Subject: Re: [arch-dev] universities struggling to avoid making money
From: Jim Choate <ravage@ssz.com>
Date: Sat, 24 Aug 2002 15:43:13 -0500 (CDT)


On Sat, 24 Aug 2002, Tom Lord wrote:

>        > Wny? It would be a simple matter for them to create an "Open
>        > University" license
> 
> www.gnu.org is a good starting point for this kind of information.
> 
> Alas, there isn't a lot here to create pretty symmetric arguments
> with.  I _really_ like the recap/university-donations idea.  I guess
> you could argue that I don't really like that idea :-)

GNU is an excellent approach for individuals because it allows them to
create just this sort of dichotomy. I've been working with Open Source
since the start of the FSF, about the same time the FSF started up myself
and several other people from UT Austin created Discovery Hall, a hands-on
science museum (alas it died in about 91). We had a active computer group
along with a continous stream of other exhibitis that came out of that
effort.

My main bitch about Open Source is that most (vast majority really in my
opinion) have no clue how to use it. The number of software writers who
actively push closed source commercial applications is nearly nil, instead
Bill Gates and such argue the 'virus' model which is so full of holes it
amazes me that anyone actually listens to this dunderhead. If MS wants to
use some code all they have to do is call the author on the phone and make
an offer to license some version of the code for close source use. End of
discussion. MS wins, the author wins. MS is realy interesed in legal
theft. Not fair compensation for effort.

I'm not interested in arguing what you do or don't believe. What I am
interested in is making sure that -all- creative human activity has the
opportunity for a payback -and- eventually (say 10-15 years) gets released
into the public domain.

There should be no argument, but a clear expectation that at some point MS
(for example) -must- release it's products to the public in toto. If they
don't then they should forfeit every dollar they made (effectively putting
them out of business). This should apply to movies, books, whatever. That
period should not be 155 years (as some movie rights extend) but something
more realistic like 10 or 15 years. After that point the work belongs to
everyone.

If somebody wants to get rich from creative work they should have to
-work- for it by being creative, in other words creating a work followed
by another work, by another. Not living off the residuals of some work
that's 50 years old.

Harlan Ellison (the sci-fi author) is always arguing about how theft of
works takes money from the family of the author (he has a particular
example). He's wrong. The family isn't the creator of the work and should
receive no income once the IP period passes or the author dies (I'd
automatically release the work to the public domain at that point).

I'd also very strongly favor making it illegal for individuals to sign
their IP over to others (ala music artists). This would make it
effectively illegal for large IP monopolies to form.

That's my $0.02 anyway.


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                  Conform and be dull......J. Frank Dobie

     ravage@ssz.com                                         www.ssz.com
     jchoate@open-forge.org                          www.open-forge.org

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