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Could Free Software Exist Without Copyright?

Glyn Moody (946055) writes | more than 4 years ago

GNU is Not Unix 0

Glyn Moody (946055) writes "The GNU GPL depends on copyright to work: "Developers that use the GNU GPL protect your rights with two steps: (1) assert copyright on the software, and (2) offer you this License giving you legal permission to copy, distribute and/or modify it." So what would happen if copyright were abolished (OK, I know...)? Would that mean that free software also disappears? Richard Stallman thinks not — and has a plan, just in case. But don't worry, RMS doesn't actually want to abolish copyright: "My proposal to make copyright last 10 years from date of publication is meant to be conservative. I agree that 5 years might be enough, and I have nothing against a shorter period. But I don't want to push for it to be that short." Who said he wasn't a pragmatist?"
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