Your take on Intellectual Property

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linuxuser159
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Your take on Intellectual Property

Post by linuxuser159 »

Is it ethical or just to own ideas and intangible things?

How is your opinion motivated? religion, philosophy, reasoning, law ... etc
Last edited by linuxuser159 on Sat Jun 04, 2011 7:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Your tak on Intellectual Property

Post by Habitual »

low hanging fruit....
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Re: Your tak on Intellectual Property

Post by richnbernie »

linuxuser159 wrote:Is it ethical or just to own ideas and intangible things?

How is your opinion motivated? religion, philosophy, reasoning, law ... etc
I do not have a tak but I do have a take, just a lot of blah, blah.

rich
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Re: Your tak on Intellectual Property

Post by ThistleWeb »

I wrote most of this as a reply, then realized I hadn't done a blog post in a while and this would make a good post, so it's there instead of here. http://thistleweb.co.uk/blog/04/06/2011 ... l-property
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Re: Your tak on Intellectual Property

Post by linuxuser159 »

ThistleWeb wrote:I wrote most of this as a reply, then realized I hadn't done a blog post in a while and this would make a good post, so it's there instead of here. http://thistleweb.co.uk/blog/04/06/2011 ... l-property
great article

If it is not profitable to sell software the same way a tangible commodity is sold, it was never meant to be a profitable business. Instead, our freedoms and constitutional/human rights are violated by creating all these absurd intellectual laws, in order to make these businesses profitable
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Re: Your tak on Intellectual Property

Post by linuxuser159 »

richnbernie wrote:
linuxuser159 wrote:Is it ethical or just to own ideas and intangible things?

How is your opinion motivated? religion, philosophy, reasoning, law ... etc
I do not have a tak but I do have a take, just a lot of blah, blah.

rich
thanks for pointing out the typo ... or was it :evil:
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Re: Your take on Intellectual Property

Post by Midnighter »

"Intellectual Property" is a made-up term used as an umbrella including Copyright, Trademark, and Patents, when these things are all different from one another. People use this term when they are relating to either one, and try to twist things to make them all sound part and parcel of the same thing, when they are not.

I've no real issue with copyright or trademark, tho it does need a shake-up, and it needs to stop being extended to suit the whims of the big labels and businesses. It's long been changed from what it was originally intended for. By it, I mean the laws for these "protections". "Intellectual property" doesn't exist. They either have Copyright, trademarks, or patents. Protections on a physical creation are reasonable to a certain degree, but the protections have been extended under pressure from businesses to such a degree that it's ridiculous, and far out of tune to what it was originally intended for. It's a joke.
If you accept - and I do - that freedom of speech is important, then you are going to have to defend the indefensible. That means you are going to be defending the right of people to read, or to write, or to say, what you don't say or like or want said.
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Re: Your take on Intellectual Property

Post by japan1 »

Richard Stallman came to talk about this kind of thing at my Uni a few months ago, and it was really interesting to hear his idea's (there was free food too).

He specifically talked about the 'dangers of software patents', and although he's a little fanatical, I do agree that software patents, and licensing can hold smaller developers back. He did a tour of similar lectures and they're on Youtube, worth watching I'd say :)
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Re: Your take on Intellectual Property

Post by gordon.cooke »

A lot arguments on this topic seem to center around the idea that ideas are intangible, therefore cannot be property, and then make a leap that they should automatically be shared freely without restriction. Let me put out some analogy here:
Lets take the case of a potter. He gets raw clay for $1 then spends an hour making a pot. Should you only pay him $1 for the pot? That is all that the tangible physical material costs? Most of us would say no, a finished pot is worth more than a lump of raw clay. Lets say it is a $5 pot. Does the extra value only derive from the time it took him to make the pot, ie one hour labor = $4? Lets say his pots are fully functional but very utilitarian, rough around the edges and such. The potter across the street makes very fine pots. They are equally functional, but much better craftsmanship. It would take the first potter hours to make such a thing and he may not be able to at all. Should the second potter only get the same $5? Most would say no, he makes nicer pots and they might be worth $10. From this point we can deduce that the value of the work the potters do is NOT simply the worth of their time. The skill and knowledge they each have is worth something. Their is value in what they know.

