[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

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

From: amicus_curious
Subject: Re: JMRI case -- Implementation of the Federal Circuit's Opinion
Date: Fri, 9 Jan 2009 11:23:21 -0500

"Rahul Dhesi" <> wrote in message news:gk7q1h$q02$
"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.
The issue, again, is that the copyright will protect the author's benefits obtained and so motivate the author to create. Benefits are directly related to the harm suffered if they are not protected. No harm, no foul is the conventional wisdom.

It seems curious to me why you would cite this case. As far as I can tell, RT Computer Graphics sued the Post Office on the basis that their copyright was violated due to the Post Office's failure to attribute the source of the graphic used on some stamp to the original author. The finding was that the Post Office had not violated the copyright since the requirement to attribute was not a "condition precedent" which is the issue in the JMRI case, too.

reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]