Abolish copyright.

You can charge for material things - paper, ink, packaging material, the time of the workers to prepare it. You can even charge for bandwidth, server upkeep, and electricity. But information has no material cost and therefore cannot be sold.

Exercise civil disobedience: it's your obligiation as a good citizen to be a pirate. We can negotiate again when they change the law to make copyrighted works enter the public domain within our lifetimes.

@sir Also charge for the time to compile the information and the experience it takes to transform that into an educational or entertaining source.

@aeveltstra you can charge for the time if someone will pay you for it, but you can't keep charging for it once it's done.

Also note that you can charge people anything they'll pay. You can charge more than the cost of printing of a physical book, so long as someone will pay you that much. Or more than the cost of the bandwidth. Or you can ask your audience to support you voluntarily, which is becoming an increasingly effective approach for thousands of creators.

@portpupper @sir Not bad: it does take time and effort to learn how to compile source code into binaries. Having that returned over time in $75 increments may work out nicely.

@aeveltstra @sir I know #Ardour and #ZynFusion both use that model. IIRC, Ardour specifically calls out the Mac binaries are difficult to get properly tuned in a "good luck compiling it yourself" note.

@portpupper @aeveltstra that works. It also keeps you honest, because if you put adware or spyware into your binaries, I'm going to patch them out of your source and offer the binaries for free

@sir @portpupper @aeveltstra

No that will not work. If people can get something for free they will, cause they are not stupid, so the only way that will work is if there is something legal(buildyright?) or physical(computing power) preventing building software. If you say yes to that it will be abused.

Warranty on binaries is the answer and that has been known. For example GPL specifically allows adding warranty for that exact purpose. People need to start taking software more seriously (like cars, home appliances or other engineering products) and prefer/demand warranty. There should be international standards and regulation in place. Low quality, obscure and buggy software should not be accepted as the norm.

@namark @portpupper @aeveltstra human beings are not robots driven to the perfect behavior in their best self-interests. Human beings are complex moral creatures who posess empathy and reason. And in fact, it's *not* in their best interests to skirt the fees, because it means they won't have access to reliable updates.

I agree that offering warranties is a good approach, though, but that's a separate thing.


I'm not sure what's robotic there or even complicated. I didn't say the are galaxy brained I said they are not stupid. If you have the option to buy something or just download for free, and there is provably no difference between the two, you don't need to be a calculating machine to make that choice. If you want to support the devs do that through the "empathy and reason" that you indeed possess, but not through some perverted illusion of shopping you are addicted to (I'm looking at you, me!).
I don't see the connection between reliable updates and selling binaries, quite the opposite, those fit better in the warranty model/idea. I don't care if you need to update the binaries or whatever else, I just need it to work and be fit for its intended purpose. Otherwise, what? All it takes for you to charge me another $75, is declare the project discontinued and rename/reskin/repackage it?

The idea of just selling binaries goes against what you originally posted, and I think you should stand your ground and don't give in on that front: one can't sell "thin air", and such practices should not be normalized.

@portpupper @aeveltstra

@namark @aeveltstra @sir @portpupper Loads of offices offer free coffee, yet people still go to Starbucks.


I don't see the analogy. You might be a bit out of context. Do the offices offer the full range of Starbucks coffee? Do they offer it to general public in quantities that can satiate the demand? Is drinking coffee in an office that you are not invited to the accepted norm in society?

Now if Starbucks offered their full range of products and services either free or paid, that would be an analogy fitting the context here.

@aeveltstra @sir @portpupper

@namark @aeveltstra @sir @portpupper Some offices do offer Starbucks coffee, yes. And the general public and invites are red herrings to try to obscure the fact that plenty of people who can get free coffee as good as Starbucks, sometimes even Starbucks coffee, will still go to Starbucks, because the company is selling more than just the coffee -- they're offering added value (pleasant surroundings, social space, etc.)

Whereas companies selling movies (for example) often subtract value (ads, restrictions on where you can watch the content, and so on).


My questions for access and normalization of free office coffee were to show that you have no statistical argument, in case that's what you were trying to present. I think I see what you mean now, and my point was that only added value you can offer with software is warranty. Unless it's something completely unrelated like "buy our binary and get a plush toy of our mascot", but at that point you might as well just sell the mascot, I don't see the point... and I have to admit I do want a plush baby gnu.
Also I have a little bit of a problem with the slight (unrelated) implication that people who need space for socializing are pressured into drinking specific brand of coffee by socioeconomic (I guess) norms. If you need a pleasant space you should pay for pleasant space, to people who make spaces pleasant. Not always possible in real world, due to scarcity, but should be in software - there is plenty of space for everyone, and there is no need to invent arbitrary boundaries.

@aeveltstra @sir @portpupper

@namark @aeveltstra @sir @portpupper
I wasn't attempting a statistical argument, no. Which providers can scale and which can't isn't really very important when you have a competitive marketplace. It's bad when you have monopolies, though.

