Eben Moglen’s Talk

What Chris said. Go watch Eben’s talk, it really is worth it. I’m going to watch it again.

Chris had a nice quote, but you can skip randomly to any part and get other equally nice quotes.

“The patent has become a real estate entitlement, not based upon the social value it produces, but rather irrespective of the social harm it may induce.”

2 thoughts on “Eben Moglen’s Talk”

  1. The more laudatory the speech, the more of a shame it is that the movies are licensed to prohibit sharing by default:

    “All materials on this program are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, or otherwise published without the prior written permission of Red Hat, Inc. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice. However, provided that you maintain all copyright and other notices contained therein, you may download the video (one machine readable copy) for your personal, non-commercial use only.”

    So, in other words, enjoy the freedoms of free software but don’t you dare spread this movie file around to tell other people about it. Not everyone who needs to hear these things has net access, a computer, or an interest in sitting in front of a computer. I host a radio program where I play free software-related talks and discuss free software-related issues. I’d love to play Prof. Moglen’s talk, but I can’t because either I have to go through a hell of a lot of hassle to share it or I’d play something my listeners are prohibited from sharing further. When Red Hat takes this off the Internet, people will just have to settle for explaining this not half as well as Eben Moglen did. Even verbatim non-commercial sharing is prohibited by default unless you ask the copyright holder each and every time you want to share. Did some video post-production house slap that silly restrictive license there without understanding who their audience was?

    Red Hat should relicense these to at least allow non-commercial verbatim sharing in any medium so long as a simple license sentence is copied with the work, and re-edit the movies to edit out that text I quoted above. I have a hard time believing that any of the speakers would object to this (in particular Eben Moglen, chief counsel for the FSF). If the music copyright holders don’t like it, excise the music (it’s not the music we’re interested in hearing anyhow) or find more amenably licensed music (perhaps a CC track).

    I would have posted this on Chris Blizzard’s blog as well, but he turned off comments to his blog.

  2. You’re right, JB.

    And we’re working on figuring out how to do that the right way. Takes time, since we’ve got lots of nervous lawyers to appease — but we’ll figure it out. It’s on our plates.

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