Subject: Re: I believe your VA numbers
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <>
Date: Sat, 11 Dec 1999 16:55:59 +0900 (JST)

>>>>> "kms" == Karsten M Self <> writes:

    kms> On Fri, Dec 10, 1999 at 11:10:43AM +0900, Stephen J. Turnbull
    kms> wrote:

    >> And all of these places (including my current host country) are
    >> weak on the concept of intellectual property.  Companies and
    >> industries which are based on repudiating revenues from IP
    >> licensing (ie, free software) will be well-positioned there.

    kms> But are these countries weak from the sense of appropriating
    kms> for themselves what is claimed by Gaijen, or for not having,
    kms> internally, a strong sense of IP?

Both.  (The first is mitigated by the fact that gaijin have often
refused to recognize priority in innovation, and even have outright
stolen, innovations from these cultures.)  In Japan, it was only 7
years ago that a friend of mine refused a University contract to teach 
English because the University refused to buy a text book written by
one of its own faculty.  It was only four years ago that my own
department closed its software lending library.  Indonesia I don't
know about; the ex-Communist countries (with accession to the WTO,
even China should be considered ex-) have done their best to destroy
the tradition of protection of intellectual assets.

    kms> Remember that the mechanisms of many free software licenses
    kms> are heavily reliant on enforcement of intellectual property
    kms> law, particularly copyright law.  How much damage is possible
    kms> should interests in the far east fail to continue the
    kms> quid-pro-quo of Copyleft -- is the coercive nature of the GNU
    kms> GPL really necessary.

It's going to be a while before Indonesia, China, and Russia catch up
enough to do serious innovation; I don't think we have to worry about
GPL there.  I don't know much about Japan, I don't think anybody
really knows, not even Japanese lawyers.  I expect Japan will play by
the rules (both the written ones that educated gaijin can read, and
the unwritten ones that gaijin cannot read but can affect with
sufficient arm-twisting), though.

    kms> You've been messing with your sig again.

Yeah.  Talking so much about rules, I decided to comply with netiquette
myself.  As for the other change, it isn't true yet, but "Delenda est
Carthago" worked for Cato---I figured I'd give it a try.  ;-)

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