[thelist] GNU / GPL

Joel D Canfield joel at streamliine.com
Thu Oct 25 18:27:57 CDT 2007

> Suggested reading: <http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/not-ipr.xhtml>

Much ado about nothing, methinks.

"If you want to think clearly about the issues raised by patents, or
copyrights, or trademarks, the first step is to forget the idea of
lumping them together, and treat them as separate topics."

Is it inaccurate, then, to refer to fiction writing, painting, musical
composition, et al, as 'the arts' ? Does that in some way prevent one
from thinking clearly about each individual art, or work of art? I don't
think so.

If I have written songs (words and music), gathered information for a
business book, created logos, and own the patent on a thingamajig, what
word or phrase would you use to refer to the physical representations of
my expressed thoughts and ideas, in aggregate with the ideas themselves?
I don't accept the argument that it's intrinsically confusing or
inaccurate to lump these things together, because, as a creator of the
kinds of things in question, I see them as very much related, whether I
need a patent, copyright, or trademark to legally represent my ownership
of said item.

I used to get distracted into splitting hairs about terminology, until
the day my father pointed out that the country we lived in at the time
was the only country he knew of that had no real name. See, he worked 12
miles south of where we lived, in "The United States of Mexico", which
is what that country is named. We lived in one with a much similar name,
but which assumes there's only one group of united states, which just
ain't true. Calling it 'America' should also be confusing, since that
name refers to two separate continents - aren't all the people living
therein 'Americans' ?

If I use certain words to mean a thing, and the person I'm speaking to
understands those words to mean the same thing I mean them to, I don't
care what the dictionary or the lawyers say my words meant.


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