Subject: Re: -- Tangled Webs: What Gives Them the Right?
From: Russell Nelson <>
Date: Fri, 26 Nov 1999 00:27:14 -0500 (EST)

Stephen J. Turnbull writes:
 > >>>>> "Tim" == Tim O'Reilly <> writes:
 >     Tim> and does a good job of making the case that the software
 >     Tim> industry claims IP protection that is way of line relative to
 >     Tim> other industries like the auto industry.
 > The analogy is bogus, and the article is full of half-truths.

For example:
  o The automobile industry works very hard to ensure that nobody will 
    create aftermarket parts.  They use special electrical connectors, 
    for example.
  o The automobile industry works very hard to ensure that nobody can
    service their cars except the dealer.  Car computer interfaces are 
    completely undocumented.
  o In the software world, anyone can write a replacement for anyone
    else's program, or library, or can change that program on the fly.
    Nobody is fined or failed for this.
  o Microsoft ships a set of software called Windows.  Anybody can
    modify that software by shipping a program that inserts itself
    into Windows.  This is not only not illegal, but Microsoft
    encourages it, and it has become a multi-billion dollar industry.

In other words, the automobile industry is exactly like the software
industry in every way that Romero says it's different.  The problems
with the current state of the art in mass-market computer software do
not require legal action.  Simply protecting property is all that we
need the government to do.  Laissez-faire!

-russ nelson <>
Crynwr sells support for free software  | PGPok | Government schools are so
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