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It’s not super simple. It’s not even simple. In fact, it’s hard.

Dave writes in response to my blog that asked for some empirical basis for the software copyright spat:

For crying out loud David, it’s super simple. If I build a house I can live in it as long as I want. If I want to rent out rooms I can do that too, as long as I want.

I don’t know what the right answer is. I am hugely suspicious of arguments by analogy when the things being compared are different in contentious ways…like houses and software. I do think we’d get closer if we looked at some data. And I am 100% positive that the issue isn’t super-simple because if it were, smart, well-intentioned people like Winer and Lessig would agree about it.

For a brief article from three years ago about why arguments by analogy fail when applied to the Web click here and page down to the subhead “Floundering Morality.” It’s about ThirdVoice. Ah, the good old days!

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