The better potter could teach the first what he knows about pottery. Must he do this for free? Is he morally required to teach his competitor how to make equally good pots and loose part of his business? Is he ethically obligated to pass on this knowledge without any compensation in return? If, as above, the knowledge has value then certainly he should be able to charge the first potter for the training (and any other young potters). And if they student potter cannot afford the value of the knowledge... ?

Yes- there are people who make pottery as a hobby and will give away their pots. Perhaps the master potter offers to make his friend a pot for free (or maybe just for the $1 of clay). Both professional potters might even get together to offer to make and donate a whole set of pots to a local orphanage or soup kitchen. Are they morally obligated to do so, with no choice, OR is it THEIR decision to do so, from THEIR freedom to control their knowledge.

So what do pots have to do with intellectual property? If you didn't catch it, it's not about the pots, it is about the intangible knowledge of how to make pots. Knowledge does have value. Now, the IP discussion in terms of the 4 freedoms is NOT just about money. I acknowledge that. But the money represents the value, and people are not prone to just throw around and give out something that has value.

I think something that occasionally gets lost in the discussion is what is the point of IP protections and what is the consequence of not having them? The point of patents is not to prevent sharing of information, on the contrary the whole point is to encourage disclosure and sharing of information. Without any incentives, why would someone share something that has value for nothing in return? Lacking any protections, the person with the knowledge will simply not share it at all. Everything would be a trade secret-- as long as I tell no one, I will be the only one who knows, I will have an advantage, and will continue until the other guy figures it out themselves without my help. Such an attitude is not helpful, but to ignore this aspect of human nature is naive. Yes, some will still share anyway but this may be related to the perceived value of what they know.

So inventors find ways to do great new things independently and dont tell anyone else how they did it and everyone is spending a lot of time not getting very far trying to recreate what someone else already did. Along comes the government with the patent system (for example) and offers a deal. If you disclose what you know, so everyone else can see it and make it better, we will give you a limited monopoly to use your idea and make money from it. You get to recoup your investment however you want (even give it away for free) but everyone else has the knowledge to work with in the meantime and will likely have the next step as soon as (or before) your monopoly is up. Thats the idea in theory anyway.

We can even see how relying on free exchange without these protections plays out right within the FOSS community. GPL says if you share your software at all you MUST share the code (knowledge). Everyone complains about Google. They have (presumably) figured out some great improvements to FOSS code. Their options are a) share the software and the code so even their competitor could use it or b) dont share it at all. They do not have the option to share the utility of what they created without disclosing how to do it. It is kind of like saying the master potter cannot sell a pot unless he also offers to teach everyone who buys a pot how to make on just a nice. Thats too cumbersome and he doesnt want to so he sits home making himself the best pots, everyone wants one, but no one can get the pot- even the people who dont care to learn how its done. the result. Not only does the community not have the knowledge of 'how' it works, we also don't even have the thing or can only get the thing in one place.

I think the patent system has issues and needs reform. Copyright needs some revision to catch up with new media/copy technology. I dont believe patents are appropriate for software. Personally I dont see how software even manages to use BOTH a copyright AND a patent.

ALSO I believe that creators are entitled to decide for themselves how their creations are used/shared. If a programmer wants to give away their code thats great, but thats their choice and there is nothing wrong with if they don't. One thing I dont like about the GPL is that it takes away the freedom of choice from future developers who make improvements. You can use my code because I have chosen to share, but you are only allowed to use it IF you also give away your improvement to everyone, ELSE you are not allowed to use it. To me that is not freedom, that is strong arming the next guy and potentially denying them use of your code. A more free idea would be- I have chosen to give away my code, you are free to use and improve it, AS LONG AS you pass on my code; it is YOUR CHOICE to give away your improvements also, or not and just pass on the original. THAT is freedom, and still allows the open code to live on.
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Re: Your take on Intellectual Property

