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Re: <nettime> Linux strikes back III
Martin Hardie on Fri, 17 Oct 2003 14:50:20 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> Linux strikes back III

Hi Ben

thanks for the note.

I think copyleft is a new way of thinking or maybe a new ay of suing old
lawand ideas  but even if you are right it is not the end of the story.

It has created a situation I think were all developers and users have a 
legal or equitable interest in the goods they develop or use. Thats my 
opinion. What interests me though is that OF FS is creating a form of 
organisation and property "beyond property" "beyond corporations".

I think thus we should start tossing legal around ideas that match that 
status - my work with Aboriginal artists in Australia has led me to 
start to think of things in terms of "maintaining the integrity of the 
project" which can be derived from the principles of equity and the 
notion of a fiduciary relationship. A some of my colleagues here on 
nettime know I have been tossing around ideas to try and draw some 
parallels between the way community knowledge has been dealt with in the 
Aboriginal context and its similarities with the production of community 
knowledge such as OS FS.

Again to me this is just a starting point but it is one that at least 
leads me to be able to legally rationalise OS FS "beyond property" and 
in terms of obligations between peers that are enforceable against third 

You see what I am trying to do is move or think about ways of moving the 
legal language beyond property and contract at a pace somewhat closer to 
the philosophical thinking or logics of the machine. I am trying to 
rewrite some of this just now with the view of it being published some 
time next year (in french it seems!). But I am happy to share it with 
anyone who is interested in such a project in its current state on the 
understanding that my views are moving as I read and write and conduct 
discussions like this.

In the current state I think there are ways in which you (Mozilla/5.0 
(X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.5) Gecko/20031007) and I  (Mozilla/5.0 
(X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.4.1) Gecko/20031008) have a case 
against SCO and the proprietary owners of Mozilla and Linux or the FSF 
for that matter for not taking adequate steps to protect our interests 
against the threats made by SCO. This situation does come about because 
of the existence of the GPL - I agree - it is a new way of thinking 
about things but it has also created these rights and obligations which 
do not depend upon contract and maybe not even copyright.

So I think there is another way, I don't suggest yet it is perfected or 
that I have flushed it out in a manner that satisfies my curiosity but 
with many eyes ... what was its about the bugs going away.

Keep talking


Benjamin Geer wrote:

> Martin Hardie wrote:
>> 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?
> Perhaps copyleft *is* a new way of thinking about law.  Witness the 
> confusion it's causing in the minds of people like SCO's executives 
> and their lawyers.
> Stallman's position, as I understand it, is that he would have been 
> happy to use something other than copyright to protect the freedom of 
> free software, but that as far as he could tell, there was no other 
> way.  Maybe you could suggest one?
> Ben

"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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