[pp.int.general] Fwd: <nettime> Richard Stallman: How the Swedish Pirate Party Platform Backfires on Free Software

Pasi Palmulehto scoffer at kofeiini.riippuvuus.net
Wed Jul 29 10:02:34 CEST 2009

I like it as well but it feels very problematic. It couldn't be forced
only for commercial software and I really don't want every software
developer to be obligated to register their software..it wouldn't ever
happen and forcing is not the way.

On the other hand, I could accept a situation where proprietary software
would have 5 years of protection, free software 10 years. This would
even courage developers to publish their software as GPL. This one have
problems too. I think it puts different licenses off the balance. As
much as I like GPL license, the law shouldn't judge what license is best
nor it should favor any. Some people even think GPL is not enough
freedom since you are obligated to use same license on derivatives (yes
there's a difference on freedom to use software and freedom of

Aside from all that, I think very few GPL software actually gets hurt by
losing the license since we think it should begin new protection time
for every new version, very rare wants to implement very old versions
into their workpiece.

Here's a press release I made about the news, I hope it's translated
good. (The date is wrong, I noticed it was only an update time and the
press release was already sent, big deal ;)

Pirate Party: Copyright reform poses no threat to GPL

Richard Stallman, founder of the Free Software Foundation, voiced his
opinion on Sunday 26th of July 2009 regarding the aim of the Pirate
Party to make software copyright expire after a certain period of time.
According to Stallman, it would be particularly harmful that free code
could be used in proprietary software without the benefits of GPL being
transferred to the new program. In reality, this applies to so few cases
that there is no sensible reason to write a special law based on these

The Finnish Pirate Party is lobbying for a copyright term of 5 to 10
years, an excruciatingly long time in the software world. Few people use
software from 10 years ago, and the use of 5-year-old software is
limited at best. Actively maintained software receives updates
periodically in its lifetime. New versions are published and the
copyright starts over for each of them. In these cases, earlier versions
do become free with age, but few software developers are interested in
old versions instead of the new, fixed and improved ones.

"Richard Stallman has participated actively in the mailing list of the
international Pirate Parties, and he has presented good viewpoints. The
question here is more about grasping onto details. Stallman supports
many of the goals of the Pirate Party" - Pasi Palmulehto, The leader of
Pirate Party Finland

GPL is a license which, instead of restrictions, aims to bring more
freedom to the software industry. In his article, Stallman proposes
creating a code bank from which source code would be released to public
use after the copyright has expired. GPL is compatible with many of the
stances of The Pirate Party. However, forming this kind of a database,
maintaining it, monitoring it, and making sure that all source code is
gathered to and released from it is not a realistic objective.

Pasi "Scoffa" Palmulehto
Leader of Finnish Pirate Party

> I like the escrow proposal.
> But, the Bern Convention requires that the copyrights are granted
> without the need of formaly registering the work. So, that makes me
> think that requiring deposit of source code in order to copyright it
> would be incompatible with the Bern Convention.
> Almost all countries in the world have signed this convention.

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