Post by linuxuser159 »

gordon.cooke wrote:A lot arguments on this topic seem to center around the idea that ideas are intangible, therefore cannot be property, and then make a leap that they should automatically be shared freely without restriction. Let me put out some analogy here:
Lets take the case of a potter. He gets raw clay for $1 then spends an hour making a pot. Should you only pay him $1 for the pot? That is all that the tangible physical material costs? Most of us would say no, a finished pot is worth more than a lump of raw clay. Lets say it is a $5 pot. Does the extra value only derive from the time it took him to make the pot, ie one hour labor = $4? Lets say his pots are fully functional but very utilitarian, rough around the edges and such. The potter across the street makes very fine pots. They are equally functional, but much better craftsmanship. It would take the first potter hours to make such a thing and he may not be able to at all. Should the second potter only get the same $5? Most would say no, he makes nicer pots and they might be worth $10. From this point we can deduce that the value of the work the potters do is NOT simply the worth of their time. The skill and knowledge they each have is worth something. Their is value in what they know. .
let's say a pot is worth $1 (clay) plus $4 (effort/craftsmanship).

would you pay the potter $4 and walk away without anything?
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Re: Your take on Intellectual Property

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All I'm seeing is a really bad analogy.

Most ideas are based on, or built on, the ideas of others. Copyright and trademark exist to protect most creations.
If you accept - and I do - that freedom of speech is important, then you are going to have to defend the indefensible. That means you are going to be defending the right of people to read, or to write, or to say, what you don't say or like or want said.
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Re: Your take on Intellectual Property

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gordon.cooke wrote:So what do pots have to do with intellectual property? If you didn't catch it, it's not about the pots, it is about the intangible knowledge of how to make pots. Knowledge does have value. Now, the IP discussion in terms of the 4 freedoms is NOT just about money. I acknowledge that. But the money represents the value, and people are not prone to just throw around and give out something that has value.
You argument is flawed. Pots are physical objects. If you have 10 pots and I steal 5 of them, you only have 5 left. Those 10 pots cost you money for clay, and time to make each. It's a scarce good, it's also a product that's available to sell, or give away as you see fit. It costs you 100 times as much to make 100 pots as to make and store 1.

IP is about intangible things, ideas that any number of people can have, yet is apparently owned by one, even if that one doesn't actually do anything with it, they can still make money from the others who do. Anyone who assumes only they could have an idea for something unique is deluded. I have lots of ideas for new sites, projects and businesses, just because I've never heard of them doesn't mean I'm the only one to think about them, and if others take that same idea and turn it into a successful business, good on them, I have NO claim whatsoever on their success. IP says the opposite.

Digital products are simply files that are duplicated on demand at no cost.
gordon.cooke wrote:I think something that occasionally gets lost in the discussion is what is the point of IP protections and what is the consequence of not having them? The point of patents is not to prevent sharing of information, on the contrary the whole point is to encourage disclosure and sharing of information. Without any incentives, why would someone share something that has value for nothing in return? Lacking any protections, the person with the knowledge will simply not share it at all. Everything would be a trade secret-- as long as I tell no one, I will be the only one who knows, I will have an advantage, and will continue until the other guy figures it out themselves without my help. Such an attitude is not helpful, but to ignore this aspect of human nature is naive. Yes, some will still share anyway but this may be related to the perceived value of what they know.

So inventors find ways to do great new things independently and dont tell anyone else how they did it and everyone is spending a lot of time not getting very far trying to recreate what someone else already did. Along comes the government with the patent system (for example) and offers a deal. If you disclose what you know, so everyone else can see it and make it better, we will give you a limited monopoly to use your idea and make money from it. You get to recoup your investment however you want (even give it away for free) but everyone else has the knowledge to work with in the meantime and will likely have the next step as soon as (or before) your monopoly is up. Thats the idea in theory anyway.
The cost of not having them means customers can choose products and services that suit their needs the best and provide the best value for money for them. Companies use patents to block competition, as well as to hike the price of goods to customers. Every device you buy capable of playing audio or video has a payment to the MPEG-LA for the privileged of using their patented codecs. They insist that there's no way to play any audio or video that doesn't infringe on their patents. This is owning an idea. Every smartphone company in the US has complained to the FTC to try and get their competitors banned from US stores over patent infringement. Remove this and companies actually have to compete, to be the better product at the better price so that customers will CHOOSE them. It's the key balancing factor in the capitalist system, if you don't want to compete, or can't, you fail. The rights holders have twisted that into "we want to be the ONLY option, so no matter how bad our stuff is, how hostile the terms, the customer has no choice but to pay us".

