[Discuss] Request for Comments: Digital DIY: Legal Challenges & Solutions Practised Report

Cláudio Sampaio patola at gmail.com
Sun Sep 25 16:24:04 UTC 2016

On Sun, Sep 25, 2016 at 5:10 AM, Matt Maier <blueback09 at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Sat, Sep 24, 2016 at 6:03 PM, Cláudio Sampaio <patola at gmail.com> wrote:
>> ​Just as copyleft is based on copyright, being "copyright turned on its
>> head" to mean that it's actually the opposite,
> Copyleft is not the opposite of copyright. Copyleft is exactly the same
> legal standard. The minor difference is that the license REQUIRES sharing
> instead of FORBIDS sharing. Normally, people who

​Copyleft works within copyright, yes. But turning the purpose of
artificial scarcity in artificial spreading potential actually makes it
works in reverse, so describing it as "the opposite" of copyright is not by
any means inaccurate. When copyleft was created, there was even this motto:
"copyleft, all rights reversed".​ On the other hand, saying that copyleft
is the same legal standard does not makes sense, because copyright is a
bunch of laws, and copyleft is not a bunch of laws, it is some tricky
contract within the framework of copyright.

> create value use copyright to forbid other people from freely sharing in
> the creation without paying for the value. People motivated by open/libre
> ideas want the value they create to be shared as widely as possible, so
> they require sharing. That's a pretty minor difference. The only reason
> either of them work is because the courts enforce the terms of the licenses.

​While I agree that 'either of them' can take people to court, there is no
'either of them' here - there is one thing, that is copyright, because
copyleft is a small subset of copyright, just as any other copyright
license is.​

And as I said regarding artificial scarcity vs. artificial spreading, this
'difference' (of intended purpose) is a pretty big deal. It is not even
conceivable to me that you can call it "minor". Also, again, copyright is
the framework with which copyleft works, so I am not sure 'difference' is
an appropriate word here, it's like saying a human is different from a
mammal, or a computer is different from a machine.

> intellectual "property" is the very opposite of real, private property.​
>> ​You own your media and you should be allowed to do whatever you wish
>> with it in your private space, or in agreement with others.
> The difference between tangible and intangible objects is real, but the
> concept of "property" is always intangible. Your rights to anything is a
> compromise with everyone else's rights. For example, it's not unusual for
> your right to your land (real property) to be compromised to grant someone
> else the right to cross your land to get to their land. Rights are flexible
> things.

​Exactly! The *wrong* thing about all that stuff is the fascist premise
that you can mess with other people's rights (in this case, "for the sake
of the collective"). When I say fascist, I am not being rhetorical, I am
being descriptive, it is a collectivist ideology like communism, socialism
and nazism, which does not respect the individual, and this one of its
basic principles. You should not cross someone's else land without their
permission; if you need road through part of that land, you should offer to
buy them. Land is property, and property is a very fundamental natural
right (from justnaturalism), from which derives even the right to life
(which is a part of self-property). If you try to trump other people's
natural rights, you are evil from definition. The whole concept of *rights* is
meant to not be flexible, for the sake of fairness.

So, to be clear, I prefer non-fascism to fascism. If you insist on trying
to trump my property's rights, I must say that we are in opposite sides of
this war.

Also, and this is important, if you have a license to use something that is
> not the same (legally speaking) as owning it. Under the terms of a license
> your right to the value is limited and can be revoked if

​Yeah, and that's the point of open-source in the first place. Apart from
the complicated legalese, the point is just behaving *more like real
property*. Instead of leasing or renting or something, open source
creations give you rights to do whatever you want with it, even to sell it,
much like private property, different from proprietary software which
sometimes enforces you to use in a particular mannner and has a lot of
restrictions on ideas, code, etc... Granted, open-source might be copyleft
(if you distribute, you are legally bound to give other the same right,
just like real property) or permissive (you can allow people to relicense
and close the code), which are just two differing views of fairness and
similarity with property.​

you violate the license terms. That's WHY copyleft works. The evil,
> non-sharers who want to take software and hide it aren't legally allowed to
> do that because they don't own it, they only got a license
from the author. Under copyright, the author's right to control the value
> they created extends to all copies (and derivative works), with a few
> exceptions, regardless of how far the thing of value travels.

​Yes. You used the right world: control. This is about control. He who
produces information just produces information. He does not automatically
earns the power to control my property or actions, even if I use the
information he created or processed.​ Information gives enough control
figuratively, it should not enforce control legally. Copyright really
twists people's minds, it's weird.

>> But you can't, because the overreach of intellectual "property" tries to
>> confiscate the power you have over your own stuff. More details here:
>> https://mises.org/library/against-intellectual-property-0​
> If you get rid of intellectual property then you get rid of free/libre
> copyleft as well.

​Which is a system which only exists as to mitigate copyright's damage, so
if the disease of copyright does not exist, its remedies are not that
needed anyway.

