light from the sources     
by fravia+, project started in January 2005, updated in January 2005 (version 2.1)

In matters of "copyright" (but as the Free Software Foundation points out, we should rather speak of imposed PATENTS, not of alleged "rights", nor of mythical "intellectual property"), the powers that be have long ago started a ruthless battle against each one of us.
So I thought that we might as well fight back :-)

Multinationals' only concern is to maximise their "intellectual property" privileges around the world. Co-ordinated, continuous pressure from mighty corporations – mainly pharmaceutical giants – have succeeded (through their political lackeys) in making "rights and patents" issues a core priority of the global trade policy.

YET the current and "global" GATT copyright laws *MUST BE* based on the Berne convention, at least since 1988, following the signature of the TRIPS (Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) agreement: ""With respect to copyright, parties are required to comply with the substantive provisions of the Berne Convention for the protection of literary and artistic works"", that was added to the "Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organisation", and was signed in Morocco on 15th April 1994.

Berne offered protection lasting until 50 years after an author’s death. With the TRIPS agreement, the length of this term was extended (in order to harmonize all EU-laws with Germany) to the life of the author plus 70 years. And that's it! After 70 years it's back to mama public domain :-)


Fighting back

In order to fight back, as usual, our first task is to "reverse" the situation: ok, we hate patents... we find that intellectual patents are inherently evil. But -alas- patents HAVE been imposed by the powers that be. So what can we do? (Legally, I mean, because illegally everyone and his dog is already doing his outmost: software protections' cracking, anonymous mass-uploading of copyrighted material, peer to peer & torrent mass-downloading like there were no tomorrow)... What can we do legally?
A lot: first of all a patent, while evil, does assure that after the appointed length of time, inventions and "intellectual products" do become open to the public for all time. Henceforth they are NOT PATENTBAR any more: once back in the public domain (which is eo ipso a domain in which contents are free from intellectual property rights), any masterpiece of thought will never be appropriated again under any intellectual property law :-)
Methinks that's quite an important point.

This means that if we ignore (as we easily can :-) all actual, modern, "patented" intellectual properties, we can have at the same time all the modern free non patented ones AND the older masterpieces that went back in the public domain after 70 years.
For the first case, modern patents, not being able to use them for free can be often enough a typical case of "good riddance": the free alternatives may be (and mostly are) waaay better, and this is not only true for pharmaceutical products... For software, for instance, see our free unpatented sotware collections and all the LGPL (GNU Library or Lesser General Public License) applications.
For the second case, older masterpieces, see below: basically the fact that we, the public, (owners of the public domain) are *millions* on the web, while the corporations and all assorted patent defenders (owners of the patents) are but a bunch of well-paid clowns, means that *we* can row with force against the foetid commercial morasses and sail the whole web back into our clear sea of share currents.

Everyone can give his own valuable contribution. Choose a target you know well: if you are -say- a musicist take, for instance, the complete 6th symphony of Mahler. Complete: scores, music in mp3 or ogg format, explanations, history, discography, everything!
Prepare and upload your own contribution on the web!
Gustav Mahler, our example, died in 1911,and 1911+70 means that the copyrights for his music and work ended more than 20 years ago: in 1981.
You can and should publish something yourself: chose a subject you love and know and become a "legal Pirate"! Scanners cost nothing nowadays, and you already know how to search :-) Welcome on board!

Oh, yes, some people wont like it. Not a all. Check first if the subject you have in mind is already on the web or not. In many cases it will be, but chances are that somebody will be 'selling' it. People are supposed to pay even for the res publicae nowadays :-(

This will also -if well made- assure you qvasi-immortality: let's say you are a young american: your useless web-blog will last a couple of years at most, while, instead, your web-edition of -say- "In dubious battle" by John Steinbeck (copyright 1936... 1936+70=2006 :-) will be used by people all over the world for free during the next 200 (or 2000?) years :-)

I have decided to present an example myself, and to give my own lasting contribution to the web: which consists, fittingly with my past studies, in the accurate scanning of some great early medieval sources. I have decided, to begin with, to spread into the deep Web the complete collated version of the Origo Gentis Langobardorum, that I have scanned from Georg Waitz's authoritative edition, in MGH (Monumenta Germaniae Historica) SSrrLang (Scriptores rerum Langobardicarum et Italicarum saec. VI-IX), Hannover 1878. This text was not available on the web together with its fundamental footnotes and variants (until now).

Admittedly most of the examples I have made above are about 'classics'. But there are some good reasons for that.
Have you ever wondered WHY activities like reading poetry, or hearing classics, or studying for years philosophical masterpieces, are not 'pushed' in today's world? Why do our societies, instead, push kids and teens to continued consume, whipping them with "trends" and "modes"? Why should they be interested more in the most ephemerical aspects of life than in the "aeternal" ones? Because -simplistically put- there's not really much money you can make out of poetry and philosophy, nor from things that would last for the eternity.

Almost every conceveible human activity has been transformed in a guinea-pig stable for forced consumerism, whipped along through heavy advertisement strokes.
You used to take a bike, any bike would do, in order to move around your town, gratis and quickly. Now you are supposed first of all to "dress" like "a biker", and secondly to use "special alloys", "advanced gears" and whatsnot in order to SPEND money. Samo samo with -say- mountain trekking and with any other 'sport' activity. All of them have been transformed into huge traps for consumerism junkies.

Things wont change on the short term. They may even get worse, so excuse my rant. But I still hope that Joe Doe will now publish on the Web my Steinbeck, and that Franz Schmidt will publish -say- Schopenhauer's "Parerga und Paralipomena", Frankfurt am Main 1850, and Paul Dupont will publish -say- Jules Verne's "L'île mystérieuse"... Oops, he already did! (and in english as well :-)
The Web is a 22 billion sites huge library, collection of images, repository of software, music, newspapers and books, OUR LIBRARY whose powerful muscles may still flex under the commercial fat... let's have everything that should be in the pulic domain REALLY where it belongs!

And you know something? It's not really necessary to state all the above. Many people have been already doing exactly this, all the time, by themselves, I'm just a late comer, a legal pirate myself, proudly joining them right now.

Ho ho! And a bottle of legal Rum!

Fravia+, January 2005

This is in fieri and subject to many changes. Readers are encouraged to share their innermost thoughts and express feedback. Your witty sarcasm, careful nit-picking, swell ideas and suggestions and constructive critics are welcome.

To the Project "Origo"

Courtesy of

The contents herein are highly sensitive material, and as a result, have been registered with the United States Copyright Office; Federal Law mandates that we affix our publication with the indication that the entire contents are Copyright (c) 2005, by fravia+
The stupid reader is reminded that any transcribing thereof is steadfastly discouraged, as is the illicit theft of images to promote puerile and wretched music recordings. As well, this is the second printing of this issue, so the uninitiated reader may lament his or her loss of the thrill of the new.