Subject: Re: Wall Street article on a new Cooperative
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <stephen@xemacs.org>
Date: Fri, 23 Apr 2004 21:33:42 +0900

>>>>> "L" == L Jean Camp writes:

    L> As for the actual topic,

As usual, I'm left wishing you spent as much effort on the genuine
content as you do on your bile secretions.  :-(  All I could get from
this:

    L> I believe the reason the companies are
    L> a cooperative is to provide joint intellectual property
    L> protection. I believe they also created a patent pool.  The
    L> only people safely capable of developing a cooperative and
    L> giving away the software are those with very heavy patent
    L> portfolios (e.g., IBM), those certain of code purity, and
    L> government.

was that for some reason you think state/local government is a target
of opportunity for FLOSS.

    L> Government is immune from IPR claims in the US.

By which you mean what?  Last I heard US governments still paid for
their software, and their employees were forbidden to take copies
home.  It's pretty hard to sue the U.S. government, but AFAIK
copyright is federal law, which means that state and local governments
have no wiggle room to create exemptions.

    L> So expect leadership at the state and local level.

You have any concrete suggestions as to what that might look like?

True, there's something to your fuzzy talk about immunity, I would
think that the governments are less exposed to SCO-style IP sharking.
But translating that to "leadership" from state/local government seems
unlikely, at least the ones I was familiar with.

I would say that the more likely way to go than initiatives by the
governments would be initiatives by FLOSS developers and the FSF/OSI
to sell to the mayors' conference or something like that.  But I gotta
hand to you, that is something that maybe somebody here can run with.
(Unless collab.net already are, sounds like the kind of thing they'd
do, although BB said "companies" not "organizations".)


-- 
Institute of Policy and Planning Sciences     http://turnbull.sk.tsukuba.ac.jp
University of Tsukuba                    Tennodai 1-1-1 Tsukuba 305-8573 JAPAN
               Ask not how you can "do" free software business;
              ask what your business can "do for" free software.