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Piracy Music

RMS Responds To NPR File-Sharer's Blog 634

Posted by Soulskill
from the morally-right-vs-legally-right dept.
New submitter UtucXul points out that Richard Stallman has penned a lengthy response to NPR intern Emily White for her post on the organization's site about how she failed to pay for a significant amount of recorded music, acquiring it instead through Kazaa, friends, and CDs owned by the radio station at which she was employed. (We previously discussed musician David Lowery's response; quite different from RMS's, as you might expect.) Stallman wrote, "Copying and sharing recordings was not a mistake, let alone wrong, because sharing is good. It's good to share musical recordings with friends and family; it's good for a radio station to share recordings with the staff, and it's good when strangers share through peer-to-peer networks. The wrong is in the repressive laws that try to block or punish sharing. Sharing ought to be legalized; in the mean time, please do not act ashamed of having shared — that would validate those repressive laws that claim that it is wrong. You did make a mistake when you chose Kazaa as the method of sharing. Kazaa mistreated you (and all its users) by requiring you to run a non-free program on your computer. ... However, that was in the past. It's more important to consider what you're doing now, which includes other mistakes. You're not alone — many others make them too, and that adds up to a big problem for society. The root mistake is treating a marketing buzzword, 'the cloud,' as if it meant something concrete. That term refers to so many things (different ways of using the Internet) that it really has no meaning at all. Marketing uses that term to lead people's attention away from the important questions about any given use of the network, such as, 'What companies would I depend on if I did this, and how? What trouble could they cause me, if they wanted to shaft me, or simply thought that a change in policies would gain them more money?'"
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RMS Responds To NPR File-Sharer's Blog

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  • Are you nuts? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Weaselmancer (533834) on Saturday July 14, 2012 @05:29PM (#40651117)

    RMS can quite happily say all this bullshit about morals and how some laws are just completely wrong, but he equally does nothing about it.

    All he does is try to educate people about unjust laws! That's pretty much his entire gig. That was the entire point of the article we're talking about here.

  • by cpu6502 (1960974) on Saturday July 14, 2012 @05:39PM (#40651191)

    >>>Yes, Kazaa "mistreated her" by her voluntarily deciding to download, install and use the program without any coercion from the makers of the program

    Kazaa usually had tracking bots buried inside of it, or installed alongside it, without ever informing the users. So YES she was harmed by the program. That is what Stallman means by "non-free" - The program was a danger to the users due to its closed-off environment.

    >>>One can only hope she won't be scarred for life from that heinous act.

    Perhaps not "for life" but she would suffer shorterm scarring if Kazaa or its partners had stolen her ID, or credit card number. You sir are too trusting of the programs you download, if you believe it's okay to just download random shit to your PC w/o any harm.

  • by Surt (22457) on Saturday July 14, 2012 @05:59PM (#40651315) Homepage Journal

    I don't believe he's a proponent of forcing anyone to share. He's an opponent of forcing others not to share.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 14, 2012 @06:00PM (#40651331)

    Society collectively defines right and wrong.

    Nice use of the bandwagon fallacy, there.

    No, it's individuals who "define" right and wrong. If many individuals believe the same thing, the only thing you can conclude from that is that many individuals believe the same thing and that their goals are more likely to be achieved.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 14, 2012 @06:23PM (#40651485)

    At least in the Anglosphere, your explanation is bogus. In English/Commonwealth/USA law, copyright has never been about authors' control of their work, in any sense but a veneer of legislative respectability.

    Authors didn't fight for the Statute of Anne, for-profit publishers did -- whether for money per se or for monetizable control makes no difference -- and they sought it as the publishers' natural right. The vesting of copyright in authors, and the ostensible quid pro quo of a short-term monopoly to incentivize a long-term increase in public culture, were a compromise with parliament.

    Prior to that, "copyright" was a markedly different concept, more concerned with control than profit, yes -- but it was about government/religion's control of dangerous ideas, with publishers responsible for enforcing standards of acceptability, and in exchange being granted a monopoly.

  • Re:Unjust laws (Score:4, Informative)

    by shutdown -p now (807394) on Sunday July 15, 2012 @04:07AM (#40654093) Journal

    If there was no copyright law, GPL would not exists, and RMS would be happy about it

    That is not so, and RMS himself was very explicit about it. He would only agree to copyright going away if there was some other arrangement in the laws that would let him enforce copyleft - ideally, he wants copyleft to be universally legally enforced. Quote [computerworlduk.com]:

    "I would be glad to see the abolition of copyright on software if it were done in such a way as to ensure that software is free. After all, the point of copyleft is to achieve that goal for derivatives of certain programs. If all software were free, copyleft would not be needed for software. However, abolishing copyright could also be done in a misguided way that would have no effect on typical proprietary software (which is restricted by EULAs and source code secrecy rather than copyright), and only undermines the practice of copyleft. Naturally I would be against that. In other words, I am more concerned with how the law affects users' freedom than with what happens to copyright as such.

    It would be necessary to eliminate copyright on software, declare EULAs legally void, and adopt consumer protection measures that require distribution of source code to the user and forbid tivoization."

    This has been repeated on every RMS and GPL post, and still someone has to write this. Sigh.

    Indeed; and every time someone replies the way you did, I have to link to that article to show why you're wrong.

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