Open Source: Did You Know We’re All Theives?

…Pavlovich is a leader in the so-called “open source” movement, which is dedicated to the proposition that material, copyrighted or not, should be made available over the Internet for free. Acting in concert with like-minded individuals throughout the world, Pavlovich engaged in purposeful, unlawful conduct…

…Pavlovich is a leader in the so-called “open source” movement, which is dedicated to the proposition that material, copyrighted or not, should be made available over the Internet for free. Acting in concert with like-minded individuals throughout the world, Pavlovich engaged in purposeful, unlawful conduct…

According to this by theDVD CCA, Mr. Matthew Pavlovich is a leader of the “Open Source Movement”. I wonder if he knew that? Most of us that wanted to use DVD’s on Linux might know Mr. Pavlovich from either the DVD lawsuits or LiViD – The Linux Video Project.

One thing is apparent, the DVD CCA believes Open Source participants are theives, that we are a type of organized crime, and insists that reverse engineering is illegal. None of which is true. Sound familiar? Yes, this is similar to what the MPAA has been saying in public and what one federal judge also seems to believe.

Under copyright laws in most countries, the simple act of copying is not against the law. You may make as many copies as you want, but copyright laws restrict what you may do with those copies. Most of our open source licenses rely upon the concept of copyrights. Without copyright, we would not be able to place conditions for copying our material. The GPL, “copyleft”, uses copyright protection to require the release of source code for the original and derivative works as a condition of distribution of copies. Knowingly or not, most of us honor other’s copyright with the hope that they will also honour our copyrights and licenses (MPAA, I hope your still not stealing other people’s JavaScript!). If there is something that we want, we will usually:

    1. Try to find an alternative “free” version.
    2. Try to make a free version ourselves.
    3. Purchase it or don’t use it at all.

Our definition of “free” is free as in freedom, not free as in free beer!

The so called “Open Source Movement” is a grass roots movement. There is really no organized movement, it is just the largest grouping of our community with similar ideas. If the open source movement was a country, the state or province will be the different types of open source ideals (GPL, BSD, Artistic, etc. licenses), the cities, towns, or villages will be the different projects (Debian, Gnome, Apache, Ghostscript) which can also consist districts or other towns, smaller projects (mod_perl, DBI). As with most groups, if you get large, you end up being a group of groups, and in the process, less organized as a whole.

The DVD CCA insists that reverse engineering, the act of trying to find out how something works by taking it apart, is illegal. This is the part that confuses me the most.

  • The original CSS descrambler system was originally released in a country in which there is no law against reverse engineering.
  • The United States law has historically supported reverse engineering.
  • The IEEE-USA also believes that the United States Constitution supports reverse engineering.

I can’t seem to find anything that can back their claim that reverse engineering is illegal. It just seems to be a “just because” argument.

Author: Thomas Dorsey

News Service: TECHNOCRAT.NET

URL: http://www.technocrat.net/967439782/index_html

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