Why I Will Not Sign the Public Domain Manifesto
Feb 24, 2010, 22:33 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Richard M. Stallman)
"The Public Domain Manifesto
(http://www.publicdomainmanifesto.org/node/8) has its heart in the
right place as it objects to some of the unjust extensions of
copyright power, so I wish I could support it. However, it falls
far short of what is needed.
"Some flaws are at the level of implicit assumptions. The
manifesto frequently uses propaganda terms of the copyright
industry, such as "copyright protection". These terms were chosen
to lead people to sympathize with the copyright industry and its
demands for power.
"The manifesto and its signatories use the term "intellectual
property", which confuses the issue of copyright by lumping it
together with a dozen other laws that have nothing significant in
common. (See http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/not-ipr.html for more
explanation about this point.) Ironically it uses the term first in
a sentence which points out that this manifesto is concerned only
with copyright law, not with those other laws. That is with good
reason: the other laws are not relevant to copying and using
published works. If we seek to teach the public to distinguish
between these laws, we should avoid setting an example which
spuriously lumps them together."