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Stefan's headers [was:Names and identifiers]

On 2018-06-08, Chris Angelico <rosuav at gmail.com> wrote:
> Yes, this is true. It's not copyright that is unenforceable, but the
> copyright notice in his message. Nobody is denying that he owns his
> own words; but by posting them on a public forum, he - like everyone
> else here - is implicitly granting us the right to read them.

Copyright law protects copying - you don't need permission to read
things, except inasmuch as the words must be copied onto your screen
in order for you to see them.

The question is whether he's implicitly granting the right for his
posts to be copied to all the places that Usenet posts will generally
get copied to when one posts them, or whether his header message
explicitly disavowing such permission overrides the implicit grant.

I'd suggest that since the processes he's purporting to disallow are
entirely standard and automated and he knows full well they exist and
that there is no mechanism by which they could be affected by his
notice, the notice has little effect.

> Right. Imagine if I write a poem, just like you say, and then I have
> the words posted on a gigantic billboard. In small print in the bottom
> corner of the billboard, I say "Copyright 2018 Chris Angelico. Taking
> photographs of this billboard is forbidden.". Do I still own copyright
> in the poem? Definitely. Can I stop people from (or sue people for)
> taking photos of the billboard? Probably not, although that's one for
> the lawyers to argue.

You probably can actually. I'm not an expert but I seem to recall the
rules are along the lines that you can't complain if your billboard
happens to appear incidentally in the background of a photograph,
but if someone takes a photo specifically *of* the billboard, your
copyright is infringed.

>> PS IMO copyright laws should be abolished altogether. At the very least
>> one should pay for copyright protection. One ?1 for the first year, ?2
>> for the second, ?4 for the third and so on exponentially.
> Why should I have to pay money for the right to own my own creations?

Because ideas are not inherently property. Why should you get to "own"
a particular sequence of notes, or words, or colours? Why should the
government grant you and enforce an ability to prevent other people
singing those notes, or writing those words, or painting those colours?

> Copyright laws and international treaties are there to protect content
> creators and encourage creation. They need to have set expiration time
> (IMO 50 years is long enough - not "50 years since author's death" but
> 50 years since publication) after which the work becomes free to use,
> but the protections are important and extremely useful.

That was the original intention of copyright certainly, but I'd
hope that it is relatively non-controversial that the terms limits
on copyright these days have skewed the balance far too much in
favour of copyright owners and away from the public.

> Open source would not exist without copyright, because it is
> copyright law that gives license terms their meaning

That's patent nonsense. The only reason, in general, that open source
even requires any licence terms because of the existence of copyright
law. Sure, you couldn't do tricks like the GPL without copyright law,
but then there would be much less *need* for the GPL without copyright