[Fsfe-ie] IPRED2 draft 0.4

Ciaran O'Riordan ciaran at fsfe.org
Mon Aug 29 11:46:10 CEST 2005

David O'Callaghan <david.ocallaghan at cs.tcd.ie> writes:
> > software code into the kernel of the GNU/Linux operating system.  SCO

> I think this is a case where we should drop the "GNU" and just write
> "the Linux kernel", "all users of Linux", etc. SCO aren't, as far as I'm
> aware, making any claims outside the scope of the kernel. 

SCO talk about "Linux", which to most people this means the operating
system, and they never clarify that everything but the kernel is ok.  So
it's logical to assume that they're trying to tarnish the whole OS - so we
should talk about the whole OS too but we shouldn't help SCO by spreading
the Linux=everything misunderstanding.

> > This case has been going on for years and many distributors of
> > GNU/Linux have be dragged into it.  The Free Software Foundation,
> > which holds to the copyright to the largest part of GNU/Linux, and
> Perhaps "which holds the copyright to the GNU operating system tools"

But GNU isn't just a set of tools.  That'd would be like calling Linux a
hardware detection algorithm.  I'll find a way to make clear that GNU
doesn't own the Linux copyrights.

> There's a fine line between giving the FSF credit where it's due

Yes, and too many steer a mile off that line.  I'll try to reword that
section to be more clear about not overstepping the line.

> and implying that they're responsible for the Linux kernel.

There's an important side-point here.  The Linux problem probably never
would have arisen if FSF were responsible for Linux since FSF have always
been careful about copyright assignment and employer disclaimers.  So I
should have been more careful not to blame FSF for the SCO case.

> > 4. Harsh measures that are justified by possible danger to consumers
> >    should be limited to cases where danger to consumers is possible -
> >    e.g. imitation pharmaceuticals.
> A very good point, although I'm sure manufacturers could make claims
> such as: an imitation sweatshirt is more flammable than the real thing
> or a pirated VHS tape will get stuck in your player...  so we might want
> to say "where real danger to consumers is possible"

Good point, will change.

> > 6. Propaganda terms like referring to copying as "piracy" should not be part
> >    of EU legislation and continues the confusion between stealing and
> >    copying.
> I quite agree, but the term "piracy" has been used in this sense for
> over two hundred years, if the OED is correct. I think we should suggest
> "unauthorised copying" or a similarly neutral term.

I don't have an OED handy, but the original use of the term in relation to
publication was for publishers who didn't pay the authors.  I'm not sure how
it got flipped around but either way, do we agree it is a propaganda term?
I'll try to word that point more carefully, but if we agree it's a
propaganda term then we shouldn't let it pass into law uncommented.

Right now I'm gathering the info that's collected on this list and I'll make
a page about IPRED2 on the wiki.  I'll come back to this letter and post a
new draft this evening.

Ciarán O'Riordan,                               |  Support FSFE's work against
http://www.compsoc.com/~coriordan/              | software patents by becoming
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