Subject: Re: GPL and trademarks and brandnames...
From: Scott Goehring <>
Date: Mon, 16 Nov 1998 14:27:37 -0500

"Ian" == Ian Lance Taylor <> writes:

Ian> Avoiding hoarding only implies not hiding or preventing access to
Ian> sources of information.  It does not require tutoring others in
Ian> the uses of the information.

I would contend that refusing access to an information store on the
grounds that allowing such access would incur non-nominal costs to the
owner of that store is not hoarding.  In other words, I am under no
obligation to send you copies of information I happen to possess, when
doing creates a substantial cost for me.  On the other hand, I should
not refuse to do so if you agree to reasonably compensate me for doing
so.  (We can, of course, argue over what is reasonable.)  And if my
provision of that information to you includes the provision of
"value-added" services beyond the information itself, then I can
reasonably expect you to compensate me for that, too, since I have
done you a service.

A parallel illustration from another field may be valuable.  (For
those of you who do not already know, I am a law student.)  One of the
major functions of a lawyer is to find the law.  Now, the law (in the
United States) is all freely available.  I am writing this message
from a computer situated in a publically-accessible repository of the
law.  Access to the law is not the problem; anyone can use the library
whenever it is open.  The problem is that there is so much law that
only an expert can hope to find the _pertinent_ law in a reasonable
time.  The same applies to every other field in which the expertise
being purchased is the specialized knowledge of "where to look" that
experienced practitioners have, and laypeople do not.