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Re: JMRI case -- Implementation of the Federal Circuit's Opinion

From: Rahul Dhesi
Subject: Re: JMRI case -- Implementation of the Federal Circuit's Opinion
Date: Fri, 9 Jan 2009 15:21:21 +0000 (UTC)
User-agent: nn/6.7.0

"amicus_curious" <> writes:

>Why would anyone really care unless there were some benefit to be
>obtained by the author due to the right to control the distribution?
>The copyright act contains language such as " distribute copies or
>phonorecords of the work to the public by sale or other transfer of
>ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending;", all clearly implying a
>financial value of the work and direct financial benefit to the author.
>It is silly to suppose that the the purpose of a copyright is to lock
>up the author's work and deny the public access.

Presumably you, like most of us, simply skip past the numerous case law
links that Rjack posts, having realized that they seldom help us
understand how free software licensing works.  Once in a while, though,
he posts something useful that has a significant bearing on how and why
copyright law is actually designed for the same purpose as free software
licenses.  Here is an excerpt from one of his numerous links.

  The enactment of copyright legislation by Congress under the terms of
  the Constitution is not based upon any natural right that the author has
  in his writings, . . . but upon the ground that the welfare of the
  public will be served and progress of science and useful arts will be
  promoted by securing to authors for limited periods the exclusive rights
  to their writings. 

  * * * 

  In enacting a copyright law Congress must consider . . . two questions:
  First, how much will the legislation stimulate the producer and so
  benefit the public, and, second, how much will the monopoly granted be
  detrimental to the public? The granting of such exclusive rights, under
  the proper terms and conditions, confers a benefit upon the public that
  outweighs the evils of the temporary monopoly.

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