Speaker Rusty Russell
Time 2009-01-20 16:30
Conference LCA2009

Question 0: Why Should I care?

  • We have to talk to others.
  • We have to understand what we are talking about.
  • What does it do?
  • What does it do, do?
  • Why does it do?

Traffic Light:

  • Stop traffic
  • So how long do they stay red? For ever!
  • but thats not what it is for, that is what it does.

Copyright law:

  • It stops copying.
  • Not what it is for.
  • A bit like a tax.
  • owner is the person who takes the tax, not the owner.

Erosion of property

  • people want value property, won’t do things with it.
  • If unauthorised copying == stealing, then lobbying to remove my property rights without compensation is ???
  • Not really a tax. No transfer actually happens. Just destruction.
  • Copyright owner doesn’t have access, all he can do is prevent people making copies.

Digital cropburning

  • Negative right.
  • Destruction of rights normally associated with ownership.

IP Market place

  • Is more expensive.
  • Does nothing.
  • Actually producing stuff is what matters.
  • IP Market is parasitic. Takes actual goods from market.
  • We hope it will increase market. In practise it may not.
  • What is the affect on the market place as a whole?
  • It is not a profit, it is a cost to society.

CC-By/Free Licenses

  • Restore most of your property rights.
  • Owner gives you most of the copyright rights.
  • Rights taken are so insignificant user doesn’t care.


  • They are shaped like Humans.
  • Very frustrating experience.

Intellectual property is a form of property. Real property (power) that has been destroyed. Not an imaginary property, that makes it sound less important, not more important.


  • reasonably good, need to keep eye on ball as to why they are required.


  • Many flaws
  • Temporary Monopoly. Temporary evil.
  • Structural flaws. Cannot be easily fixed.
  • Plan to extend to 100 years.

Copyright law

  • Proposed to have copyright on all property.