When the patent system was created it had provisions like providing a working version of the idea to the patent office to prove you had something. It also gave you a limited monopoly on the market to recoup your investment. Now you can patent stuff with no proof of concept, no requirement on entering the market with a product of your own, or even that you put any time in to create it in the first place. There's whole industries developed around patent trolling, where companies who create NOTHING buy patents SOLELY to sue companies who DO create stuff. Everything is also held behind proprietary walls because of "trade secrets" despite that being part of the original patent deal terms that it was a trade off.
gordon.cooke wrote:ALSO I believe that creators are entitled to decide for themselves how their creations are used/shared. If a programmer wants to give away their code thats great, but thats their choice and there is nothing wrong with if they don't. One thing I dont like about the GPL is that it takes away the freedom of choice from future developers who make improvements. You can use my code because I have chosen to share, but you are only allowed to use it IF you also give away your improvement to everyone, ELSE you are not allowed to use it. To me that is not freedom, that is strong arming the next guy and potentially denying them use of your code. A more free idea would be- I have chosen to give away my code, you are free to use and improve it, AS LONG AS you pass on my code; it is YOUR CHOICE to give away your improvements also, or not and just pass on the original. THAT is freedom, and still allows the open code to live on.
You DO have the freedom NOT to use GPL code. The GPL is like any other license, if you don't agree to the terms, don't use it. The reason the GPL has conditions requiring you to give back is to protect it from companies like Microsoft and Apple, who would happily take it, make their own changes to ensure it only works for them, and refuse to share what they did, adding more of their stuff to the list of vendor lock in they already do. It's why they HATE GPL, they can't exploit it.

If you're the creator of the project, you put your code under whatever license you like. If you're a contributor to that project you respect whatever that project has chosen as their preferred license for contributions, or you take your ball and go play somewhere else.
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Re: Your take on Intellectual Property

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gordon.cooke wrote: ALSO I believe that creators are entitled to decide for themselves how their creations are used/shared. If a programmer wants to give away their code thats great, but thats their choice and there is nothing wrong with if they don't. One thing I dont like about the GPL is that it takes away the freedom of choice from future developers who make improvements. You can use my code because I have chosen to share, but you are only allowed to use it IF you also give away your improvement to everyone, ELSE you are not allowed to use it. To me that is not freedom, that is strong arming the next guy and potentially denying them use of your code. A more free idea would be- I have chosen to give away my code, you are free to use and improve it, AS LONG AS you pass on my code; it is YOUR CHOICE to give away your improvements also, or not and just pass on the original. THAT is freedom, and still allows the open code to live on.
You don't seem to understand licensing at all. You agree to abide by the gpl, if you use gpl'd code. Their is nothing "strong-arm" about it. Again, your analogy is flawed. The GPL doesn't "take away" anything. You choose to use that code, you agreed to abide by the conditions. Don't like it? Don't use it. Use something licensed under BSD, or another, as that sounds like what you prefer. The GPL doesn't "force" you to do anything. Do try and understand the distinction.
If you accept - and I do - that freedom of speech is important, then you are going to have to defend the indefensible. That means you are going to be defending the right of people to read, or to write, or to say, what you don't say or like or want said.
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Re: Your take on Intellectual Property

Post by gordon.cooke »

I started a reply to everyone and had to take a break, unfortunately I made some error is posting part 1 and it apparently didnt post. Oh well lets do it over :x

So, Looks like I stirred the pot a little. <disclaimer> Im not fanatically tied to my views. I just find the discussion intellectually stimulating and this is fun. Alternate opinions are fine </disclaimer>
linuxuser159 wrote: let's say a pot is worth $1 (clay) plus $4 (effort/craftsmanship).

would you pay the potter $4 and walk away without anything?
Yes, if I had a need for the effort/craftsmanship. Of course I usually only go to a potter for a pot. :lol:
Do you think that no lawyer ever deserves to be paid? All they do is provide advice and counsel from their specialized knowledge and experience. Does their advice have value even though we walk away with nothing? OK, I see the counter argument- yes you pay the lawyer BUT after you walk away you are free to pass that knowledge along and tell it to your friend, blog it, whatever.

