Subject: Re: The term "intellectual property" considered useful
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <>
Date: Thu, 11 May 2006 19:03:37 +0900

Sorry for the inadvertant send.

>>>>> "L" == L Jean Camp <L> writes:

    L> Stephen, you are working very very hard to defend your own
    L> lexical laziness.

I wish that were true.

    L> If you mean copyright, say "copyright". If you mean orange say
    L> "orange", not "food".

When I mean "copyright," I write "copyright".  In this thread, I wrote
"intellectual property," and I meant "intellectual property".  Sheesh.

    L> Mostly, as the term is used on this list, it confuses and not
    L> clarifies.

That's because in the free software community we have developed a
culture that says "'intellectual property' is a confusing term".
There is a faction that, for reasons I still do not understand, prefer
to demonize the term and the practice rather than explain them.

    L> I will say also that it often deeply confuses non-tech
    L> people. IU is developing a new IPR policy. The committee
    L> decided "software is not an academic" result but rather some
    L> product that anyone who programs makes, even if it for
    L> teaching. They had a very strong "software is intellectual
    L> property" kind of bent. We are still in the nth hour of
    L> discussion, but have mitigated the possible policy. So I do
    L> have a certain case when intelligent academics with no monetary
    L> interest have been deeply confused by the idea of "intellectual
    L> property."

Evidently, not any more!  Good job!

Of course you'll have to continue fighting a rear guard action against
those who want to revert to misunderstanding.  Nonetheless, isn't it
better have educated them?

After all, all academics are also in the position of giving away our
copyrights in most of our academic product as well.  Won't this new
understanding help your colleagues to realize that academic publishers
are far less important now?  So that we can reform that bastion of
privilege, too?

    L> Thanks for your time -

And yours!


Graduate School of Systems and Information Engineering   University of Tsukuba        Tennodai 1-1-1 Tsukuba 305-8573 JAPAN
        Economics of Information Communication and Computation Systems
          Experimental Economics, Microeconomic Theory, Game Theory