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<title>Copyrighting fire! 
- GNU Project - Free Software Foundation</title>
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<h2>Copyrighting fire!</h2>

<p>I was in the pub last night, and a guy asked me for a light for his 
cigarette. I suddenly realised that there was a demand here and money to be 
made, and so I agreed to light his cigarette for 10 pence, but I didn't 
actually give him a light, I sold him a license to burn his cigarette. My 
fire-license restricted him from giving the light to anybody else, after all, 
that fire was my property. He was drunk, and dismissing me as a loony, but 
accepted my fire (and by implication the licence which governed its use) 
anyway. Of course in a matter of minutes I noticed a friend of his asking him 
for a light and to my outrage he gave his cigarette to his friend and pirated 
my fire! I was furious, I started to make my way over to that side of the bar 
but to my added horror his friend then started to light other people's 
cigarettes left, right, and centre! Before long that whole side of the bar 
was enjoying MY fire without paying me anything. Enraged I went from person 
to person grabbing their cigarettes from their hands, throwing them to the 
ground, and stamping on them.</p>

<p>Strangely the door staff exhibited no respect for my property rights as they 
threw me out the door.</p>

<p>--Ian Clarke</p>
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<p>Copyright © 2014 Ian Clarke</p>

<p>Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article is
permitted in any medium, provided this notice is preserved.</p>

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<p class="unprintable">Updated:
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$Date: 2021/01/29 17:07:22 $
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