Fair enough, so let me pose this-- A client hires a lawyer to help with his defense. The defendant has special knowledge and intangible ideas about the case. Lets say he actually is guilty and knows how he did it, who he talked to or didnt etc. He needs to share this with his lawyer to help with the defense-- is the lawyer free to share these ideas and information with anyone he wants after the case? No- because the client(s) will only share such sensitive information based on the condition that he lawyer wont repeat it. Is it wrong that the client imposes this condition/limit on the lawyer's future use of the information?
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Re: Your take on Intellectual Property

Post by gordon.cooke »

Midnighter wrote:All I'm seeing is a really bad analogy.
Perhaps its not really an analogy as much as an example to show the logic.
A finished product has value that is greater than the value of actually, tangible, material. (pot vs clay)
Part of the added value comes from the labor/effort of the transformation. (potter spent an hour making it)
But effort is NOT the only source of added value. There is also added value in the abstract knowledge/ideas (master potter vs regular potter)
Therefore the abstract, non-tangible has value. Based on the above I see that the value of the idea is independent of the tangible. Do you think that the abstract only has value in the presence of a catalyst (the tangible)?
Midnighter wrote:Most ideas are based on, or built on, the ideas of others. Copyright and trademark exist to protect most creations.
Yes. I agree.

But notice, in order to build on the ideas of other, you first must have access to those ideas. A lot of times it seems that these arguments about IP in the open source community ignore the third philosophy/condition of information-- Trade Secrets. The protections of patent and copyright are a compromise that act as incentive to induce people to disclose information they otherwise would have held as trade secret. This facilitates others to build off those ideas. As long as you build off them and do not just copy them. So if I patent my invention I MUST share the ideas about it and how it is made. In exchange for sharing this, I get a limited monopoly so others cannot simply copy exactly what I did after I tell everyone about it. However, in the meantime, everyone can see what I did and build off the idea to make a better version (not simple copy). Only sticky point is if someone comes up with the same idea independently without looking at what I did. OK, so thats a compromise in the law, you didnt do it first so too bad. Copyright is same basic thing. Authors can feel safe putting their works out there because they are protected from someone just direct copying the whole thing. But everyone can build off their ideas- thats what fair use is all about. As long as you build off of the work and come up with something new and different -- you can do that (mash-ups, satire, quotes to support an argument)

I do think there are issues with the implementation-- not every country has fair use, patents are issued that shouldn't be, etc.
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Re: Your take on Intellectual Property

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If there is value from a master crafts person in their work, then the market would reflect that. Customers would recognize that and pay for it. If not, then it has no value.
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Re: Your take on Intellectual Property

