Subject: Re: patents
From: Santiago Gala <>
Date: Sat, 06 May 2006 22:16:51 +0200
Sat, 06 May 2006 22:16:51 +0200
El vie, 05-05-2006 a las 21:13 +0900, Stephen J. Turnbull escribió:
> >>>>> "Taran" == Taran Rampersad <> writes:
>     Taran> What would happen if copyrights and patents could only be
>     Taran> owned by flesh and blood people instead of legal entities?
> Nothing much, except that more law students would go into IP law.

(Parts of) Europe used to be like this until relatively recently, at
least for "Author Rights" (not sure about patents). In Spain I remember
that in our company they gave a talk about the new concepts after we
joined the European Union, in 1986, and one of the new features of this
law they called "copyright", was that authorship rights could be hold by
companies, not just by authors and their heirs. Germany, France, etc.,
switched to the "anglosaxon" copyright concepts a bit earlier, I think,
but not that much.

> I also wonder how many people would trust Richard Stallman's heirs as
> much as they trust the FSF.

I don't use the GPL that much, but I know that one of its design goals
is to avoid precisely this kind of problems. So, even if Mr Stallman and
the whole FSF went mad, or sold their souls to the Gates foundation or
whatever, the products would retain their status; it would just be a
matter of forking, limited forever to GPLv2, IIUC.

i.e, I don't need to trust RMS, or the FSF *at all* to use GPL software,
except maybe for expectations about community development.

Santiago Gala <>
High Sierra Technology, SLU

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