@portpupper what about:
* source is free
* binaries are free for non-commercial use (to build product awareness and #NetworkEffects)
* binaries for commercial use are $60 a year

This actually solves a problem, where businesses who understand the value of the #FreeCode software they use want to contribute financially, but find it a headache to account for those contributions in their bookkeeping (are they charitable donations? Tax-deductable expenses? Other?).
@sir @aeveltstra

@strypey @portpupper @sir Wouldn't an annual fee imply a support effort from the provider? And wouldn't that imply that the binary provider is the same party as the software engineer? We'd need good contracts to cover when that isn't the case, wouldn't we?

> Wouldn't an annual fee imply a support effort from the provider?

Not unless there is a service level agreement between the customer and the provider. It's just a commercial license to use the binary, as downloaded from the official website. But I'm presuming a model where a new stable version comes out every year, and customers click-and-pay when they update. Like what the developer of Illumination Software Creator did.

@portpupper @sir

> And wouldn't that imply that the binary provider is the same party as the software engineer?

It wouldn't achieve the intended goal if the engineer(s) didn't get the lion's share of the revenue. But I can imagine a #PlatformCooperative, owned by a group of developers, which take cares of the business side of things for a percentage of revenue.

@portpupper @sir

@aeveltstra @sir this is basically what a lawyer does and a lot of them charge $[stupid] per hour

@sir Personally my only disagreement is that I think piracy only justifies a modern copyright regiem.

You cannot enjoy mainstream entertainment without supporting or justifying these laws in the eyes of the state, so see what else is out there! I'm really pleased with what I've found!

@sir I agree along with all forms of patents, for example: literally throwing people who need ventilators under the bus because they don't want to lose profit, or the entire EpiPen monopoly
@cirno I was reading this and one of the links posted it was on the verge and when they contacted the creators and the company for clarification they saw that the company didn't tried to sue them but that

but I wouldn't be surprised if they did, it wouldn't be surprise if they were sued

The company didn't threaten to sue. Please remove.

@sir this is sort of like those people who object quite reasonably to tipped labor and therefore, never tip

@LogicalDash I walk the walk. Among other things, I support many creators through LiberaPay, Patreon, GitHub Sponsors, of many kinds of works, I buy DRM free and lossless music on bandcamp for well over the asking price, I donate to many free and open source software projects, I buy merchandise and stickers knowing the margin is used to pay the bills, and I reach out to many creators directly asking how I can support them better.

Don't be so presumptious to assume I'm devoid of morals simply because I disavow copyright and encourage dissenting against a broken system. There are alternatives and I put my money where my mouth is.

RE LB: People tend to think that paying artists and abolishing copyright are mutally exclusive. They are not.

Pay the artists! Artists are good. It's publishers I'm taking issue with. Publishers are the entities that benefit from copyright, not people.

@ajroach42 if we get a really robust socialized arts funding program going then I am down with screwing over publishers

Without that, I think you're advocating that artists survive on, essentially, tips

Which, while not strictly impossible, isn't something I'd wish on anybody

@LogicalDash Obviously we could not abolish our current copyright system without implementing something else to ensure artists get paid.

Obviously independent creators and corporate creators exist on a different spectrum. Artists aren't getting paid now, by and large.

Attempting to consider the rights of both artists and publishers at once is how we end up with the system we have now, which is broken to the point that the "feeling" of a piece of music can be copyrighted.

@LogicalDash I'm almost sure we don't need to have this argument, though. I'm pretty sure you understand what I mean.

@ajroach42 you boosted a post that specifically and explicitly exhorts the reader to pirate things as a way to pressure the system into reforming copyright

I think this approach will hurt artists in the short term and motivate the development of even more restrictive publication models in the long term

@LogicalDash Yep, I did. Because pirating things from publishers doesn't hurt artists who are small enough to be hurt. It just hurts publishers.

Most media that is consumed comes from 6 companies. We should absolutely stop giving any money to those 6 companies.

If you're looking for something made by someone small enough to be hurt by piracy, buy it.

To me, that's obvious. But it also doesn't matter a whole ton because most media comes from 6 companies.

@LogicalDash But it's a big world, and full of lots of grey areas. No sweeping generalization is going to cover all of them.

I'm not interested in having this conversation beyond the two points I've tried to make:

- Pay artists
- Starve publishers

@ajroach42 I took it in the context of the internet archive's latest thing, which a lot of small creators believe is hurting them

@LogicalDash ... They removed the wait list from the DRM protected ebooks you can borrow from their library. So maybe more than one person might have a copy of the ebook durring the same two week period, at the end of which it will self destruct.

That's the least exciting thing to be worried about. The only people I've seen complain have had less than 50 people check their books out from IA in sum total. It's a boring molehill, and also not a thing that I was talking about.

@LogicalDash Borrowing a DRM encumbered copy of an ebook without waiting for it during a global pandemic != piracy by any stretch, and is just generally a temporary half measure.

@LogicalDash @ajroach42 instead of paying for the copyrighted thing, just donate to the artist directly.

@sir @alex
or at least cut it down to very short time like originally intended. I am trying to challenge. I'm publishing EVERYTHING (movie, tv show, music, books, etc) created pre 1964 and next year will do 1965 and so on every year thereafter.

@sir I'm curious to know @mwlucas thoughts about this as a writer 🙂

@sir Remember, the GPL wouldn't work without copyright.

The copyright system is fucked, but I think it's good that if I write software (or a book or whatever), I get to choose if corporations get to make money off it or not. Abolishing copyright must come with bigger systematic changes.

But absolutely reduce copyright from death of the author + 70 years down to something reasonable.

@wolf480pl @mort @sir Beware that in some cases it is important that modification can be prohibited: of works that voice opinions. This counters framing and putting words in people’s mouths. Hence my text-only toots are CC BY-ND, not CC BY-SA.

@mort GPL is a hack which uses copyright to deal with a separate problem: that closed source code is legal. Bonus: if copyright were abolished, reverse engineering would get stronger

@sir Sure, make closed source code illegal and split up the Disneys and Amazons of the world, maybe put something in place to protect individuals from corporations (but not the other way around), and I'm all in favour of getting rid of most forms of intellectual property. That's the "bigger systematic changes" I was talking about.

@sir @mort

To elaborate a bit on why something like GPL will not be necessary if copyright is abolished, and why the problem is not as separate as it seems.
Classic free software argument is on this is "you would not hide source without malicious purpose, there is no other incentive". The only argument that was able to stand any kind of ground against that is "I want to protect my copyright". If copyright goes, closed source goes with it, by common sense or common sense turned into law if necessary (but I don't think it would be necessary).

@sir Reform, don't abolish.

Disney doesn't deserve to have the Mouse protected to Kingdom Come, but ordinary authors deserve reasonable protection of their work.

@papa @sir

I remember reading that 90%+ of revenue is made within something like the first 10 years and the rest peters off at a rate which makes it not worth the cultural hit to protect.

Beyond that, bear in mind that copyright was never intended to protect fiction or music or the like.

@papa @sir

Here's a quick history of copyright law:

The Statute of Anne (1710) was the first government-regulated act in the western world and it boiled down to a pact with the printing guilds trading monopoly for censorship.

The U.S. constitution (1787) tried to salvage the idea by granting congress the power "to promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts". ("useful Arts" meaning maps ant the like)

That's why the Copyright Act of 1790 only protects "maps, charts, and books" but not things like music or newspapers.

Also, it was intentionally designed to allow American to ignore foreign copyrights and that was key to the U.S. becoming the cultural juggernaut that it is today.

(On a side-note, Hollywood is in California because it was beyond the reach of Thomas Edison's patent lawyers.)

From what I remember, the modern scope of copyright involved a chain of legal goalpost-moving where they first managed to argue that a book of sheet music was a book and thus managed to get rid of the "musical compositions aren't protected" and then managed to argue that, because a piece of sheet music is protected, a recording of that sheet music should also be protected.

Examples of things still not copyrightable include clothing designs, jokes, and recipes.

@papa @sir Rick Falkvinge (founder of the Swedish Pirate Party) wrote some *excellent* articles on TorrentFreak on the topic:

He points out things such as how authors and artists are technically entrepreneurs and we should question thoroughly the idea that a special class of entrepreneurs should get to free-ride off a small amount of work for the rest of their lives while no other class of entrepreneurs get to do that.

(Work is supposed to be trading something scarce, like the worker's time, for something scarce, like money. Copies of a recording are non-scarce. Performances are scarce.)

@papa @sir Oh, and I can't remember if it was something I read or something I figured out on my own, but the stupid "I have to be taught to share a ball" argument by a former RIAA or MPAA exec led me to the reason it's so hard to stamp out piracy:

We have an instinctive understanding of scarce (property) vs. non-scarce (information) and an instinctive drive to gather and share non-scarce things for the good of the tribe... that's what gossip is.

@sir I used to act that way.

These days, I'm so massively behind on the DRM-free games and used novels I've collected that it'd feel wrong to shun what I paid (almost nothing) for to pirate something instead.

(It also lets me feel satisfaction in knowing that companies can't whine about piracy being why they didn't get my money, because I neither pirated nor paid for whatever it is they're unwilling to offer on my terms.)

You can charge for anything that you own. And you can own anything that you can bar others from accessing. It's only a question of might and desire, init?

@byllgrim I think "can" here is meant more like "may"... that's English for you... though no there is at least one other language that does that... but also at least one other language that doesn't...

If that's not what got you, then maybe it's the implied notion that while crime is always possible, one should not normalize and legalize what one considers criminal.

@namark Hm, I didn't consider it like that. Also, I think those normative "should"s are a bit childish, and would prefer "if-then". That final point of yours is something I needa think more about

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