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ThistleWeb wrote: Pots are physical objects. If you have 10 pots and I steal 5 of them, ...
See previous post. If there is value in something then shouldn't I protect it? If a musician spends a lot of time, effort, rents a studio, makes a recording etc (all of which have value)-- then makes 100 copies of his CD to sell. Are you saying it right if you go out and buy one copy of the CD, then you make and give copies to 100 other people who dont buy the CD (maybe you all pooled your money)? He may still have the other 99 copies, you haven't stolen any of the physical objects. But now all 101 people who wanted the CD have it, and he only got paid for one. He, as the creator, has lost the income form the 100 copies you made and gave away. You have robed him of income and the opportunity cost. Are you arguing that this is OK and you would fine if it happened to you?
ThistleWeb wrote: IP is about intangible things, ideas that any number of people can have, yet is apparently owned by one, even if that one doesn't actually do anything with it, they can still make money from the others who do. Anyone who assumes only they could have an idea for something unique is deluded. I have lots of ideas for new sites, projects and businesses, just because I've never heard of them doesn't mean I'm the only one to think about them, and if others take that same idea and turn it into a successful business, good on them, I have NO claim whatsoever on their success. IP says the opposite.
Yes, if one person has an idea it is possible for someone else to independently come up with the same idea. But independent is the problem- if you want to go back to idea of building on the ideas of others then it is not independent. It is possible to have a system that allows anyone who comes up with an idea to go with it and allow anyone else to come up with it on their own. But this would drive to the Trade Secret model. You have your idea and tell no one, if someone else comes up with it also we know they didnt get it from you so we let them run with it. However, how would you feel if you posted your ideas and someone else didnt come up with it on their own, just took yours with nothing new, ran with it, gave you no credit, didnt pay you for it, and just ignored the fact it came from you? How would the community feel if I took the open source code, sold it to the public never mentioning where it came from or that it was available free and kept all the benefit for myself? The objections to "Tivioization" would seem to say this is wron, but as I see it your logic says that should be allowed??
ThistleWeb wrote:Digital products are simply files that are duplicated on demand at no cost.
Duplication is re-production. You cannot RE-produce something until after it has been produced. While the reproductions are low/no cost, the production itself can be VERY costly. This cost must be either be amortized across all copies, or the first copy need to pay for the total cost (so maybe someone could pay the creator the full amount then release it to the wild?)
ThistleWeb wrote:The cost of not having them means customers can choose products and services that suit their needs the best and provide the best value for money for them. Companies use patents to block competition, as well as to hike the price of goods to customers. Every device you buy capable of playing audio or video has a payment to the MPEG-LA for the privileged of using their patented codecs. They insist that there's no way to play any audio or video that doesn't infringe on their patents. This is owning an idea. Every smartphone company in the US has complained to the FTC to try and get their competitors banned from US stores over patent infringement. Remove this and companies actually have to compete, to be the better product at the better price so that customers will CHOOSE them. It's the key balancing factor in the capitalist system, if you don't want to compete, or can't, you fail. The rights holders have twisted that into "we want to be the ONLY option, so no matter how bad our stuff is, how hostile the terms, the customer has no choice but to pay us".
I agree there is a huge issue here. However, I see these as issues of implementation and errors in the system, and not stemming from the ideas of how the patent system is meant to work. These are abuses of the system that need to be fixed. One big problem is the granting of patents that are too broad and do not adequately describe the idea being patented. Personally I think that for a software patent to adequately describe software so that someone versed in the art could reproduce it would need to give at least pseudo-code or a very very detailed flow chart. Any patent that lacks this is poor for one of two reasons- it either a) does not describe the invention well enough for someone versed in the art(programmer) to recreate or b) if a programmer could recreate working software from merely a description of what it does without the code, then the invention is obvious and not patentable. (I also dont think most if any software should be patentable anyway). Remember, the point of patents is to encourage disclosure of ideas. Without a patent a company could still come up with a cool new thing, sell it, tell no one how it was done and so long as it was difficult or imposable to reverse engineer then not only does no other company have the technology (or forced to pay high royalties to get it under non-disclosure agreements) but additionally no one would be able to work out an improvement that builds on the idea.
ThistleWeb wrote:When the patent system was created it had provisions like providing a working version of the idea to the patent office to prove you had something. It also ... There's whole industries developed around patent trolling, where companies who create NOTHING buy patents SOLELY to sue companies who DO create stuff. ....
I think we are in agreement. But this is an issue within the patent office and not the concept/idea of IP. Im not sure I like the idea of non-performers holding patents. I would no object if the law only allowed the original inventor to ever hold a patent and they couldnt be sold/transfered. This could be consistent with the ancient idea that they are literally 'leters patent' from the sovereign government. If I have a commision as an officer of the state I cannot transfer that. However, I also see that we can lax off that and recognize that if the patent holder is to be given full control, then part of that is the freedom to transfer the total rights to someone else. But, this would all be much less of a problem if the patent office made sure that patents were narrow and specific. Patent trolls are only super successful when they have very broad patents that they can try to enforce against whole categories (all video formats).
ThistleWeb wrote:You DO have the freedom NOT to use GPL code. The GPL is like any other license, if you don't agree to the terms, don't use it.
You're right. However, my objection is somewhat philosophical. The way I see it, dictating to the next developer what they must do with their ideas (that I had no part in) is contradictory to the philosophical underpinnings of freedom. Now, Im not going to go through he entire GPL itself, or all of Richard Stallman's writing to check them-- they may be internally consistent with their stated reasons. However- when considering the general discourse about IP rights, FOSS, the GPL vs BSD licenses etc the idea of limiting what someone else does with what THEY came up with is not enabling freedom.

