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Re: <nettime> Linux strikes back III
Martin Hardie on Fri, 17 Oct 2003 11:08:20 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> Linux strikes back III

some clarification/elaboration or maybe not:

The thread of Morlock's intervention that struck home for me was found 
at the beginning and end of his post:

>The whole  FSF/GPL thing is silly,
combined with:

>And no, I don't delegate fuckers from FSF/Cygnus to represent me.
So for me this is the important part of this sub thread of this thread i
ignore the rest of what he said 
(no offence mate)

in response to my last titbit (it pretends to be nothing more) Ian 
Dickson became "confused". I could do a Florian and add "no comment" but 
I don't have his euro style (i am indeed an ugly aussie)

I had to reread Ian's comments but will try below to flesh out where i 
was going (I think I raised some of this a few months back re SCO/Linux etc)

What I think I am getting at is that the OS FSF FLOSS machine is said to 
herald a new form of organising, a new form of producing, beyond markets 
and the firm (to borrow from Benkler). It is to use the phrase in 
essence "rhizomatic". Although as we see may have some so labelled 
benevolent dicators symbolised by penguins and such, we have no centre, 
no directive telling us what to do, what to make. You have a problem to 
solve, a need to cater for and that problem may be solved by you or 
someone else creating the tool or a version, prottype which caters for 
that need. I hope I am doing the system justice in this brief 
description and although people may pick at some of it the gist is taken 
as given or fair enough. We have in effect the P2P form of organisation 
at its height.

Now, fine, we or some of us like and even adopt these forms of 
organisation, these active forces of life and creation. Some even herald 
them as the coming of a new society, the final dawn of communism or the 
second coming of christ. We see this way of doing things as being beyond 
the old corporate/proprietary ways, open, free, etc etc this is the 
jargon. We have moved beyond property in terms of the product, we have 
moved beyond representation in terms of the organisation ... (am I 
confused or is anyone with me?) ..

OK but when we come to talking about "the law" or methods of maintaining 
the integrity of the project most people seem to want to rely on the 
suits and their methods - it is we can be P2P but the law can't be 
mentality; we can be beyond property - but when we want to maintain our 
project we must fall back on property - that is old forms of positive 
rigid law.

Why can't fsfer's think of law and its organisation in ways other than 
proprietary/closed systems? Why do people who profess to be at the 
cutting edge, pushing Paul Keating's proverbial envelope, feel the need 
to hide behind old ways of thinking about law?
Why when someone proposes to move to think about law in another way its 
said it can't work ... Ian's comments remind me, or echo those who say 
OS FSF P2P can't work as noone is in control, there is no body to 
represent the machine:.

I am not saying deny enforcement - law can be imagined, practiced and 
made that is beyond the old forms that came with the old way of doing 
things. I am not saying the FSF can't do its job but orgainsations 
cannot profess to represent everyone all the time. If I as a Linux user 
want to sue SCO for threatening my rights why can't I. I have a "cause 
of action". If the FSF wants to do it as well why can't they - and if 
they don't take actio but continue to claim to represent me or Morlock,
or if the proprietary owner of the OS thing I want to use without threat
refuses to take appropriate action (hey linus move your arse and clobber
SCO for me) - I might sue them or threaten to. 

One thing I learnt when i was a lawyer working on copyright cases was that
the more threats made against the respective bad guy, the more headaches to deal with the quicker they
come to their senses.

But dear Ian - you sound like someone who says OS can't work .... but I 
don't think  thats what you meant. All I just wanted to suggest  is that
we think about law like we think about the other things we talk about here
and not get stuck in the old ways.

The GPL is a start - it has radically changed the game; but we have to
continue to move forward.

Am I clearer now ... I can go on!


"the riddle which man must solve, he can only solve in being, in 
being what he is and not something else...."

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