03.07.08

Gemini version available ♊︎

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 in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

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

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Microsoft Thought Police

    Reprinted with permission from Ryan



  2. Links 08/02/2023: GNOME Smoother Scrolling of Text Views

    Links for the day



  3. Links 08/02/2023: Transmission 4.0.0 Released and Mass Layoffs at Zoom

    Links for the day



  4. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, February 07, 2023

    IRC logs for Tuesday, February 07, 2023



  5. When the Pension Vanishes

    Today we commenced a multi-part mini-series about pensions and what happens when they suddenly vanish and nobody is willing to explain where all the money went



  6. Sirius 'Open Source' Pensiongate: An Introduction

    The Sirius ‘Open Source’ series continues in the form of a mini-series about pensions; it’s part of an ongoing investigation of a deep mystery that impacts people who left the company quite a long time ago and some of the lessons herein are applicable to any worker with a pension (at times of financial uncertainties)



  7. Links 07/02/2023: Endless OS 5.0 and Voice.AI GPL Violations

    Links for the day



  8. No Doubt Microsoft Unleashed Another 'Tay', Spreading Bigotry Under the Guise of Hey Hi (AI)

    Reprinted with permission from Ryan



  9. Links 07/02/2023: Fedora 39 Development Plans Outlines

    Links for the day



  10. IRC Proceedings: Monday, February 06, 2023

    IRC logs for Monday, February 06, 2023



  11. Links 06/02/2023: Escuelas Linux 8.0 and Many Political Issues

    Links for the day



  12. Links 06/02/2023: Sparky 6.6 and IPFire 2.27 – Core Update 173

    Links for the day



  13. Taking Back Control or Seizing Autonomy Over the News Cycle (Informing People, Culling the Marketing)





  14. Reality Versus Fiction: EPO Insiders Versus EPO Web Site and UPC 'Churnalists'

    The "official" sources of the European Patent Office (EPO), as well as the sedated "media" that the EPO is bribing for further bias, cannot tell the truth about this very large institution; for proper examination of Europe's largest patent office one must pursue the interpretation by longtime veterans and insiders, who are increasingly upset and abused (they're being pressured to grant patents in violation of the charter of the EPO)



  15. Links 06/02/2023: Linux 6.2 RC7 and Fatal Earthquake

    Links for the day



  16. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, February 05, 2023

    IRC logs for Sunday, February 05, 2023



  17. Links 05/02/2023: Wayland in Bookworm and xvidtune 1.0.4

    Links for the day



  18. Links 05/02/2023: Pakistan Blocks Wikipedia, Musharraf Dies

    Links for the day



  19. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, February 04, 2023

    IRC logs for Saturday, February 04, 2023



  20. Links 04/02/2023: FOSDEM Happening and Ken Thompson in SoCal Linux Expo

    Links for the day



  21. 2023 is the Year Taxpayers' Money Goes to War and Energy Subsidies, Not Tech

    Now that a lot of powerful and omnipresent ‘tech’ (spying and policing) companies are rotting away we have golden opportunities to bring about positive change and maybe even recruit technical people for good causes



  22. Getting Back to Productive Computer Systems Would Benefit Public Health and Not Just Boost Productivity

    “Smartphoneshame” (shaming an unhealthy culture of obsession with “apps”) would potentially bring about a better, more sociable society with fewer mental health crises and higher productivity levels



  23. Links 04/02/2023: This Week in KDE and Many More Tech Layoffs

    Links for the day



  24. Dotcom Boom and Bust, Round 2

    The age of technology giants/monopolies devouring everything or military-funded (i.e. taxpayers-subsidised) surveillance/censorship tentacles, in effect privatised eyes of the state, may be ending; the United States can barely sustain that anymore and raising the debt ceiling won't solve that (buying time isn't the solution)



  25. Society Would Benefit From a Smartphoneshame Movement

    In a society plagued by blackmail, surveillance and frivolous lawsuits it is important to reconsider the notion of “smart” phone ownership; these devices give potentially authoritarian companies and governments far too much power over people (in the EU they want to introduce new legislation that would, in effect, ban Free software if it enables true privacy)



  26. IRC Proceedings: Friday, February 03, 2023

    IRC logs for Friday, February 03, 2023



  27. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, February 02, 2023

    IRC logs for Thursday, February 02, 2023



  28. Links 03/02/2023: Proton 7.0-6 Released, ScummVM 2.7 Testing

    Links for the day



  29. Links 03/02/2023: OpenSSH 9.2 and OBS Studio 29.0.1

    Links for the day



  30. Links 03/02/2023: GNU C Library 2.37

    Links for the day


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

Recent Posts