Subject: Re: open source definition
From: peterd@Bunyip.Com (Peter Deutsch)
Date: Mon, 27 Apr 1998 10:11:58 -0400

Oh dear,

[ You wrote: ]

> >> There's something else about music that's importantly different
> >> from software.  In fact, it's what makes software inappropriate
> >> for coverage under copyright law in an "ideal" world:
> >> 
> >>   Software is functional.  Music is a creative, artistic expression.
> >
> >I thought about composing a long, reasoned reply to this,
> >but decided that my disagreement is rather simple and
> >fundamental. Suffice to say, I disagree with your point of
> >view.
> >
> >The creation of software *is* a creative act. Some aspects
> >of the mechanics are not creative, but imagining and
> >bringing into existance software, to me, is most certainly
> >a creative, artistic endeavour. I'm sorry you don't see
> >the beauty and art involved.
> 
> (I guess it's impossible to post anything reasonable on the Internet
> without *somebody* claiming he knows what's going in your brain.)

I apologize for having offended you. I did not intend to
misrepresent your view, nor to pretend to know what's
going on in your brain. (Sometime, I doubt I know what's
going on in my onw! ;-)

The line I was responding to ("software is functional.
Music is a creative...") seemed (to me) to imply that you
didn't think software was a creative, artistic expression.
I extrapolated out to talk about the creation of software,
and thus perhaps missed your point.

In any event, if we agree that the creation of software is
an artistic endeavour, then we arrive at the question of
whether IP (such as music, software, etc) can and should
be "owned". I'm sure there are any number who don't agree,
but I take it as an axiom.

Starting with this axiom, you end up at the
"implementation details" - to wit, what is the "best"
mechanisms for promoting the creation and distribution of
IP? (and if you don't buy this argument, you've already
taken a different fork in the road at this point).

So, we now have a thread discussing the intricacies of
music copyright and how it applies (or can apply) to the
software industry.

And we then recall that this thread started out discussing
whether it is possible to interest the VC community in the
free software model, and I replied "yes, if you realize
they don't care about the free software model at all, but
want investments in firms with good ROI and a commitment
to profits". In such cases, they don't care if you use the
free software model or not. This goes against some of the
supposition I saw go by, which is why I posted.

One final comment:

> If you think software and music are so much alike, and you think
> it's great for people to be able to freely put out new versions
> of existing tunes, then you'd be all for getting rid of copyright
> law entirely, since that's how it *used* to work.  

Actually, I didn't say I think people should be able to
freely put out new versions of existing tunes. As I tried
to make clear above, I believe in the concept of
intellectual property. I want to encourage rights holders
to permit othrs to build upon their work, but recognize
their right to say "no" to reuse. 

					- peterd

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     Peter Deutsch,                                   (514) 875-8611  (phone)
  Bunyip Information Systems Inc.                     (514) 875-8134  (fax)
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