Subject: Re: Is Big Blue turning Red? IBM opens SW patents
From: Seth Johnson <seth.johnson@RealMeasures.dyndns.org>
Date: Fri, 14 Jan 2005 18:20:12 -0500


Understand that my statement is about information as such, not
expressive works.  On the patent side, I am referring to pure
abstraction, not concrete implementations.

Both persuasions start from a philosophical understanding that
information is intrinsically free.


Seth



"Stephen J. Turnbull" wrote:
> 
> >>>>> "Seth" == Seth Johnson <seth.johnson@realmeasures.dyndns.org> writes:
> 
>     Seth> Actually, it's a true perversion of capitalism to call the
>     Seth> principle of information freedom "communist" -- as opposed
>     Seth> to capitalism, presumably.
> 
>     Seth> Capitalism and communism have in common an historical
>     Seth> understanding of what free software stands for.
> 
> Perhaps.  I was recently fascinated by the (re)discovery of Fred
> Brooks's description of "programming systems products", and by the
> realization of just how much in common it has with "free software"---
> although there is no hint in Brooks of a need to open the product at
> all!  There's a clue here, though I don't know how to express it, or
> even predict the direction it will take me.  But definitely a unity
> that I had not seen before.
> 
> However, you should not gloss over the fact that a capitalist
> philosopher will emphasize the individual's right to trade away the
> power to use information in return for "good and valuable
> consideration".  Those of the Friedmaniac persuasion will accede to
> creation of appropriate markets via state power, constraining the
> individual's future acquisition or use of this nonrival good from a
> third party who experiences no loss in passing it on---but only as an
> instrument to facilitate the initial trade with the innovator.  Recall
> that Friedman signed the economists' brief in Eldridge, because the
> extension act simply appropriated wealth from readers to incumbent
> copyright holders without enabling any new trades.
> 
> Communist philosophers, on the contrary, will reify the nonrivalry of
> information quite differently, by deducing a common or _social_ asset.
> Consequently they will advocate diametrically opposed policies toward
> information.
> 
> "there's battle lines being drawn
>  nobody's right if everybody's wrong"
> 
> --
> 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.
> 
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