Subject: Re: brainstorming
From: Benjamin Rossen <>
Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2005 12:12:07 +0100


I did not intend to offend. However, you sent your e-mail to a list of 
recipients (albeit - not posted on the mailing list). When is an e-mail 
private? I suppose when it is form one person to one recipient. 

I have no objection to nit picking when it has its place. Legal decision 
making is a kind of strange nit-picking with an other worldly logic all its 
own. It is quite impossible to second guess a judgment, because legal logic 
is not the same kind of beast as the analytic logic that mathematicians or 
logicians might devise. So, you nit pick in a certain sort of way; that is 
what the courts shall do. 

However, I am looking for a framework for a certain kind of problem - a global 
approach to the problem of asymmetry between the Open Source community and 
the Closed Proprietary community with respect to the patent problem. Each 
community has its strengths. The Closed Proprietary community is able to 
lodge patents. The Open Source community is not... it cannot, because as soon 
as an idea is made public it is disqualified from being granted patent 
protection. Since the modus operandi of the Open Source community is public, 
this community must live with a structural disadvantage vis a vis the Closed 
Proprietary community (at least on matters of patent protection). 

IBM has helped plug the gap, for the time being. But how long is that going to 
be helpful. I suppose ten years down the road there shall be so many missed 
opportunities from the perspective of the Open Source Community, and so many 
new patents held by the Closed Proprietary community that we shall once again 
become vulnerable. 

Now, I am trying to brainstorm about this problem. 

It is my aim to be constructive. 

It puzzels me that so much rather aggressive nit picking has resulted (and 
brainstorming is not the place for nit picking), and very little creative 
brainstorming (brainstorming is risk taking). 

Benjamin Rossen 

On Monday 17 January 2005 01:58, Rick Moen wrote:
> Quoting Benjamin Rossen (
> > I make three comments in reply (for what they are worth): 
> Hey, Benjamin?  You just sent a mailing list (public) post, quoting a piece
> of private e-mail (mine).  If accidental, that was a rather ghastly and
> embarrassing error on your part.  If deliberate, it was fscking well rude.
> > (2) the GPL license was certainly designed to "prevent" free software
> > from becoming closed.
> Well, to prevent _an instance_ of covered work from giving rise to
> proprietary derivatives works.  Other instances of the same work might
> well come with different terms attached.
> My apologies if that, like the rest of the real world of copyright and
> software licensing, is too detailed and nitpicky for you.
> [Gratuitous and clueless other-people's-choice-of-license-is-not-OK
> rhetoric, apparently lobbying for the Brett Glass Nobody Cares Award, 
> snipped.]
> -- 
> Cheers,                                      Hardware:  The part you kick.
> Rick Moen                                    Software:  The part you boot.