Subject: In defense of Bill
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <turnbull@sk.tsukuba.ac.jp>
Date: Tue, 25 Sep 2001 15:14:09 +0900

>>>>> "Tom" == Tom Lord <lord@regexps.com> writes:

      Ben> If that means telling everyone that
      Ben> open source will threaten your company's intellectual property, 

    Tom> It does.  Sorry.  Open source gives a smooth, gentle
    Tom> transition path but doesn't change the basic fact that Free
    Tom> Software does challenge the form and function of intellectual
    Tom> property law in the U.S.

Either you misunderstand the meaning of property under law, or you are
confounding "free software" with (a certain subgroup of) the free
software movement who would like to change the law.

Neither open source nor free software qua softawre threatens
_anybody's_ property in any way shape or form.  It does threaten to
provide inexpensive quality alternatives; it does threaten to educate
potential customers about a kind of value (namely, the source code)
that they have traditionally neglected and failed to demand.  Thus, it
does threaten to make your property less valuable.  But no one has
property in _value_; they only have property in _assets_, whose value
may change for any reason without threatening the property itself one
bit.

But "threatening the incumbents' value" is the raison d'etre for the
capitalist system; it's how one gets ahead in it.  So no capitalist
can object to that....

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