It turns out that software publishers really don’t like copyright law alone. It gives their customers far too many rights – in this case “first sale” rights – and they would much rather use contracts that avoid giving any rights similar to ownership.
Doing so allows them to control and manipulate the customer in ways the framers of copyright law never imagined and which negate the social contract – benefit to society in return for a limited monopoly – that is its foundation. The use of copyrights and patents as a lever to force contractual agreements is common and is rapidly eroding both our liberty and our cultural commons. Used with proprietary EULAs it is the antithesis of both software freedom and the Creative Commons.
“The American Library Association and eBay argued against the outcome. The library association said it feared that the software industry’s licensing practices could be adopted by other copyright owners, including book publishers, record labels and movie studios.”
Just in case you thought the article by Glyn Moody that I linked yesterday was a one-off, this techDirt article from earlier in the year alleges that sophistry is a BSA strategy rather than an accident.
Just as ForgeRock did recently, The Mozilla Foundation has become a licensee of the Open Invention Network so they can use OIN resources in the event of a patent attack. Note they are clear to point out that, like us, they are not endorsing software patents, just adopting an obvious and free defence against them.
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