1997-07-03 - Re: Liberating the Bits

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From: tzeruch@ceddec.com
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: 65dd646b57e2ddf6b129388f1f3f0842e1c5e44eac533f0f0ee2f3c3f293221b
Message ID: <97Jul3.120022edt.32259@brickwall.ceddec.com>
Reply To: <199707022134.PAA16117@wombat.sk.sympatico.ca>
UTC Datetime: 1997-07-03 16:42:57 UTC
Raw Date: Fri, 4 Jul 1997 00:42:57 +0800

Raw message

From: tzeruch@ceddec.com
Date: Fri, 4 Jul 1997 00:42:57 +0800
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: Re: Liberating the Bits
In-Reply-To: <199707022134.PAA16117@wombat.sk.sympatico.ca>
Message-ID: <97Jul3.120022edt.32259@brickwall.ceddec.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

On Wed, 2 Jul 1997, BigNuts wrote:

> Michael Stutz wrote:
> > On Tue, 1 Jul 1997, Tim May wrote:
> > 
> > > Technology liberates the bits.
> > 
> > Copyright law is not only useless on the net but inefficient; one need only
> > compare the performance of free, copylefted software versus proprietary,
>   Tim gave excellent information on how one can go about using 
> technology to enjoy the fruits of other people's labour without 
> contributing toward the survival of those producing the things
> he enjoys.

Or the same technology can restrict usage - strongly encrypted software
that checks digitally signatured dates and stops upon expiration.  If you
don't want to honor the private contracts (licensing agreements where
applicable), then something else will replace them.  Maybe it will be free
software (which does work better than commercial software, but doesn't
always have the desired features).  Maybe it will be the technonightmare.

A great deal of evil can be committed, and the only difference is that now
"government" as we know it will be unable to control it.

Over 200 years ago, both the United States and France rid themselves of
their monarchy.  One ended in liberty, the other in anarchy, eventually
reinstalling a coercive government.  When the communists lost power in
eastern europe, many died from not obeying the sensible traffic laws.

I think it depends on how ethical the individual people will be when
confronted by the anarchy of the internet.  If I govern myself, I don't
need big brother to do it.  Might doesn't make right, it can only destroy
and not create, and at best merely preserve the peace.

Nor is it ethics in a pure, merely altruistic sense.  I want Phil
Zimmerman to be around and writing software.  For that to happen, it is in
my interest to contribute to him, either directly (PGP Inc. could be the
PGP foundation), or indirectly.  I want Linux to do certain things, so I
write them, and because of the free software ethic, I add my work to the
public pool - it would be more expensive to try selling it.  But I make
money by consulting and using the software that is available.

Although I believe there is nothing new under the sun, the breakdown of a
paternal/maternal enforcement entity called "government" will force a
change in society.  There will be a "new" ethical system, which is cause
for both hope and fear.