Slashdot, the 15-year old popular technology discussion site, recently had their readers come up with a list of their top questions to ask Linus Torvalds, Linux’s creator. The results were interesting.
For example, the first question presumed that Torvalds was anti-patent and copyright. Eh… no, he’s never really been either. As Torvalds explained, “I like copyrights, and even on patents I’m not necessarily in the ‘Patents are completely evil. camp. When I rant about patents or copyrights, I rant against the *excesses* and the bad policies, not about them existing in the first place.”
And, as for copyright, “I don’t understand why people were that surprised, but I understand even *less* why people then thought that ‘copyrights have problems’ would imply ‘copyright protection should be abolished.’ The second doesn’t follow at all.”
What Torvalds does have problems with are, “I was talking about things like ‘life of author+70 years’ and the corporate 95-year version. That’s *ridiculous*. Couple that with the difficulty of judging fair use etc, and it really hinders things like archival of material, making of documentaries, yadda yadda…”