Subject: Re: Can open source cost money?
From: Brian Bartholomew <bb@wv.com>
Date: Sat, 29 Aug 1998 01:18:18 -0400

> As the suthor of a textbook on the application of mathematical
> algorithms to specific business problems, should I be able to
> legally bind my readers to send me a copy of the implementations
> that they create from my algorithms?

Customers should be permitted to purchase IP under any arbitrary,
legal terms they can find a seller to offer.  I've seen a book of
speaker cabinet designs that prohibited readers from building them for
commercial sale without a license.  I don't know if this license/
request/demand was backed up by a patent.

Would I suggest a public library license IP and purchase media, excuse
me, acquire books, containing those terms?  No.  It doesn't do what a
library reader wants or expects.

I think the effect of the terms you describe is somewhat similar to a
non-disclosure agreement.  The purchaser learns something he would
otherwise never know, but he is prohibited from profiting from it in
an obvious near-term way.  Since the seller's short-term profits are
protected, the seller is more likely to make the knowledge available
at all, or for a better price.


League for Programming Freedom (LPF) ftp://ftp.gnu.org/pub/lpf/patents.text
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Brian Bartholomew - bb@wv.com - www.wv.com - Working Version, Cambridge, MA