>> ​Intellectual property also enforces artificial scarcity of non-scarce
>> goods. This is terrible. You create value but cannot fully exploit it,
>> because to conform to closed-minded lack of creativity on how to monetize
>> it, you resort to limit the number of copies that might be made, or limit
>> its scope.
> You've got two different things confused. Copyright was invented
> specifically to help creators exploit the value they created. Copyright
> places no burden whatsoever on the creator. If you make something you can
> share it as widely as you want and put zero restrictions on it and charge
> absolutely nothing for it. But that basically would have happened anyway.
> Copyright gives the creator the option to tightly control distribution,
> layer a bunch of requirements, and charge anything they want. THAT is only
> possible because the courts will back them up when non-creators violate
> their attempt to exploit the value they created.

​It puts a gigantic burden on the *creation*. By default, without a
license, you just do not know how this information can be used. And then
you've got 120 years of information locked up from society if e.g. you
cannot contact the creator. And then again, the license: it is all about
control, and that's why it is wrong. It is kind of like DRM: when I get
something copyrighted, which all creations are by default, it gets to say
what I can do with MY property, privately.​ No, I will not lend that

Also, you've got the thing backwards: "the courts will back them up when
non-creators violate their attempt to exploit the value they created'.
First, to make it look like you're protecting the 'small guy' (which is not
the purpose of any intellectual property btw), you equalled 'creators' and
'owners of copyright', and they are not the same thing - e.g. if you're a
professional programmer or artist for a business, chances are you signed a
contract selling your copyrights to the business. Second, the situation
whereby the courts interfere for copyright is not 'when non-creators (sic)
violate their attempt to exploit the value they created'. The courts
interfere when *other people* are using 'the value created', be it for
exploiting commercially or otherwise. This is important because nobody that
violates copyright is doing anything against the original copy, it can
still be exploited in any way the author or copyright owner wants.

>> As an useful example: I have been looking for ways to implement real
>> curves on open-source 3D software - from slic3r to cura to blender -​ and
>> found what seems to be the perfect work for it, a work of genius, a
>> mathematical achievement: T-splines. http://www.tsplines
>> .com/products/what-are-t-splines.html However, their creators limited
>> the value of this amazing piece of software to two quite limited
>> proprietary products, no doubt under secret private arrangements, and
>> progress on this front is unequivocally halted by decades. Sort of what
>> happened with the FDM and SLA patents, which halted the 3D printing
>> technologies for two decades -- we should already have star trek
>> replicators by now, if it weren't for patent law.
> And patents are not copyright. Not even close. If the creators of
> T-splines had copyright then you'd still be able to do whatever you wanted
> with the idea of T-splies. A patent is what gives you rights to the use of
> the idea itself.

​But are also intellectual "property". They are two very different types of
IP, granted. But they both do damage, in their own specifics ways.​ But
regarding T-splines I was indeed talking about copyright - I could not find
them in google patents, but in the page they say T-splines are patented and
also their method of "T-shape intersection between faces". You see, not
"little guy" here. It's Autodesk. Corporations in Crony Capitalism nations
love every single type of intellectual "property" they can have. Have you
heard about the recent changes in design rights in the UK? It went from
patents to copyright duration. You see, again, this is all about control.

I agree that patents have been getting increasingly absurd and destructive.
> If they actually granted patents based on the rules everything would be
> fine, but they're handing out patents for vague and speculative nonsense.

​That's not due to bad apples. That's how the system, as it was designed,
is supposed to work​. I agree that it is opposite to its stated purposes,
but it is completely consonant with its rules.

> The glut of bad patents is absolutely a problem that's clogging up our
> systems of innovation.

​To me there is no such thing as bad patents. All of them are bad. However
broad patents are indeed practically worse in practice for today's society.

>> ​There are many ways to monetize without intellectual "property" too:
>> https://wiki.mises.org/wiki/Without_Intellectual_Property​
>> ​Do not forget that intellectual "property", due to simply existing,
>> requires an enormous amount of law support, institutions, structures, NGOs
>> and otherwise non-productive stuff - which is sort of "the broken window"
>> in economics, it's wasted money and resources.​
> That article on "what if we got rid of IP" has an example from the book
> publishing industry. The assertion is that with copyright there are a whole
> lot more books published, each of which is a lottery ticket to best seller
> status.

​The hypothesis, you mean. Which fails every time it's tested. When
copyright was still not universal, german published more books than the
rest of Europe due to the lack of copyright. Some cases like these are

> I think that's exactly the kind of system we want if we want innovation.
> There is no way to predict what will be innovative. We have to just try a
> bunch of stuff and see what clicks. Abolishing copyright would also abolish
> the long tail of contributions. Only entities that are already powerful
> enough to exploit their creation would bother to create. Copyright allows
> the little guy to get the backing of the government so they can compete.

​No. That would be the opposite. Abolishing copyright and patents is going
to remove every blockage currently existing for complete creative
explosion. You could use every creation you wanted, in every combination
you wanted, to create whatever you're thinking. A completely open space of
ideas for you to exploit anyway you wish.

Cláudio "Patola" Sampaio
MakerLinux Labs - Campinas, SP
Gmail <patola at gmail.com> - Mail EAD <patola at techtraining.eng.br> -
MakerLinux <patola at makerlinux.com.br> - YOUTUBE
Facebook <https://www.facebook.com/patolinux> - Facebook da MakerLinux
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