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[Discuss] copyright

Rich Pieri wrote:
> Access to the source code isn't a right. Quite the opposite: denying
> access to the source code for a limited term is a right guaranteed by
> the Constitution and the Copyright Act of 1976. 

Minor nitpick, but "access to the source" has nothing to do with
copyright. The concept of trade secret is used to prohibit access to
source in most cases. The vast majority of commercial code is
effectively protected this way. (Of course it is also covered by
copyright, but it ends up not being relevant until someone leaks the code.)

In cases where source is made available, copyright limits what other
parties can do with the source. Obviously the licenses we are discussing
are ways of modifying or abdicating those rights.

> ...the source code for a limited term...

Which keeps growing...
  ...copyright law has become equal to the life of Mickey Mouse.

> Is a freedom to deny other's freedom really a freedom? Yes it is.

Well, you could have a whole debate on the issue of the purpose of
copyright, which has little to do with freedom. The objective of
copyright, like patents, is to encourage innovation (or art) and sharing
of it. Both mechanisms have long since been stretched beyond those
principles into preserving profits, and effectively hampering innovation.


Tom Metro
Venture Logic, Newton, MA, USA
"Enterprise solutions through open source."
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