Subject: Re: Charging the Charger
From: Laurent GUERBY <laurent@guerby.net>
Date: Mon, 16 May 2005 00:17:53 +0200

On Mon, 2005-05-16 at 01:31 +0900, Stephen J. Turnbull wrote:
> You have an URL quoting an economist saying such dreck?  

For the software patent part, the basis for the European Commission and
Council position is a paper by Dr Peter Holmes & al.:
http://www.sussex.ac.uk/Units/SEI/people/holmes.html
http://europa.eu.int/comm/internal_market/en/indprop/comp/
http://europa.eu.int/comm/internal_market/en/intprop/indprop/study.pdf
<<
As shown by Section III and by this Section, it is important that the
normal, proper standards of patentability are applied to computer
program related inventions.
>>

> There is a subset who consider that irrelevant, advocating strong IP 
> based on "creator's rights" (diametrically opposite but 
> methodologically similar to the way the FSF advocates free software 
> based on the right to share)

FSF "right to share" is currently based on creator rights model and
strong IP, so no opposition here.

> Welll, unfortunately, as far as I can tell the economics say that
> _full_ OSS is a special interest looking for a subsidy.  

Any law is a subsidy of some form, eg: guaranty of freedom of speech and
material property rights. In the IP case, for example no law means not
much problem for free software (at least less than with the current
situation).

Also I'm not advocating to mandate OSS in any way, just that laws are
currently created that threaten OSS existence, prime examples of this
are software patents and DMCA-like stuff.

> Eliminating software patents and reforming the patent system in general look like
> good ideas to me at the moment, and I know a lot of economists who
> feel the same way or more so.  But in general I think most customers
> can do substantially better by having a range of licenses available in
> the market, 

Again I've never said OSS should be the *only* legal way to write
software.

> and most of the economic harm from patents etc has nothing
> to do with OSS.

Agreed :).

> [...]

Thanks for all the pointers. More random readings :)

Laurent