Subject: Re: Thought crimes
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <turnbull@sk.tsukuba.ac.jp>
Date: Wed, 3 Jan 2001 11:41:07 +0900

>>>>> "jean" == jean camp <jean_camp@harvard.edu> writes:

    jean> Well that's very silly. You can create any type of contract.

Well, then, I'd like to buy you for my cat.  He believes in slavery,
although I don't.  Oops.  Against the law.  Sorry, kitty.

See?  There exist contracts we don't permit.  IANAL, so I asked.  RU1
to answer?

As for the rest of your post, it makes a lot of good points.
Unfortunately, you and I come up against the same problem: the new
business models you (or your references) ask for don't exist in
practice (although in other fields, with similar intent to empower
people rather than corporations, they have been well-worked out in
theory and prototype, eg E. F. Schumacher).   The agglomerations
of capital and power do.

You want to make a frontal attack on them; I think that history shows
that this rarely results in empowering average people.  Instead, it
simply results in shifting power among the elites.

This is one of the many aspects of the genius of the GNU Project and
GPL: Stallman moved into a vaccuum, and carved a large chunk of
software space for free software at a stroke.  He did manage a large
shift the balance of power, by taking advantage of the fact that there
_was no_ business model at all in place for "donated" software.
However, there was a lot of power inherent in the leverage that the
non-rival, low cost-of-reproduction character of all intellectual
assets.

We don't have that advantage in free software businesses, or in
intellectual assets in general.  Furthermore, there is a lot of
justice in the arguments for creation of IP.  So I prefer the slow way
of compromising with the powerful interests, while undermining them
with their own logic of "transactions cost" and the like.  An
honorable tradition that goes back to Marx, at least in my limited
area of understanding.  (Of course, he lacked patience, too.)

-- 
University of Tsukuba                Tennodai 1-1-1 Tsukuba 305-8573 JAPAN
Institute of Policy and Planning Sciences       Tel/fax: +81 (298) 53-5091
_________________  _________________  _________________  _________________
What are those straight lines for?  "XEmacs rules."