(this page is just one part of my “Dangerous Copyright Myths” piece. Please also read the introduction and index for more context) Free (as in Freedom) Software makes a very smart use of copyright for the common good. Copyright remains a much simpler way to protect or share software than patents, tradermarks and so on. It is also hard to believe that, if copyright didn’t exist at all or software were not copyrightable, there would be no need for the GPL or similar licenses.
- (this page is just one part of my “Dangerous Copyright Myths” piece. Please also read the introduction and index for more context) This argument usually goes as follows: “If something is intangible and infinitely reproducible, why should copying and (re) distributing it be limited? Property, or the right to limit the use that others do with something, only makes sense when applied to material, finite objects and resources”. The truth is that the actual text of a poem or a good manual may be intangible and infinitely shareable, but the time to create it is finished, limited and worth much more than the price of one copy.
- “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” - A. Einstein BACKGROUND: I originally published this piece at digifreedom.net in September 2006. Later on, for several reasons stopped using that website, so this piece went offline. I put it back online in January 2014, split in several parts for easier reading (the introduction is right below the index): Since no “intellectual property” can exist, no right to limit redistribution can exist