I'm a singer/songwriter, musician, Computer Science student and software developer from Toronto, Canada. You can learn more about me on my website.
I've just created an account. Here are some quick thoughts. I may contribute these ideas elsewhere on the wiki when I have a chance.
In RMS' talk on copyright, he said that different freedoms apply to different types of works. He defined three categories:
- Functional works (ie. tools, e.g. software, recipes, manuals, etc.) - the four freedoms should apply to all these works
- Works of opinion (e.g. an essay) - only freedom 2 applies, freedom 0 and 1 are irrelevant and freedom 3 is bad (you shouldn't have the right to modify someone else's opinion)
- Works of art: this is the one area where limited (e.g. 5, 10 years) copyright would make sense. The artificial monopoly is not destructive for works of art in the same way that it is for functional works because works of art aren't necessary tools for anything that we do. Therefore, it's reasonable to have restrictions on commercial redistribution for a limited period of time to encourage the creation of works. Non-commercial verbatim distribution should be fine though. What about the remix? How do you distinguish between commercial or non-commercial? Broadcast should be fine, but does a commercial/non-commercial distinction affect that?
I don't think that applying all four freedoms to all three categories makes sense. Neither did RMS in his talk.