Subject: Re: Tom W. Bell paper
From: Don Marti <>
Date: Mon, 4 Sep 2006 09:17:36 -0700

begin quotation of Mon, Sep 04, 2006 at 12:59:09PM +0900:

> Nobody has yet proposed a plausible scenario for the Bell proposal to
> get funds to flow into R&D, except for your proposal of "invent then
> buy claims."

I agree.  The connection has to be made.  Any other
way would be like a "stock exchange" that trades
predictions on company earnings instead of equity.

> But that's ethically, and under current law, fraud
> (insider trading).  The ethics won't change, and I doubt the law will,
> either.

Is it unethical to accept a bounty on a bug bounty
system if you have a working, tested private fix that
you haven't submitted to the project maintainer?

Is it unethical to take a job as a real estate agent
when you already know several people who are planning
to sell large pieces of property, and would list
with you?

Is it unethical to invent a synthetic diamond process,
then sell diamonds to cutters -- not misrepresenting
the diamonds to your customers, but not publicly
announcing how much you're selling?

Is it unethical to do an investigative journalism
piece on a company you believe to be fraudulent,
and trade on the results, disclosing your trade in
the story?

"Insider trading" is a special-purpose legal construct
that is important in the case of public companies
where the insiders have a duty to act in shareholders'
interest.  It's not relevant to most kinds of market
in the world.  And for many outsiders -- pure hedgers,
for example -- the presence of insiders in a market
is a plus.

Don Marti                      LinuxWorld: August 14-17, 2006, San Francisco