Shoutout to Colin

Richard Gaskin ambassador at
Thu Jan 3 13:29:59 EST 2013

Robert Sneidar wrote:

 > There ought to be some kind of clause in copyrights where if a
 > producer who is not the author or developer of something sits
 > on it and does not produce a product from it within a certain
 > time frame, say 5 years, the author has the right to reproduce
 > it themselves.

While I can appreciate the sentiment, I have to say I would disagree 
with this in practice.

The most important element of intellectual property is the international 
respect for the act of creation, the recognition that the creator of a 
work has complete say over how it's distributed from the very moment of 
creation through a period of at least several decades afterward.

This is essential to maintain the motivation for creation.  After all, 
if there's no motivation to create, there's nothing to argue about 
distribution over, since the work would never have existed to begin with.

For this reason I would tread with great caution into any area of 
copyright law which might in any way inhibit the rights of creators.

Any creator can choose any terms they like for anything they create, no 
matter how unreasonable they may seem.  If I write a trivial software 
product and demand $500,000 for it, that's fully my right - and yours to 
ignore and just go build your own.

And if I write a novel and choose to cease publication after a certain 
number of years, or to never publish it at all, that's also my right. 
And you still always retain the right to write your own novel as an 
alternative to my seeming unreasonableness.

The remedy for what we might see as abuses is up to us as consumers.  If 
a company like Adobe puts out great products like GoLive and LiveMotion, 
and later abandons them and locks them away, we've come to learn what 
sort of company they are and can make different choices going forward.

No matter what else we might consider, the rights of a creator are 
paramount, since without them we risk having no creations at all.

Forgive me if I sound pedantic this morning, but I've been reading some 
arguments in the FOSS world and there's just a bit too much "gimme gimme 
gimme!" going on in some circles for my temperament, too much emphasis 
on what some users feel they should be able to demand from creators but 
not enough about reciprocal considerations.

  Richard Gaskin
  Fourth World
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