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. The New Age of Games for UNIX/Linux But Not for Windows, Microsoft is Openwashing Windows-Only Games

    The world is moving to GNU- and Linux-powered platforms, so Microsoft withdraws GNU/Linux support from games it buys and starts openwashing its Windows-only games



  2. Microsoft Essentially Sends Malware to Windows and Bricks It

    Microsoft is once again bricking Vista 7, demonstrating lack of reliability or very low quality programming



  3. Microsoft Lays Off Staff, Cheapens Labour as More Companies Are Dumping Microsoft's Lock-in, NSA-Friendly Services, and Windows

    A look at some of Microsoft's latest woes, including an appeal for cheaper labour amid decrease in business



  4. Links 19/12/2014: Robolinux 7.7.1 LXDE, Red Hat Thriving

    Links for the day



  5. Another Microsoft Partner Markets Linux FUD Using Logo, Name, and Lies

    Microsoft's partner Alert Logic is trying to label a feature of Linux a security flaw and even makes marketing buzz for it



  6. Redmonk is Spreading Black Duck's Anti-GPL Talking Points After Payments From Black Duck, Microsoft

    CBS' ZDNet spreads the GNU-hostile narrative which comes from Redmonk, funded by Microsoft and Black Duck, citing Black Duck, which also comes from Microsoft and is a partner of Microsoft



  7. 'Good' Software Patents From EA Show Cases Where DRM is a Patent Infringement

    Where two evils collide the public benefits, or how some software patents discourage the use of DRM



  8. Richard Stallman: What Does It Mean for Your Computer to Be Loyal?

    New article from Richard Stallman



  9. Links 18/12/2014: LinuxQuestions.org Polls, Fedora for POWER

    Links for the day



  10. Links 16/12/2014: Google and ODF, Civilization: Beyond Earth Comes to GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  11. Bill Gates' Pet Troll Intellectual Ventures is Collapsing as Founder Quits

    Intellectual Ventures founder leaves after an exceptionally large round of layoffs, despite [cref 77299 recent subsidies from Sony and Microsoft]



  12. Keeping Software Patents Out of Europe Following the Demise of Software Patents in the US

    Instability in the EPO seemingly prevents further expansion of patent scope, which is the subject of scrutiny of EPO staff



  13. Links 15/12/2014: OSI 2014 Annual Report, GPLv2 Court Test

    Links for the day



  14. Links 14/12/2014: Calligra 2.9 Beta, Krita 2.9 Beta

    Links for the day



  15. Software Patents Are Dying in the US, But Patent Lawyers Refuse to Admit It

    Patent lawyers continue to distort the reality of software patents' demise in the United States



  16. Links 13/12/2014: Android Wear “Lollipop”, European Commission and FOSS

    Links for the day



  17. Time to Take Microsoft Out of British Aviation Before Planes Crash Into Buildings

    London's mighty Heathrow Airport among those affected by a Microsoft-reliant air traffic control system which is not being able to properly recover from an outage, and not for the first time either



  18. News From France and Germany: Battistelli Under Fire, But Not Fired Yet, Just Firing His Opposition

    The régime headed by Benoît Battistelli and his criminal deputy continues to overthrow or pressure out everyone who is not 'loyal' to the régime



  19. Links 12/12/2014: Linux++, KDE Frameworks 5.5.0, Calligra 2.8.7

    Links for the day



  20. The USPTO is Broken: New Evidence Presented

    The scope of patents, as evidenced by some statistical figures and individual patents, shows that the USPTO is broken and must be reformed or dismantled



  21. US Patent Reform (on Trolls Only) More or Less Buried or Ineffective

    An update on efforts to reform the patent system in the United States, including the possibly imminent appointment of Michelle Lee to USPTO leadership role



  22. Software Patents in Canada Not Dead Yet

    Canada's patent status quo increasingly like that of the United States and Canadian giants like BlackBerry now pose a threat to software developers



  23. Dreaming of a Just Christmas: When a Third of EPO Walks Out to Revolt and European Judges Attack the EPO Over Abuses

    Information about the abuses of Battistelli et al. at the EPO are finally receiving wider coverage and increasing the strain on Battistelli's authoritarian reign



  24. Links 11/12/2014: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.1 Beta, Firefox 35 Plans

    Links for the day



  25. Ubuntu Core Announcement is Not About Microsoft and Hosting Ubuntu on Azure is Worse Than Stupid

    The power of media spin makes the idea of hosting Free software under the control of an NSA PRISM and back doors partner seem alluring



  26. France Gets Involved in Battistelli's Abuses in the EPO - Part XII (Updated)

    The EPO scandal has officially spilled over to France, where a French Senator got involved and starts asking serious questions



  27. Rolling of Heads Likely Imminent at EPO

    The European patent system is shaking as management breaks the rules, staff is protesting against the management every week, and charges of corruption resurface



  28. Links 11/12/2014: systemd 218, Empire Total War

    Links for the day



  29. Links 10/12/2014: Fedora 21, Ubuntu Core

    Links for the day



  30. Links 9/12/2014: Fedora 21 and Torture Report Are Out

    Links for the day


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