[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: microsoft vs opensource

cothrige wrote:
Miles Fidelman <mfidelman@meetinghouse.net> writes:

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,

I don't disagree with any of this.  But, neither do I disagree with
those who point out that "intellectual property" can be a confusing
term.  Yes, people use it, including lawmakers and lawyers.  But, when
one gets down to the facts more specific issues will always be in
discussion, whether it be copyright, trademark, patent or whatever.

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.

I agree.  If you design and build the perfect mousetrap then you should
file for a patent.  Not doing so, and then later trying to sue others
who build their own because you thought you had a copyright may not work
out too well.  Likewise, deciding to reprint Stephen King's Carrie in
full because a patent runs out in 20 years is more than likely going to
be a really big whoops.


well........ i have learned since i started this thread.

is there somebody out there who knows the (juridical) implications of the kind of "intellectual property" when somebody is going into the bush and tries to patent - (and gets this patent indeed) - a very valuable indigenous procedée before a court in the Western world without the consent of the people who developed that procedée over centuries? Is that different, or not, from patenting a very valuable script without the consent of the programmer of this software? As far as i understand that is where MS often is after.

thank you,



steef van duin

publicist, research-journalist

Reply to: