[A2k] Open letter

Silke Helfrich Silke.Helfrich at gmx.de
Tue Feb 15 09:29:50 PST 2011

Dear Richard, 

we take this into account for the next initiave, but the letter as
proposed was actually shared with the communication networks last week
in Dakar, therefor we stick to that version. (We will now publish it
with the signatures of those who signed it and circulate it for
distribution and further signatures)
The letter is written in a way, that those how receive it and media can
clearly understand what it is all about.  

Very best

On Wed, 2011-02-09 at 11:15 -0500, Richard Stallman wrote:
> The FSF mostly agrees with the views expressed in the letter, but
> cannot sign it, because of its use of the term "intellectual property"
> as if that referred to something coherent.  The letter goes so far as
> to treat "intellectual property" as a kind of substance.
> It is a mistake to generalize about copyright law and patent law.  It
> is a worse mistake to generalize about a dozen totally different laws.
> The reference to an attempt to "balance" the system for handling this
> fictitious substance is also an obstacle.  Even in regard to copyright
> alone, "balance" as usually interpreted is the wrong goal.  (See
> http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/misinterpreting-copyright.html.  That
> article's argument based on the US Constitution would carry no weight
> for Brazil, but I think its conclusion is valid anyway.)
> The use of the word "protect" to describe what copyright does is also
> unfortunate.  That alone would not be a reason to reject the letter,
> but it's so easy to avoid -- why not avoid it?
> I suppose it is too late now to change the wording of this letter.
> However, you may in the future write other texts that you'd like the
> FSF to support.  These same issues are likely to arise each time,
> so you may as well know about them in advance.
> The FSF is limited to the issue of free software and its sub-issues.
> Some issues about the sharing of other kinds of works don't raise the
> issue of free software, so the FSF would have to stay out of them.
> However, this letter's issue does affect free software concerns, which
> would have given the FSF a basis to support it ... if only the text
> had been written differently.

More information about the A2k mailing list