Subject: Re: A few here may have an opinion on this
From: DV Henkel-Wallace <gumby@henkel-wallace.org>
Date: Wed, 23 Oct 2002 20:28:18 -0700

On Wednesday, Oct 23, 2002, at 17:10 US/Pacific, chrismaeda@attbi.com 
wrote:

> An interesting followup question is what do you
> think of govt funding proprietary software research?
> Examples of this are the SBIR program and the ATP
> at the Dept of Commerce.  Govt funds research, takes
> a royalty free license for the federal govt, and allows
> the grantee to retain all other rights.  Govt does not
> take an equity interest in the grantee company.
>
> This may sound like corporate welfare, but it can
> generate huge amounts of tax revenue on the back end
> if the research is successful.  I don't believe govt
> should skew these programs in favor of open source
> until open source has done a better job of validating
> itself as a class of highly profitable business models.

This is the second issue, that we're blurring, and may be veering off 
track for FSB.

Seems like the gov't has been doing this for a while in lots of 
domains, not just software.  What can we learn from these experiences?

I'm not opposed to this in principle, if the patent issue can't be used 
to make this a sham.

Should said royalty-free license include usable, actual source code?  
That could open up more competition.