Techies getting involved in the federal election.

Bob Jonkman bjonkman at
Sat Apr 2 00:54:11 UTC 2011

As much as I love RMS, he's entirely wrong about the Pirate Party being 
bad for free and open source software.  The goals and policies of the 
Pirate Party of Canada are completely compatible with the goals of the 
Free Software Foundation and the four principles of software freedom.

Yes, PPCA advocates limiting copyright protection to a five year term, 
after which software (and other copyrighted works) would revert to the 
Public Domain.  And yes, this would allow the GPL to expire on such 
software, endangering derivative works to be locked up without free 
access to source code.  But for every proprietary derivative work there 
is equal opportunity for free and GPL protected derivative works to be 

And yes, encouraging (short) copyrighted software terms allows non-free 
software to exist, but also allows GPL protected works to exist.

There is nothing in the PPCA policies that require people to use 
non-free software, and nothing that prevents people from writing, using, 
modifying and distributing free and open source software.  Whether the 
term of copyright is five years, 50 years, or 50 years after the death 
of the author, it makes no difference to the uses of software released 
to the public domain.  In fact, a short term of copyright can only 
improve things.

--Bob Jonkman
(former Director of the Pirate Party of Canada)

On 2011-04-01 at 20:32:38  George Standish wrote:
> The "Pirate Party" would be bad for free and open source software.
> RMS's article on subject
> George
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