[Fsfe-ie] Software freedom arguments against copyright extension

adam adam at diamat.org.uk
Mon Apr 11 19:51:47 CEST 2011

Ciarán O'Riordan wrote:

> Arguments are easy to find, but *free software* arguments, in a form for a
> non-programmer, are tougher - but it's what we need.
> Any ideas?


> ========================8<----------------------------

> Dear Mr. Crowley ...

> Software companies with dominant market positions are increasingly using the
> copyright of cultural works as a barrier to block other software developers.


> A few large companies are protected from competition, and the majority of
> software developers are locked out - including all the "small artists" of
> the software field.

this monopoly aspect -- the using of copyright as a sword rather than a 
shield -- is similar to the monopoly aspect of software patents and i 
suspect can be countered similarly

>  3. Institute for Information Law, University of Amsterdam:
>     "Never Forever: Why Extending the Term of Protection for Sound
>     Recordings is a Bad Idea"
>     http://www.ivir.nl/publications/helberger/EIPR_2008_5.pdf

on the second page of this pdf, there is a short list of *costs* to:

* consumers
* competition and innovation
* society

associated with extending the term of copyright for sound recordings

you may remember me putting on the floss-means-business site, in its 
preliminary stage, a list of floss benefits accruing to:

* purchasers
* content owners
* software developers
* end-users
* security
* growth

it might be useful to turn this work on its head so to speak and make 
the list of corresponding costs in the event of copyright extension, eg. 
'vendor lock-in' syndrome could be picked out of the benefits to 
purchasers section:

> The most obvious beneficiary of the FLOSS model is the immediate purchaser of the software. Freedom to modify and distribute software, without pre-conditions, liberates organisational forward-planning and expenditure decisions.
> The freedom to contract support and continuing development from multiple suppliers prevents the 'vendor lock-in' syndrome; this is where the original supplier leverages the customer's lack of options for vital upgrades and bugfixes to secure a continued income stream.
> All software development is at the mercy of the developer's release schedules and internal priorities; smaller organisations find that they have little or no influence over the evolution of software developed by larger companies. FLOSS allows smaller organisations to develop their own extensions to suit their needs.

the rest is still on our /floss page if you want it -- is there a wiki 
-- i'd be on for helping out

all the best

-- adam

sheffield :: http://webarch.net/
reykjavík :: http://ecodis.net/

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