SIMSON SAYS: Copyright and wrongs
Kragen Javier Sitaker
Thu, 18 Feb 1999 23:59:54 -0500
On Thu, Feb 18, 1999 at 10:55:41PM -0500, Bradley M. Kuhn wrote:
> Thus spoke Kragen Sitaker:
> > Perhaps an easier solution: reduce the term of software copyright to
> > five years or so. Releasing source code would be nice, but you can't
> > have everything, right? :)
> This might have other negative effects. What if someone makes something
> GPL'ed, looses the copyright after 5 years, the code reverts to the public
> domain, and then someone else builds a new proprietary product based on it,
> which we have to wait 5 years to get in the public domain.
I don't see how this is a problem, frankly. Remember, the proprietary
vendor would still have to reimplement, from scratch, everything that
had been implemented in the GPLed version in the last 5 years in order
to get people to use it.
But the deeper issue is that I simply don't see this as much of a problem.
Maybe I will after I write more code.
> > A more radical solution: eliminate software copyright altogether. It
> > would seem that Red Hat Software and Cygnus Solutions have demonstrated
> > that software copyright is not necessary to stimulate authorship of
> > software.
> Don't forget that Cygnus sells many proprietary software products now.
AFAIK, they sell Source Navigator, and that's it. In any case, they
prospered nicely for 8 years before doing that.
> > It seems to me that applying book-style copyright on software naturally
> > produces destructive monopolies like Microsoft, because of some ways
> > books are different from software.
> However, I would argue that book copyrights are outdated and a "bad bargain"
> as RMS says in today's modern age of everyone having their own printing
I tend to agree, but I don't think they're nearly as bad on books as
they are on software.
<email@example.com> Kragen Sitaker <http://www.pobox.com/~kragen/>
I don't do .INI, .BAT, .DLL or .SYS files. I don't assign apps to files. I
don't configure peripherals or networks before using them. I have a computer
to do all that. I have a Macintosh, not a hobby. -- Fritz Anderson