Subject: Re: Intellectual Property Reform
From: (Kevin A. Burton)
Date: 11 Jan 2002 18:34:00 -0800

Hash: SHA1

Giles <> writes:

> >I would have NO problem within having a system of copyright for software that
> >expired after 3-5 years and required that the source code go back to the public.
> >
> This could backfire a bit.  Some folks are using the GPL as a "weapon" against
> other companies.  Ie, they specifically don't want another company to
> incorporate their code into their application without making it free.  The GPL
> has used copyright law to enforce this.  If you change the copyright laws such
> that code became public property then you might disable this tactic.

This wouldn't be that bad in my book.

These companies wouldn't be able to use the GPL code (unless they release
*their* code) within this 3-5 year period.

I think the trade off, although potentially hurting the FSF, would be MUCH
better for society.

A good example would be Microsoft's monopoly.

Internet Explorer 3.x, Windows NT 3.x, Windows 95/98/ etc, etc would all be
public domain at this point.

Microsoft's monopoly wouldn't be written in stone, they could still make money
and the public would still benefit.


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Kevin A. Burton (,, )
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