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Why the draconian copyright restrictions?


Orions_Stardom

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I would wager that Kelsey is perhaps if not the most copied so at least the most looked at code, since a very common advice has been from his very launch to look at how it is handled with Kelsey.

 

I am wholeheartedly against software patents and patenting the human genome was blasphemy althogether, but I fail to see how slapping a reminder that someone took it upon themselves to make something to be shared by the community for free safe a little credit hampers mod development.

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I would wager that Kelsey is perhaps if not the most copied so at least the most looked at code, since a very common advice has been from his very launch to look at how it is handled with Kelsey.

 

I've looked at Kelsey's code, but as it has a warning: "Do not do as we do, look at Kelsey-TOB or at Keto instead," I've turned to Keto and BTL.

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I would wager that Kelsey is perhaps if not the most copied so at least the most looked at code, since a very common advice has been from his very launch to look at how it is handled with Kelsey.

 

I am wholeheartedly against software patents and patenting the human genome was blasphemy althogether, but I fail to see how slapping a reminder that someone took it upon themselves to make something to be shared by the community for free safe a little credit hampers mod development.

Unless I got lost in this discussion it was not about giving credit but approach "no part of what I've done may be used by others cause it's MINE! :) " On the otherhand sheer length of some posts before suggests that I probably did get lost in the discussion. :party:

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That's not quite it. Most modders would be quite happy to allow other people to use their work, as long as their permission was asked for. The proposal seemed to be that people should be allowed to take, modify and release a modder's work without asking for permission, or even giving any credit in the readme.

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This thread already contains numerous reasons why authors shouldn't be *forced* to work under less restrictive licenses, and the entire point is that it is - and should always remain - a choice.

Why? That choice affects the reader far more than it affects the author. See Freedom or Power? for a more lengthy discussion of this.

 

We all (well, most of us) live in a democratic society, and I'm sure most of us would agree that restricting peoples' rights is never a good idea.

Sometimes it is. Copyright was, and still is, a good system - if it's used properly. Patents likewise. Both of these restrict people's freedoms. These weren't designed, however, to encourage innovation, but as a way of modifying people's behavior.

 

In a case like this where the rights of two people conflict, the one which would do the least harm to both people should have the priority; and in this case, that's allowing the author the right to do with his work as he sees fit, not the reader.

The rights of two people conflict, perhaps - but, see Misinterpreting Copuright. It explains that, quite simply, this is not the right way to look at it: the rights afforded a copyright holder are intended for the public good, rather than the authors. See specifically the section 'The First Error: Striking a Balance' - it deals with, and refutes, your idea of 'least harm to both people' entirely.

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Your links simply provide another person's opinions, not fact. They are no less right or wrong than anything that has been said in the thread. Also, they are all about the *publisher*'s rights vs. the reader's - the author's rights, which the main subject of our discussion, are barely mentioned.

 

They also fail to explain how an author not having any control over his own work affects the reader more than it does the author.

 

Also, American law affects America. Contrary to the belief of many Americans, it does not affect the entire planet. To myself and many other people here, the U.S. Constitution is utterly irrelevant in regards to this discussion.

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Also, American law affects America.  Contrary to the belief of many Americans, it does not affect the entire planet..

I'm from Australia, and so I wish you were right aswell! :)

 

 

EDIT: And the links I'm providing, all show yes someone's opinion, but one they are prepared to fight for, to the point where RMS left his job at MIT so that he could release Free Software. They show argument for this, aside from what I am saying. Also, they provide facts that can be checked - for example, no single consitution has ever requried copyright (to my knowledge), I read those with a view to the US consitution merely being an example of where this is grounded in law - it undoubtedly isn't the only possible example.

That restriction of rights affects an author less than a user is easy to prove: I copy a CD, and I give it to my friend. Who has been affected? I haven't been, realy (although I undoubtedly feel better having helped my friend); my friend has been (he is in a better position for it); the author may have been (if my friend was going to buy the CD, yes they've been affected somewhat - if they *weren't*, they haven't lost a sale and so any effect it has can only be good for the author (more penetration)). For a more focused argument for all of this, see Why Software Should Not have owners.

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I think that as code ages and is improved there is always a critical path. Sure you could built in redundancy for the flavour to claim to have done something differently, but a certain optimal set of commands to produce a result are not creative input. While the effort is commendable you cannot bar others from using the same optimal procedure. That is why I brought softwr patents into this.

 

You should be able to claim a finished 'product as is' as your work, but not unlike language you cannot protect code in that way IMO. Creative writing is something entirely different.

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Sometimes it is. Copyright was, and still is, a good system - if it's used properly. Patents likewise. Both of these restrict people's freedoms. These weren't designed, however, to encourage innovation, but as a way of modifying people's behavior.

 

What something like this was designed to do is of no importantance whatosever compared to what it actually managed to achieve. Copyright may not have been intended to encourage innovation, but the fact is it does - and that's a good thing. Nature almost certainly didn't "intend" for human beings to use computers, watch TV, read books or listen to music - but we do. Would you suggest we stop just because we weren't intended to do these things?

 

That restriction of rights affects an author less than a user is easy to prove: I copy a CD, and I give it to my friend. Who has been affected? I haven't been, realy (although I undoubtedly feel better having helped my friend); my friend has been (he is in a better position for it); the author may have been (if my friend was going to buy the CD, yes they've been affected somewhat - if they *weren't*, they haven't lost a sale and so any effect it has can only be good for the author (more penetration)).

