[Fsfe-ie] Broad or Narrow?

Justin Mason jm at jmason.org
Fri Nov 14 19:41:21 CET 2003

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James Heald writes:
>How about eg the proposed WIPO meeting on collaborative (non-commercial) 
>approaches to intellectual property, which the USPTO got the US 
>government to kill ?

Big +1 from me to aim for the "broad" view.

IMO, if the anti-free-software organisations want to attack us, they'll
attack us by invalidating our legal basis -- which is shared with all
these 'public ownership through copyright terms' systems (at least genome
sequencing, the PSOS open journals, and Wikipedia projects; Gutenberg uses
the public domain instead).

(I also think they'll attack using US-led "free trade" agreements with
the EU, a la the precedent set for software patenting by TRIPS.)

By concentrating on a narrow interpretation of the IFSO mandate as dealing
with "free software only", we have a bit of a problem: nobody else in
Ireland has experience of open licensing models, outside of the free
software community.  So we'd wind up sounding like it's *just* a software
issue, whereas it'd also affect those other types of free projects.

But I suppose IFSO can just take positions on these issues, while
still remaining a free-software-oriented organisation...

>So, what about abstract discussion of the meta-issue of the economics of 
>non IP-reliant modes of intellectual production ?

(FWIW, we are too "IP-reliant" -- we're reliant on the terms we can impose
on users through copyright and licensing, which are aspects of "IP" law.
But I know what you mean ;)

- --j.
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