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[FYI] RMS-Interview: Copyright u.a.
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- Date: Wed, 13 Jan 1999 11:53:14 +0100
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Nicht nur der folgende Auszug aus einem Interview mit Stallman
--- dem längsten, das ich kenne --- ist es wert, gelesen zu werden.
Sorry für die Formatierungsprobleme.
...Q. I was interested in
reading when you said about the SPA and piracy and things like that. I
think both ways about it. If I give you a copy of Office 97, it's a
copy you might not have bought, or you may have bought it. So in one
sense, you are depriving Microsoft of revenue, in another you're not.
A. I basically don't think it matters whether I deprive Microsoft or
somebody else of revenue. In other words, I don't think that that
should be the determining factor in what kind of society was live in.
Q. But it's almost as if you say that we have a right to software. A.
We have a right to share software with each other, yes. Q. Why? A.
Because that's a natural act of friendship and nothing justifies
restricting it. You know, the default is that I don'' have to show a
reason why we do deserve that right. The burden of proof is on the
other side, who wants to restrict us. Q. We don't have a right to use
someone else's products or anything that they own. A. Well, I don't
know. There you're begging the question. Currently, there is a policy
of setting up monopolies for programs and kind of abstract property,
which is a restriction on what other people can do with them. I don't
believe that's justified, and I won't accept it. That's why I decided
to develop free software. Q. When you make the distinction between
free beer as opposed to free software, does that mean you have no
problem with buying hardware? A. Not at all. It's a totally different
issue. It's an interesting thing that the words that people use lead
to distorted thinking. Many people think that when they're talking
about something like copyright it's the same issue as whether somebody
should be allowed to own a sandwich, except for a different kind of
thing. That's mistaken. It's actually a different kind of issue for
the same thing. Let me explain. Imagine there's a CD-ROM. That CD-ROM
might belong to somebody, it might be your property. What does that
mean? It means it would be wrong for somebody else to take that
CD-ROM. Now, let's look at the question of the software on it is free.
That's a totally different question. That's about whether somebody
should be allowed to copy that CD-ROM. One is it right if somebody
takes away the CD-ROM, the other is it right if somebody copies it.
These are two different issues about the same thing. Q. An analogy
would be, if I wrote a book, you have no right to take that book, the
physical paper. A. Exactly. If you have a copy of a book, and I took
it away from you and didn't give it back to you, it would be wrong.
You wouldn't be able to read it. You wouldn't be able to lend it to
somebody. You'd be hurt. Q. But then what about as the author, my
being hurt you copying that book and giving it to someone else? A:
You're not being hurt. You may not be getting what you wish you would
get, but the idea that that's hurting you, well that's based on...to
call that hurting the author is presupposing an answer to the
question. And I don't accept that answer to the question. Now, you've
got to realize that copyright in the U.S. isn't based on those
arguments anyway. The Constitution rejects those arguments. According
to the Constitution, copyright is not an entitlement. That view was
rejected when the Constitution was written. Instead, copyright is an
artificial restriction designed to promote progress. So the question
is, is that progress you promote this way worth the problems that are
caused. And remember that copyright was initially set up in the age of
the printing press. In the age of the printing press, the problems
were minimal because ordinary readers didn't own printing presses.
They didn't really lose anything through copyright. It didn't restrict
anything they could do. It only restricted things publishers and
authors could do. So that's what makes copyright a good bargain.
Copyright is considered a bargain. The public gives up its natural
right to copy things, and the justification for this is supposed to be
the benefit of the increased progress. Well, that was okay with the
printing press technology, precisely because we were giving up rights
that we couldn't effectively make use of, so it was no loss. And it
didn't make society ugly. It didn't really affect the nature of
society at all, for readers. But that's not true now, in the age of
computer networks, the effect of copyright restrictions is different.
Instead of being a restriction on publishers alone, it's now a
restriction on readers. And that's what makes it bad. It now has a
harmful effect that it didn't have before. If we went back to the age
of the printing press, I wouldn't be against copyright. I would say,
oh gee, this looks like a good bargain because we're really not giving
up anything at all. But once you've got a computer and a network, then
you're giving up something tremendously important. Which is the
ability to do the most natural kind of cooperation with your friends.
Eventually, in the life of every human there comes the time
when e has to sort the bookmark file.