[Foundation-l] [announcement] new staff member in business development

Ray Saintonge saintonge at telus.net
Sun May 20 17:49:13 UTC 2007

Thomas Dalton wrote:

>>Yeah, and since your contract agreement at $100 explicitely does not
>>allow you to resell the feed to a third party, you would engage into
>>illegal activity as well.
>That's a much more definite point. A datafeed involves a contractual
>agreement between the two parties, so you can impose whatever
>restrictions you like. A simple sale of a tangible item does not.
What the statutes say is only one part of the law; actual enforcement is 
quite another.  If Anthony buys for $100 and sells for $200 who is going 
to feel inclined to go across the country to begin a legal action to 
recover damages.  The worst damage that can be done to him in practical 
terms is to cut off his data feed.  At that point he can perhaps restart 
it with another name and account until that too is discovered.

Restrictions that are not easily enforceable are a waste of time.  The 
movie and recording industries are rapidly discovering that.  Copyright 
law has been looking more foolish every day.  What made it work in the 
past was the sheer impracticality of infringement.  Industry could 
expand the restrictiveness of re-use because there weren't enough people 
to care about writing NPOV into copyright law.

What has changed is that people copying a DVD can produce a high quality 
copy and don't see themselves as doing anything wrong.  When copying was 
from a vinyl record to tape it could be done at home but the quality was 
often not there.  The process was also slower and more tedious.  Now 
that the technical restrictions are gone, except for the artificial ones 
like DRM gimmicks, few people see anything wrong in personal copying and 
distributing copies to friends.  Sure, it's a form of disrespect for the 
law, but respect for law depends on a perception that the law is fair.  
As Wikipedians we tend to see law mostly in terms of intellectual 
property and libel law, but to those who focus on that limited range of 
law I can only say, "You ain't seen nothin' yet."

For us it means that we should not base policy on unenforceable law.

>>Datafeed is one of the way we can make money. Which will allow us to pay
>>the accountant.
>>Which will allow us to provide all the financial information you are
>>noisily requesting.
>>If you count in "actual cost" uniquely the bandwidth cost, $100 could
>>make it. But running an organization uniquely counting as cost, the
>>bandwidth, is seriously being out of it.
>It's a matter of priorities. Is it more important to get as much free
>information as possible out there right now, or to be still able to
>get free information out in a year's time? Anthony seems to believe
>the former, you the latter. Both are valid points of view.
Yes.  Without product there is no profit; without profit there is no 
product.  At some point along the way it takes more than altruism to 
keep the horse running.  We have yet to delve into the broader economic 
and social impacts of such a project.  We are assembling intellectual 
capital, but we have yet to reconcile that with more traditional forms 
of capital.


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