EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

03.07.08

Another Cautionary Note: Nicolas Sarkozy

Posted in Europe, Microsoft, Patents at 5:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Identifying foes of Free software…

For those who forgot, the French President has been doing a lot of legwork for Microsoft and their partners in the media industry. We mentioned this more recently, but a couple of references are worth repeating. The first one is about the president’s seemingly healthy affairs with Microsoft, namely:

Sarkozy and his family have been vacationing at a lakefront estate in Wolfeboro owned by former Microsoft Corp. executive Michael Appe.

Here is a recent change of law that was proposed (taxing the Internet).

French president Nicolas Sarkozy wants to ban advertising on public television and replace the income stream with a tax on mobile phones and Internet accounts. “Our national television must provide quality and access to culture; it must not be shaped solely by commercial considerations,” said Sarkozy in Paris on Tuesday.

And another.

What this neglects to take into account is the fact that falling into the public domain is a gain for the public – and hence the actual moment when it becomes part of the “national pop heritage” – and that the gain vastly outweighs any minimal effect it has on ageing rockers’ royalties.

The actual news comes from the following blog. It suggests that Sarkozy’s copyrights crusade shows no signs of abatement.

The support for Commissioner McCreevy came from the French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Soon after taking office, he set up a commission, led by the head of the major retail chain FNAC, to look into copyright and the creative industries. Alongside recommendations on ISP responsibility, the commission proposed extending copyright and this will be on the agenda when the French Government assumes the Presidency of the European Union in July this year.

For those wondering how this relates to this Web site, consider the strong relationship between copyrights and patent laws. The two are very different, but the term "intellectual property" strives to have them assimilated. TechDirt has published a good new essay against intellectual property, which is claims cannot really exist.

The main reason why I have trouble with the “property” part isn’t just the fact that it leads people to try to pretend it’s just like tangible property, but because it automatically biases how people think about the concept.

Here is another good analogy. [via Glyn Moody]

Copyright maximalists love to draw parallels between property rights and copyrights. But if we take that analogy seriously, I think it actually leads in some places that they aren’t going to like. Our property rights system was not created by Congressional (or state legislative) fiat. Property rights in land is an organic, bottom up exercize. The job of government isn’t to dictate what the property system should look like, but to formalize and reinforce the property arrangements people naturally agree to among themselves.

The fact that our current copyright system is widely ignored and evaded is a sign, I think, that Congress has done a poor job of aligning the copyright system with ordinary individuals’ sense of right and wrong. Just as squatters 200 years ago didn’t think it was right that they be booted off land they cleared and brought under cultivation in favor of an absentee landowner who had written a check to a distant federal government, so a lot of people feel it’s unfair to fine a woman hundreds of thousands of dollars to share a couple of CDs’ worth of music. You might believe (as do I) that file sharing is unethical, just as many people believed that squatting was unethical. But at some point, Congress has no choice but to recognize the realities on the ground, just as it did with real property in the 19th century.

Lastly, consider this new piece about it being a lost cause.

The scarcity argument focuses on the efficient use of existing resources. In contrast, the reward argument focuses on the creation of new resources. It says that people will under-produce valuable resources if they aren’t allowed to keep what they produce. For example, a farmer is far less likely to plant crops in the spring if he won’t be able to prevent others from harvesting them in the fall.

By eradicating the problem (software patents) and identifying barriers — including people — progress can finally be made. New laws which strive to illegalise/marginalise Free software can (and should) be eliminated for logical and scientific reasons, not just philosophical or economic ones. The copyrights debate has many parallels we can learn from.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

2 Comments

  1. Roy Bixler said,

    March 7, 2008 at 12:08 pm

    Gravatar

    I found the following article about Sarkozy’s proposal to eliminate advertising from public TV to be interesting:

    La suppression de la publicité sur les chaînes publiques en débat
    http://www.lemonde.fr/actualite-medias/article/2008/02/02/la-suppression-de-la-publicite-sur-les-chaines-publiques-en-debat_1006711_3236.html

