David Olofson david at olofson.net
Wed Nov 16 12:59:43 UTC 2011

On Wednesday 16 November 2011, at 10.57.47, Louigi Verona 
<louigi.verona at gmail.com> wrote:
> Thanks for replying.
> Allow me to comment on a few things.
> "The concept of property just is artificial in general."
> All ideas and concepts are artificial in a way, however the concepts of
> property are based on an inescapable property of things
> to be scarce.
> [...]

I don't know about other people here, but I've only got 24 hours a day, some 
of which are lost to sleep and other activities, and I've most likely got only 
a few decades left to live. Time is a very scarce resource indeed.

Unfortunately, I've "wasted" most of my life so far on programming, music and 
various other things that are hard enough to make a living off of regardless 
of laws and other tools. Selling anything is really just "suggesting" that 
people pay for it, as only a few percent of the consumers will anyway.

That part is not really a problem, though! The *actual* market is only those 
few percent anyway, the rest concisting mostly of people that would just not 
bother if they couldn't get it for free. More importantly, that last group 
gives you free distribution and marketing!

So, from that point of view, copyright law is pretty much useless anyway. It's 
fighting a hopeless battle against the very nature of these things, and trying 
to enforce it is anything from pointless through devastatingly 
counterproductive. So, it could definitely be argued that copyright law is 
irrelevant in this context.

However, if just any business was legally allowed take anyone's "intellectual 
property" and make money off of it, paying no royalties or anything, that 
would be a problem. How would one prevent that without copyright law or 
similar tools? Never releasing any source code? Never releasing anything at 
all? (No significant difference in this context. Comments are mostly garbage 
anyway, and machine code is just another language.)

As to motivation, well sure, there will always be people doing all sorts of 
stuff just for fun, self-education etc - or because they just need it to get 
some job done.

Unfortunately, in the case of music, video games and various other things, the 
interesting part of making a polished, thoroughly enjoyable and/or useful 
product is generally only some 10% of the work. The rest is just hard, boring, 
frustrating work that will rarely ever get done without some other motivation 
than the work itself. It's not the kind of work that attracts contributors to 
a Free/Open Source project either, in cases where that is even applicable.

One could argue that "entertainment products" aren't really necessary anyway, 
so it wouldn't matter if people stopped making them. By that logic however, if 
you don't need the products, you don't need to pay for them either, so where's 
the problem...?

(Personally, I'll never rely on a proprietary, closed source engine or 
development tool ever again if I can help it, but that's a different situation 

//David Olofson - Consultant, Developer, Artist, Open Source Advocate

.--- Games, examples, libraries, scripting, sound, music, graphics ---.
|   http://consulting.olofson.net          http://olofsonarcade.com   |

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