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[/.] Thai IT minister doesn't get it. - Adventures in Engineering — LiveJournal
The wanderings of a modern ronin.

Ben Cantrick
  Date: 2006-11-16 09:48
  Subject:   [/.] Thai IT minister doesn't get it.
Public
  Music:Free Software Song (Why working with RMS is impossible)

http://bangkokpost.net/151106_Database/15Nov2006_data001.php

"If nobody can make money from it, there will be no development and open source software quickly becomes outdated..."

As opposed to closed-source software which... quickly becomes outdated!! (Noticing a pattern here? How's that massive Vista upgrade plan looking?)

"As a programmer, if I can write good code, why should I give it away?"

Oh, gee, I don't know. Network Effect? Free Advertising? Growing the Market? Massive, massive consulting opportunities? Because you actually give a damn about good code??


I had this same argument with one of the resident contrarians over at MrCranky.com not too far back. The essence of my argument was that I do not get paid because I merely hold onto source code. That is entirely secondary. I get paid because I have the ability to create new code that solves my customer's current problem(s). It is the ability to design, create and engineer a new system or component to my customer's specs that gets me paid. NOT the simple reselling of another person's code labor.

Even though our current patent system is hopelessly broken, I'm still for limited intellectual property rights. I don't think anyone should have to share their source code if they don't want to. I hope, however that people would be smart enough to see that opening their source is a big win in the long run for both themselves and their customers.

The mechanical engineer does not get paid because he resells the same bridge plans over and over again. The electrical engineer does not keep his job because of circuits he designed before he was hired. And the software guy should not get paid just because he has some legacy source code lying around.

Technology has always been, and always will be, about innovation. Thinking you can sit back and just collect royalties your whole life without ever producing anything is the worst kind of parasitism.
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Ben Cantrick
  User: mackys
  Date: 2006-11-16 22:31 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
But if you've got 10,000 man hours invested in a code base, that doesn't mean you only have a right to sell one $50 copy, either.

I agree. Hence, limited IP rights. Like, say, code being covered under a patent (theoretical total term: 7 + 7 = 14 years) instead of copyright (term: forever) as it is now.
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Triggur
  User: triggur
  Date: 2006-11-16 22:39 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
I fully believe in every possible application of copyrights.

I despise software patents.

Copyrights mean you can look at something and say "Hey good idea, but I can make it better..."

Patents mean you're screwed, and so is the rest of the industry. It stifles competition, as designed. And I don't think there's anything in software land that should ever be patentable. Or, allowing that some things are Very Very Clever, most of the shit that gets patented is not.
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Ben Cantrick
  User: mackys
  Date: 2006-11-16 22:47 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
Yeah, I guess a "software copyright" that is limited term is by far the better way to go.
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Alex Belits: iskra
  User: abelits
  Date: 2006-11-18 04:34 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
Keyword:iskra
I see no reason to keep ridiculous duration of non-software copyrights, either. Maybe software should have shorter durations because it's very hard to keep usable beyond a few years unless it's either opened or redesigned, while text, images and sound remain relevant without any active involvement from their authors.
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