 

And how is your friend not having a copy of that CD so terrible? It certainly is in no way a violation of his "rights". Plus you're hardly the only one who's going to copy that CD and give it to your friend. In fact, other people are going to copy that CD and *sell* it to complete strangers as many times as they can, and they're going to do the same thing with countless other CDs as well. At the moment, the loss of revenue caused to music companies and artists by these actions is negligible compared to what they earn, but if copyright laws were made as unrestrictive as you propose, it would quickly get to the point the music companies were losing so much money they would start to question whether it was worth staying in business - and then the artists certainly would suffer.

 

You're obviously all for the positive benefits less restrictive copyrights would bring to the reader, but you really ought to consider the negative consequences the reader would experience as well.

 

One other thing: I strongly suspect that Bradley M. Kuhn and Richard M. Stallman have absolutely not objection to software authors saying "you may use my software however you wish, just so long as you ask permission first, or at the very least credit me in the documentation".

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Care to explain how a mod made by a non-American could possibly be affected by American copyright law?

That was actually a little joke based on the current legal situation in Australia (George Bush almost literally *controls* John Howard... thus, American law has a very definate impact here). That and this is more about the rationale behind a law than it's implications.

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What something like this was designed to do is of no importantance whatosever compared to what it actually managed to achieve.  Copyright may not have been intended to encourage innovation, but the fact is it does - and that's a good thing. 

Ok, I think I worded that badly. Copyright isn't intended to make people more creative, but as a way of making society aware of the creativity, and able to benifit from it. Same with patents and innovation. They are now often being used for exactly the opposite - copyright to stiffle creativity, patents to prevent entraprenerial activity. What it is achieving now is stuff like Digital Rights Management (which is, primarily, a way of enforcing copyright).

 

Nature almost certainly didn't "intend" for human beings to use computers, watch TV, read music or listen to music -  but we do.  Would you suggest we stop just because we weren't intended to do these things?

Hell, no. :) My point isn't that they've had unintended consequences, but that those consequences are - in this case - a Bad Thing.

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Care to explain how a mod made by a non-American could possibly be affected by American copyright law?

I don't think American copyright law can affect even American mod. :)

 

Anyway Weidu solved this problem but generally a lot of mod scenes are about incorporating parts of other mods into your mods, due to file overwritting technics which prevent installing two different ones. This is more or less what happens to ToEE. Yet even there there are people who protest and require confirmation of agreement in every case. This is just tedious, also it affects modders mentality in a way that often they abandon ideas that are too close to what other people have done. To my mind - nobody's perfect if somebody can take my mod, correct it and make it better, then great we have a better mod. There are too many tastes, again if somebody can make a variant of my mod that would appeal to a different group of people then great again. All the time keeping proper credits. :party: I'm not trying to put forth any arguments just explain why I believe total freedom and common ownership of anything released by the community is benficial. Hope this was coherent....

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Nature almost certainly didn't "intend" for human beings to use computers, watch TV, read books or listen to music -  but we do.  Would you suggest we stop just because we weren't intended to do these things?

 

Actually that's pretty good idea :)

 

And how is your friend not having a copy of that CD so terrible? It certainly is in no way a violation of his "rights".  Plus you're hardly the only one who's going to copy that CD and give it to your friend.  In fact, other people are going to copy that CD and *sell* it to complete strangers as many times as they can, and they're going to do the same thing with countless other CDs as well.  At the moment, the loss of revenue caused to music companies and artists by these actions is negligible compared to what they earn, but if copyright laws were made as unrestrictive as you propose, it would quickly get to the point the music companies were losing so much money they would start to question whether it was worth staying in business - and then the artists certainly would suffer.

Let's not go into the discussion of "the losses" of insustry due to piracy. Nobody can prove anything in this matter, I for one believe that 99% percent of people who buy/download pirated software would never buy it for the amount of money they cost "legally". Should no piracy exist they'd simply not possess them. So losses of industry equal 0. I may be totally wrong here, or right, anyway it's a terribly disputable argument, and BTW artists lose benefits of the work mainly to corporations that sign deals with them not pirats.

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]And how is your friend not having a copy of that CD so terrible? It certainly is in no way a violation of his "rights".

Assume the it would help him somehow. It is a violation of his rights and mine to say I'm not allowed to help my friend.

 

In fact, other people are going to copy that CD and *sell* it to complete strangers as many times as they can, and they're going to do the same thing with countless other CDs as well.

Which is exactly why copyright isn't a good system for this situation - it utterly fails to be enforcable, and so fails to do what it was designed to do (that is, allow the author to provide us with more content).

 

At the moment, the loss of revenue caused to music companies and artists by these actions is negligible compared to what they earn, but if copyright laws were made as unrestrictive as you propose, it would quickly get to the point the music companies were losing so much money they would start to question whether it was worth staying in business - and then the artists certainly would suffer..

Not if they self-publish, bypassing the middle-men entirely. If they can get a revenue stream from people paying them because they like the music (and as I quoted earlier, 'if a box popped up asking if you want to give the author a dollar, wouldn't you click?'), then those middle-men will suffer, but that won't matter to anyone but them: they will suffer not because laws don't protect them enough, but because the way they make money is impractical and obsolete when the internet comes into play.

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