*countable infinities only

Seth Johnson seth.p.johnson at gmail.com
Wed Jun 20 00:18:59 UTC 2012

Moral rights are from the Civil Code/French tradition.  We don't do
moral rights, although certain interests keep trying.  Moral rights in
the copyright context (I am unaware that they exist outside copyright)
are a right of attribution and a right of integrity.  We don't have
these in the US tradition.  I could live with a right of attribution,
kind of, but the integrity right would be a disaster.  The fact the US
and UK traditions don't have these kinds of copyright notions is one
of the things that is good in the context of information freedom.

I see the wikipedia page on moral rights lists them with natural or
inalienable rights.  My guess is that's a new notion, possibly part of
a scheme to confuse the concept of moral rights in copyright law with
the most fundamental rights.  Copyright is a statutory right in
America, which means Congress could, if it had the will, change
copyright to suit the digital age -- so just keep that distinction
clear.  Far better to talk natural or inalienable rights than use a
terminology that can give us a lot of trouble in copyright.


On Tue, Jun 19, 2012 at 4:40 AM, Andrew Haley <aph at redhat.com> wrote:
> On 06/18/2012 06:18 PM, Adam Williamson wrote:
>> I hesitate to put words in people's mouths, and correct me if I'm
>> wrong, but it reads to me as if Jay and others are arguing from an
>> incorrect premise. That premise is to assume that there is a
>> God-given right for people who own computing devices to retrofit
>> alternative operating systems onto those devices.
>> I want to put it out there that this is _not true_.
> The problem with this claim is that it equivocates on the meaning of
> "a right".  There are at least two definitions of "a right" in this
> sense: moral rights and legal rights.  These are not the same.  Moral
> rights are not in the gift of any Government.  While we may not have a
> legal right to run whatever software we wish on hardware we own, it's
> not at all unreasonable to claim a moral right to do so.
> Andrew.
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