Bingo. That is exactly it. God only helps those who helps themselves (In this case, it is the GPL).Calum wrote:this is indeed a fascinating debate. i have to agree with everything from void main so far but this doesn't mean i disagree with jenda. Jenda, you seem to be advocating your own ideal, but that's not how things are ever going to be set up. The GPL is supposed to fit in legally with the existing copyright structure, it is not an ideal at all, however i think it is very successful at righting the wrongs of copyright as it were. Anybody that chooses to use a GNU licence, in my opinion, is "buying in" to the ideal (more or less) that you advocate.
In fact, the GPL creates a small subset of 'intelectual property' in which the rules of 'my ideal' (almost) apply.
And this is where we differ.I advocate free choice and free speech, and this means i think people should have the choice of how to copyright their work, the knock on effects will play themselves out. If two people write an email client, and one is GPL, perhaps that one will become very popular and the other one won't, that's market forces in action. If you accept that our society is mainly capitalistic then you have to allow freedome of choice when it comes to money and copyrights (in my opinion).
The copyright is an artificial construct. It is not natural to be able to prevent others from doing what they wish with material they have in their hands and ownership, be it money, food, wood (material) or paper, ink, a CD (media). The fact that you have the power to prevent a person from creating a plastic disc with engravings just because they are engravings that you created first, thoughbeit in a different form is given artificially by (positive) law, and thus the 'free will' you stand behind is no more than the power to limit the free will of others.
It is for this reason why the copyright is often called a 'negative right'.
I know what you mean - but windows source code has leaked and is available (I hear), and yet it is of no use to developers (not only through poor quality.now:you've missed void's point i think. Closed source software doesn't have anything to do with copyright in essence, it just means that the distributor of a software package chooses to distribute only the binaries, not the source. Historically this is the action of someone who copyrights their software for money, this is why the GPL was created, to enable a distributor to share the code without relinquishing control (as per the heinous BSD licence that still haunts a lot of software to this day). You can see however that releasing the binaries is simply a choice of whether or not to upload the source to your distribution server (or include it on the install CDs or whatever) rather than a decision to copyright the software under a particular licence. Nobody can make changes to the code if they cannot get access to the code in the first place.He can't really close it up, because that would require copyrights.
In any case, availability of source code seems to be an inferior issue - since it only touches a small part of intelectual property.
The exciting thought here is that, maybe, gpl'd music should come with sheets and gpl'd food with recipes
The absurdity of what I called overuse of copyright was once nicely described on a story (FOUND IT!!): http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?stor ... 4161112858[/quote]