I will admit, a lot of goodness has come out of the GPL. We might not be where we are now if the GPL didn't require disclosing your improvements. I don't think the GPL is bad or evil. I just think it is disingenuous to claim that this clause/condition is about enabling freedom. As I see it, it limits freedom and is actually about ensuring the ongoing future redistribution for the communal good. It is an expression of pure communism.
ThistleWeb wrote:If you're a contributor to that project you respect whatever that project has chosen as their preferred license for contributions, or you take your ball and go play somewhere else.
But take your ball and go somewhere else in the antithesis of building on others ideas. What you wrote could be stated as "I dont care what you want, do what I say, or go away and try to recreate this on your own, you cant build on it. (I might as well not shared)" What is wrong with a third option of -- or use what I did, pass along the source code for what I did (It is mine I can dictate that) and decide what you want for your own piece.

Yes, Apple or MS could then incorporate the code in their products-- BUT imagine if Internet Explorer was based on Firefox with some additional closed add ons? The available FOSS code would be no different, but all the MS users on IE would have a more secure web browser-- isn't that in societies interest? This is essential the entire model of Mac OS based on BSD, and many people would say it is very good. The other interesting aspect of such an arrangement is that it enables interoperability because even the proprietary code is based on the same underlying tools. I have installed software on Linux that was the same package for Mac. In fact it was only worth developing this non-windows version because of the Mac market share. But since they have a similar enough unix base, only one package is needed for both. (It may be that the software was unix based originally and Mac got the benefit but same outcome, society benefits)
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gordon.cooke
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Re: Your take on Intellectual Property

Post by gordon.cooke »

Midnighter wrote: You don't seem to understand licensing at all. You agree to abide by the gpl, if you use gpl'd code. Their is nothing "strong-arm" about it. Again, your analogy is flawed. The GPL doesn't "take away" anything. You choose to use that code, you agreed to abide by the conditions. Don't like it? Don't use it. Use something licensed under BSD, or another, as that sounds like what you prefer. The GPL doesn't "force" you to do anything. Do try and understand the distinction.
No, I do understanding it as a license. See above post. Im simply trying to make the point that it is not as 'free' as it could be. And I disagree that the requirement for subsequent creators to use GPL for *their* work is somehow derived from freedom. It doesnt. It's just a way to enforce communism. The last of the four freedoms is 'freedom to distribute your modifications' But requiring someone to exercise this freedom is not freedom. To be freedom you must also be guaranteed the choice not to do it. I can exercise freedom 0 to run the program and never use the other three. What is wrong with exercising freedom 1 to modify the code, freedom 2 to distribute the original code (which has its license) and freedom 3 to distribute my modified version, but choosing to only distribute binary and not source?

I get it- if it was GPL code I cant do that because Id violate the license. But what is wrong with it philosophically? Wouldnt the most freedom be derived from a "do what you want" license?
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Re: Your take on Intellectual Property

Post by gordon.cooke »

ThistleWeb wrote:If there is value from a master crafts person in their work, then the market would reflect that. Customers would recognize that and pay for it. If not, then it has no value.
I agree. But my point is that some of that value derives from intangible knowledge, ideas, the abstract. If abstract ideas had no value then all value would have to derive from material and effort- which means the master who makes very nice pots easily should get paid less than the apprentice who struggles to all day to make one mediocre pot (or they would be paid the same per day). This is not the case therefore I conclude that the abstract does have value. Yes the amount of this value may be based on the consumer of it.

If I understand what you wrote correctly then so long as people see value in Apple's Mac OS to pay so much for it (which they apparently do) then there is no problem with Apple deriving benefit from it. I agree. (This isnt directed at anyone in particular but the arguments floating around the net would indicate that Apple is wrong to be doing such)
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Re: Your take on Intellectual Property

Post by gordon.cooke »

Just to be proactive, since I dont think I was clear-- I DO realize the difference between free as in beer and freedom. An I do realize that the four freedoms allow monetary exchange. Im not making arguments about "value" because of money, it is just allegory to make the point that there is value in abstract ideas. And something of value should be protected and cherished. It is then a fundamental philosophy about how something of value-- I believe anything of value is subject to ownership, even if it is abstract, and it is up to the owner to decide how to handle/distribute it. A contrary view is that everything of value should be redistributed equally across the community (communism). If that is your view you will come to different conclusions on the IP question. As long as you're consistent I have no personal issue, we just disagree. What I don't understand is people who think tangible products should be subject to one set of ownership rules, but abstract products should follow the other. ie You can have what you can afford and its ok if you have 10 and I have none (we wont force you to give me 5) but all abstract products must be communal property you are forced to share. To me that is just contradiction.
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