[linux-elitists] GPL Violations

Ben Finney ben@benfinney.id.au
Wed Jul 26 20:24:43 PDT 2006

On 26-Jul-2006, Rick Moen wrote:
> Quoting Ben Finney (ben@benfinney.id.au):
> > On 26-Jul-2006, Rick Moen wrote:
> > > Quoting Ben Finney (ben@benfinney.id.au):
> > > > They're copyrights, not property rights.
> > > A quibble too far:  I did not say (nor mean) _natural_ property.
> > A distinction easily missed, and difficult to impart. 
> Well, if that was too subtle, then I guess you can stick with this
> reduced-complexity variant:  "Sorry, you're simply wrong, Ben.
> Copyrights _are_, as stated, a variety of property."

I (like many denizens of this list) am unusual among the software-geek
field in that I *do* appreciate the distinction between copyrights and
physical property rights. I'm pointing out that it's a distinction
easily missed, requiring effort to clarify on the part of both teacher
and learner.

Hence my question,

> > So why not just talk about copyright...?

asking *why* you'd go to that effort, and require your interlocutor to
do so, when not mentioning "property" at all makes the same point
without the confusion to which I drew attention.

> 1.  If I ever need someone to compose my mailing list posts, I'll bear 
>     you in mind -- but not today, thanks.

Asking questions about your posts, and the reasoning behind them, is
not an attempt to compose them.

> 2.  As should have been evident, I wanted to stress the ludicrousness 
>     of the unnamed BSD gentleman preaching how (or if) other people 
>     should enforce their property rights.  The fact that the particular 
>     cited example involves an abstract property is irrelevant to the point.

Indeed; your point is strong regardless whether you mention the word
"property", which raises the confusion that most people think of it
solely as "natural property".

So, again, if your point is equally valid, and clearer, when stated in
terms of "copyright", why raise the word "property" at all?

 \     "Homer, where are your clothes?"  "Uh... dunno."  "You mean Mom |
  `\   dresses you every day?!"  "I guess; or one of her friends."  -- |
_o__)                                     Lisa & Homer, _The Simpsons_ |
Ben Finney <ben@benfinney.id.au>
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