"rights" and "freedoms"

Kristofer Coward kris at melon.org
Thu Oct 14 23:09:47 UTC 1999

> That's the issue in a nutshell.  The Free Software movement verges on taking
> the position that the only legitimate way for programmers to make money is
> to provide services.  I make the analogy with composers of music and writers
> of fiction.  I have yet to hear a persuasive explanation of why Free
> Software advocates think it's OK for authors of fiction to be paid for each
> copy of their work, but not programmers.  If the distinction is between a
> "purely expressive" and a "functional" work, how about authors of cookbooks?
> Authors of how-to books of all kinds?  Authors of reference works?  Why is
> software different?  And if it isn't different, why are software authors
> singled out?

Books are more difficult to copy. Recordings of music are also having
their copyrights questioned right now (with the artists to make their
money from performances under a copyrightless music system). Authors also
recieve royalties instead of a salary (which programmers recieve from
their "publishers").

Additionally, the benefit of a reference book, cookbook or how-to guide is
not protected by copyright. Even though you cannot copy the book, you can
still teach its content to other people. You can't do that with propritary
software, whose utility lies in the ability to install and use a copy of 
it on your computer.

And we're just dealing with the issue of distributing copies.. have you
ever purchased a book of the sort you describe that insists that if you
actually cook by one of the recipes you must follow it exactly, or build
your new patio exacly as described, or you can't write a new paper that
adds some insight to the information you gathered from the reference

Of course, you've probably heard these all and consider them insufficient

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