and the RIAA don't have a right to rape all prospective customers despite what they say in the press, but they're getting pretty close to having governments grant them inalienable rights in perpetuity. Look at poor old Shakespeare - he had little control of who copied his work given the prevailing laws at the time. So it's time for the masses to tell their governments "Hey buddy, that's enough - you've gone too far" and put the copyright holders back in their place (and patent laws need some work too).

Last edited by pinniped; 09-28-2008 at 04:36 AM.
 
Old 09-28-2008, 06:09 AM   #15
crashmeister
Senior Member
 
Registered: Feb 2002
Distribution: t2 - trying to anyway
Posts: 2,541

Rep: Reputation: 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by ErV View Post
Depends on what music you are talking about. If you are talking about mp3s, then yes. But copying musical sheets, scores, playing pieces other people played, making adaptations, etc - all this was quite common among musicians.
I am talking about end-users.
 
  


Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
LXer: Richard Stallman looks back at 25 years of the GNU project LXer Syndicated Linux News 0 09-26-2008 05:11 PM
LXer: Microsoft Spits in GPL Creator Richard Stallman's Eye LXer Syndicated Linux News 0 06-12-2007 04:46 AM
LXer: The unabridged selective transcript of Richard M Stallman's talk at the ANU LXer Syndicated Linux News 0 04-06-2006 10:03 PM
LXer: A Rare Glimpse Into Richard Stallman's World LXer Syndicated Linux News 1 01-29-2006 11:01 AM
LXer: A Rare Glimpse Into Richard Stallman's World LXer Syndicated Linux News 1 01-06-2006 10:41 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:04 AM.

Main Menu
My LQ
Write for LQ
LinuxQuestions.org is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
Syndicate
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
identi.ca: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration