Subject: Re: patents
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <>
Date: Sun, 07 May 2006 22:41:38 +0900

>>>>> "Santiago" == Santiago Gala <> writes:

    Santiago> In Spain I remember that in our company they gave a talk
    Santiago> about the new concepts after we joined the European
    Santiago> Union, in 1986, and one of the new features of this law
    Santiago> they called "copyright", was that authorship rights
    Santiago> could be hold by companies, not just by authors and
    Santiago> their heirs.

Authorship rights are different from economic copyrights.  At least in
the founding EU countries, economic copyrights were transferable,

In free software advocacy we are almost entirely concerned with the
economic rights.  Of course most of us support the authors' rights,
but the basic software freedoms are not impeded by any authors' right
I've ever heard of.  So in that sense those countries did not ever
really resemble Taran's proposal, as far as I know.

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

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

That is certainly the way I treat GPL software (except that for
personal reasons I have assigned all my copyrights in XEmacs to the

However, the FSF and the GNU Project which the FSF supports in many
ways have been very important in free software history.  The FSF has
argued that the FSF assignment policy is a very important tool in its
efforts to keep free software free.  Taran's proposal would take that
tool away, forcing substitution of an "RMS assignment policy".

Graduate School of Systems and Information Engineering   University of Tsukuba        Tennodai 1-1-1 Tsukuba 305-8573 JAPAN
        Economics of Information Communication and Computation Systems
          Experimental Economics, Microeconomic Theory, Game Theory