Stallman doesn’t like copyright as it works today:
“Today’s digital technology enables everyone to make and share copies. Record companies now seek to use copyright law to deny us the use of this technical advance. The law which was acceptable when it restricted only publishers is now an injustice because it forbids cooperation among citizens.”
“Their approach has been to restrict access even to read the scientific literature to those who can and will pay for it. They use copyright law, which is still in force despite its inappropriateness for computer networks, as an excuse to stop scientists from choosing new rules.
[…]we must reject that approach at its root, not merely the obstructive systems that have been instituted, but the mistaken priorities that inspired them.”
“Elementary schools, above all, should tell their pupils, “If you bring software to school, you must share it with the other children.” Of course, the school must practice what it preaches: all the software installed by the school should be available for students to copy, take home, and redistribute further.”
So, the conclusion is that copyright is “inappropriate for computer networks”, right?
Copyright-nazism is only bad when the others do it: The FSF filed a complaint against the Google Book Search settlement because Stallman’s GFDL license isn’t appropriately honored (which works on copyright):
“But under the proposed settlement, works released under the GFDL and similar licenses are lumped in with works under full restrictive copyright. Google would therefore be given permission to display and distribute these works without abiding by the requirement to pass the freedoms guaranteed under the GFDL on to Google Books readers.
“The objection states, “The settlement attempts to balance the various commercial interests in the publication and distribution of books but in doing so it ignores those concerned more with freedom than with the ability to earn profits through Google’s commercial ventures. When freely licensed books are distributed without regard for their terms, authors, publishers and readers are all harmed and the community’s unifying values are undermined. This harm cannot be adequately quantified or compensated or otherwise addressed in a royalty arrangement.””
The FSF’s law suit against Cisco is based on copyright too:
“BOSTON, Massachusetts, USA — Thursday, December 11, 2008 — The Free Software Foundation (FSF) today announced that it has filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Cisco. The FSF’s complaint alleges that in the course of distributing various products under the Linksys brand Cisco has violated the licenses of many programs on which the FSF holds copyright, including GCC, binutils, and the GNU C Library. In doing so, Cisco has denied its users their right to share and modify the software.”
Orwell would be proud: Copyright is bad, but it is doubleplusgood if we use it.