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

Stephen Rider evolt_org at striderweb.com
Sat Oct 27 18:25:35 CDT 2007

Hi --

On Oct 26, 2007, at 10:28 AM, Joel D Canfield wrote:
>> Companies like Red Hat and Novell are making money off of open  
>> source software right now.  They are absolutely clear in their  
>> sales pitch that you are buying their *services*.
> which is what successful businesses do anyway, even if they do  
> include a physical object with their service, be it a cup of coffee  
> or a car.

My brother works at a highly successful car dealership in Cook County  
-- right next to the border of Lake County, in Illinois.  Cook County  
has higher sales taxes than Lake, meaning that another dealership  
just a couple miles away can effectively charge less for the exact  
same car and make the same profit, because they pay lower sales taxes.

AND YET my brother's dealership does quite nicely.  They're about to  
expand, in fact.  You bet your butt they're selling their services  
along with those cars!

On Oct 26, 2007, at 10:59 AM, Joel D Canfield wrote:

> It's very much the difference between me seeing some functionality  
> at a website, and figuring out how to create something like it,  
> versus copying their code and reusing it without permission. They  
> don't own the idea of 'dragging this here makes that happen' any  
> more than they own the color blue.

I think Amazon.com would disagree with you there.  If you write new  
code that duplicates the relatively simple concept of a cookie that  
remembers who you are so that you can make purchases with a single  
click, it doesn't matter a whit that you haven't copied their source  
-- the methodology is what they've patented.  That is, they do in  
fact legally own the _idea_, not the specific code.


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