Subject: Re: Chapter on Open Source in Friedman's _The World is Flat_
From: Brian Behlendorf <>
Date: Tue, 21 Jun 2005 02:42:55 -0700 (PDT)

On Mon, 20 Jun 2005, Russell McOrmond wrote:
>  Looked, but couldn't find that chapter online.  Maybe he'll be interested 
> to put it up on a WIKI somewhere to get the best feedback.

Idea passed along (which'll satisfy Russ Nelson's similar reasonable 
request), we'll see what happens.

>  Only suggestion I have (not having read it) is to ensure that some of the 
> stuff that is happening at WSIS and WIPO (Development Agenda) with the 
> majority-world countries realizing the power of peer production and the 
> benefits for them vs "knowledge manufacturing" and "software manufacturing" 
> that represents a trade deficit for every country but the USA.  This is why 
> the USTR/USPTO is fighting to hard internationally to impose protectionist 
> rules to protect incumbents from competing models/etc (software and other 
> information process patents, interface copyrights, legal protection for TPMs 
> that falsely claim to protect copyright, government programs that use 
> "royalties collected" and "number of patents" as metrics, etc).
>  While there is quite a bit of movement with companies and governments 
> adopting FLOSS, including more and more support companies, I believe that 
> mentioning what the incumbents and their government sponsors are doing to 
> fight is interesting.  DMCA, software patent directive in the EU, ineffective 
> anti-trust remedies that exclude FLOSS, etc...

He spends two pages talking about patents; that patents act as a barrier 
to collaboration, particularly across international lines, and that laws 
passed to "protect IP" need to not be so onerous as to prevent such 
collaboration.  He says "the free-software person in all of us wants no 
patents", which is probably an unfair characterization but he uses it to 
denote one end of a spectrum of considerations.  And he does describe it 
in the context of vested interests vs. upstart competitors.