    As the title suggests, it is in French and it’s currently only available in the Le Monde archives. Here are a couple of snippets I captured wile the article was free (with my own translation):

    “Désolé, mais publicité et qualité ne sont pas compatibles”, écrit
    ainsi “Raffin”. “Monsieur Le Lay (l’ancien PDG de TF1) avait été
    clair : pour vendre du Coca-Cola, il faut s’adresser à des
    cerveaux vides. Il faut des émissions les plus racoleuses possible
    et celles qui sollicitent le moins la réflexion du téléspectateur,
    afin que celui-ci soit le plus receptif possible lorsque viendra
    la pub”, écrit-il.

    “Sorry, but commercials and quality are not compatible”, writes
    “Raffin”. “Mr. Le Lay (ex-CEO of TV France 1) had been clear: to
    sell Coca-Cola, it is necessary to pitch it to empty minds. It’s
    necessary to have the most eye-catching broadcasts possible and
    those which provoke the least amount of thought in the viewer, so
    that the latter is as receptive as possible when the advertisement
    comes”, he writes.

    Plusieurs internautes soupçonnent aussi les arrière-pensées
    politiques et s’interrogent sur le futur financement de
    l’audiovisuel public. “Lorsque notre président a fait part de sa
    décision unilatérale, il arborait un petit sourire ambigu qui en
    dit assez long, écrit “Maxegor”. J’ai de sérieux doutes sur ses
    buts finaux, c’est-à-dire la survie ou non d’une télévision
    publique vraiment indépendante d’un pouvoir politique ou
    financier.”

    Several Internet users also suspect political ulterior motives and
    wonder about the future financing of public broadcasting. “When
    our president has announced his unilateral decision, he was hiding
    an ambiguous little smile which spoke volumes”, writes “Maxegor”.
    “I have serious doubts about his final goals, which is to say the
    survival or non-survival of a public television truly independant
    of a political or financial power.”

  2. -P said,

    March 18, 2008 at 2:05 pm

    Gravatar

    Dear BoycottNovell,

    Will you comment on Segolene Royal’s alleged recent support in favor of the United States territory of Puerto Rico?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S%C3%A9gol%C3%A8ne_Royal#Harvard_University:_S.C3.A9gol.C3.A8ne_Royal_supports_independence_for_Puerto_Rico

    Thank you,

    -P

What Else is New


  1. New Optimism in the Age of Doubt Over Software Patents

    As the tide turns against software patents, even in their country of origin, their opponents come out of the woodwork to celebrate



  2. Links 28/7/2014: New Linux RC, Plasma 5 Live in Kubuntu

    Links for the day



  3. Links 27/7/2014: KDE 4.14 Beta 3, KDE 4.14 Beta 3 Released

    Links for the day



  4. Apple and Microsoft Are Proprietary Software Companies and the Media Should Stop Openwashing Them

    New examples where proprietary software giants are characterised as FOSS-embracing and FOSS-friendly by gullible or dishonest 'journalists'



  5. Bloomberg's Microsoft Propaganda

    Bloomberg delivers 'damage control' and PR ahead of the layoffs announcement; Microsoft uses Nokia to hide it and Bloomberg helps Microsoft by radically modifying headlines



  6. Frequency of Browser Back Doors in Microsoft Windows is Doubling

    The vulnerabilities which Microsoft tells the NSA about (before these are patched) are significantly growing in terms of their numbers



  7. FUD Entities Entering the FOSS World

    Symantec enters the AllSeen Alliance and Sonatype is once again trying to claim great insecurity in FOSS due to software licensing



