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Re: microsoft vs opensource

cothrige wrote:
"Telaman Consultancies" <davidpalmer@westnet.com.au> writes:

The ever persistent issue of software patents for example, when
dealing with programming - which is essentially a language - and
shouldn't, as a means of transmission of knowledge, even have
copyright attached to it.

Doesn't this prove my point a bit?  Here you say in reference to
software patents that a language shouldn't be copyrighted.  You appear
to be using patent and copyright interchangeably, but that doesn't work.
And language is specifically what copyright is meant to protect, but not
patents.  Stephen King's latest book is copyrighted by him, but not
patented.  An invention, likewise, can be patented, but not copyrighted.
The term "intellectual property" may be acceptable in some cases, but in
the case above I think it is clear why some would call it confusing.
There's a difference between:

- what makes sense (for some definition of "makes sense")

- what's "right" (for some definition "right")

- the legal and regulatory issues involved (there's a lot of dispute about whether software should be patentable, copyrightable, both, neither)

- the terminology in use ("intellectual property" - while some may find it confusing - is a term in widespread use by those involved in the legal and policy communities - and there's a LOT of discussion, at least in the US, about the shifting notion of copyright and patents from being a Constitutionally defined means to promote innovation, to the notion of "property rights" accruing to intellectual work products)

If you want to engage in masturbatory conversation, you can pick the terminology you like. If you want to understand what's going on, write software licenses, and/or influence policy - then you have to understand and use the terminology the lawyers, politicians, and lobbyists use.

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