Subject: Re: Open Source and Government agencies
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <turnbull@sk.tsukuba.ac.jp>
Date: Tue, 29 Feb 2000 12:18:08 +0900 (JST)

>>>>> "Jean" == Jean Camp <Jean_Camp@harvard.edu> writes:

    Jean> The idea being that the government spends large amounts of
    Jean> money to gather data - taxpayer assets -- and then allows
    Jean> theses data assests to be privatized with only slight
    Jean> modifications. The same argument could be made (corporate
    Jean> robbery) about selecting closed standards or paying for the
    Jean> development of closed software.

I see nothing in your story that justifies the word "robbery", or even
"theft".  This has certain similarities to "homesteading" (in many
cases taxpayer assets were used to provide roads etc to the land,
which homesteaders got at no fee simply for developing it).

I agree with you that it shouldn't be permitted, but that's an issue
of formulating policy.  The main ethical problem I have with the
current situation is that these assets are being privatized on
concessionary terms _without_ a policy debate.

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