  8. Groklaw Back in the Wake of ODF in the UK?





  9. Links 26/7/2014: New Wine, Chromebooks Strong Sales

    Links for the day



  10. Links 25/7/2014: GOG With GNU/Linux, Ubuntu 14.04.1 LTS

    Links for the day



  11. Links 24/7/2014: Oracle Linux 7; Fedora Delays

    Links for the day



  12. Valerie Strauss Explains Why Gates Foundation's Lobbying for 'Common Core' (Privatisation) is a Swindle That Makes Microsoft Richer

    Continued criticism of the Gates Foundation's lobbying and masquerading, with more journalists brave enough to highlight the corruption



  13. USPTO Officially Sets New Guidelines to Limit Scope of Software Patents in the United States

    Even patent lawyers finally acknowledge that the incentive to file software patent applications has been reduced, as the scope of patents on software has been noticeably narrowed and they are harder to acquire, let alone enforce in a courtroom



  14. UK Government Adopts OpenDocument Format (ODF) and Microsoft Already Attacks the Government Over It, Showing Absolutely No Commitment to Open Standards

    Only "Microsoft as the standard" is the 'standard' Microsoft is willing to accept, as its response to the Cabinet Office's judgment reveals



  15. Microsoft Layoffs of 2014

    Another quick look at Microsoft's horrible state of affairs and why it has virtually nothing to do with Nokia



  16. Links 22/7/2014: Linux 3.16 RC 6, New UberStudent

    Links for the day



  17. Links 20/7/2014: Jolla in India, Mega Censored in Italy

    Links for the day



  18. Longtime Mono Booster Joins Microsoft-linked Xamarin

    Jo Shields almost joins Microsoft, settling instead for its proxy, Xamarin



  19. Linux Foundation Welcomes Patent Aggressor Red Bend Software

    The Linux Foundation's AllSeen Alliance welcomes as a member a company that uses software patents to sue Free/Open Source software



  20. Matt Levy From Patent Progress (and CCIA) Does Not Really Want Patent Progress

    Matthew ('Matt') Levy moved into a foe of patent progress last year, but he still runs a site calls Patent Progress, in which he diverts all attention to patent trolls (as large corporations such as Microsoft like to do)



  21. Attacking FOSS by Ignoring/Overlooking Issues With Proprietary Software

    The biasing strategy which continues to be used to demonise Free/Open Source software (FOSS) along with some new examples



  22. Links 19/7/2014: CRUX 3.1 is Out, CyanogenMod Competes With Google Now

    Links for the day



  23. Microsoft's Massive Layoffs Go Far Beyond Nokia; Nokia's Android Phones Axed by Microsoft's Elop

    Microsoft's rapid demise and permanent exit from Nokia's last remaining Linux platform (after Microsoft had killed two more)



  24. Patents on Software Already Being Invalidated in Courts Owing to SCOTUS Ruling on 'Abstract' Patents

    The Federal Circuit Appeals Court has just "invalidated a software patent for being overly abstract," says a patents expert



  25. OpenSUSE 'Community' is Crumbling, AttachMSFT Killed SUSE's Potential (Except as Microsoft Tax)

    Not much too see in the land of SUSE and Attachmate, or formerly the company known as Novell



  26. Links 18/7/2014: Slackware Turns 21, Spotify Switches to Ubuntu

    Links for the day



  27. Links 16/7/2014: Manjaro 0.8.10 Third Update, SIA Migrates to Red Hat

    Links for the day



  28. Microsoft's Latest Round of Massive/Bulk/Large-scale Layoffs

    Microsoft boosters are preparing 'damage control' pieces ahead of massive layoffs at Microsoft



  29. Secrecy Allows British Government to be Manipulated by Microsoft for Spyware Behind Closed Doors

    Dependence on malicious software from NSA ally Microsoft is highly dependent, at least in Britain, on government secrecy and vain refusal to comply with Freedom of Information (FOI) requests



  30. Software Patent Applications Already Being Rejected in the US Owing to SCOTUS Ruling, Some Patent Lawyers Are Fuming

    Good news on the software patents front as the USPTO starts rejecting software patent applications, based on patent lawyers' words


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts