[thelist] it's intellectual, but is it property? (was RE: GNU / GPL)

Kristian Rink kristian at zimmer428.net
Fri Oct 26 01:50:29 CDT 2007

Am Thu, 25 Oct 2007 22:10:50 -0700
schrieb "Joel D Canfield" <joel at streamliine.com>:
> Yeah, I can agree with that, to an extent. There's a reason the
> physical stuff is usuall referred to as 'real property' (and some of
> it as 'real estate' - think for a minute about what 'estate' means)
> which is that there are other kinds of 'property' than that which is
> 'real', or physical, tangible.

Good point, of course. Adding another thing, however, by getting back
to that Newton quote, standing on the shoulders of giants and all:
Personally, I think most of that "intellectual property" dispute
especially in terms of software and/or web technology (amazon
1-click ...) is just hypocrisy at its worst:

- None of these inventions would have been possible without generations
and generations of scientists accumulating fundamental knowledge in
physics, mathematics, electronics, ... . 

- Most if not all of these "inventions" patented nowadays are next to
nothing in terms of "innovation", compared to the sheer amount of
knowledge the "inventors" just simply and unconsciously used without
thinking twice whether or not this used to be someones "intellectual

If we were to talk about "intellectual property" in science, any kind
of research will sooner or later become useless as we won't acquire
"fundamental", elementary knowledge anymore. Software engineering is a
very young field of science, almost completely lacking any set of
theoretically and practically approved knowledge, and people into
software engineering should by now just go for closing this gap, for
creating some basic facts, models, concepts and figures to build upon.
Starting with granting patents and/or issuing closed-source licenses
even before the whole field of science has come of some age in my
opinion is just likely to absolutely slow down things. And, looking
closer, possibly this is exactly what happens - just look at how long a
"new major software release" (Windows Vista?) takes to be finished,
compared to how incredibly fast hardware changes...

Kristian Rink * http://zimmer428.net * http://flickr.com/photos/z428/
jab: kawazu at jabber.ccc.de * icq: 48874445 * fon: ++49 176 2447 2771
"One dreaming alone, it will be only a dream; many dreaming together
is the beginning of a new reality." (Hundertwasser)

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