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Phlegmak
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Niether you or Stallman have managed to demonstrate that they dont yet ( except for as far as they may be poorly implemented in some cases perhaps).

There's a great book on the subject by the name of 'Against intellectual Monopoly', which is one of the most fact-ridden things I've ever seen on the subject.

I dont think so, whatever exactly that means, assuming it has an objective / clear / precise meaning.

The full text is that Congress shall have the power "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries." Note that Congress is empowered to promote progress, with copyright and patents being the methods through which they can do so.

However, I am not sure that Constitution *actually* forbids the sort of thing that Stallman seems to have an issue with copyright/patent laws doing. It certainly is not an argument that they should be scrapped.

A competent reading of the language would forbid retroactive extensions of copyright. The extensive periods of copyright aren't forbidden per se, but Congress ought to know better.

What is this underlying contradiction which you assert and why must it result in me rejecting at least part of what she said on such things?

She said three things:

In capitalism, all property must be privately owned

intellectual property is property because it is the product of one's mind.

intellectual property rights cannot be exercised in perpetuity

If IP can't be exercised in perpetuity, it will be unowned at some point, which means the proposed system can't be capitalism.

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No, he is completely wrong on that. I am no more a jerk or rude for wanting to keep my source code to myself so others cannot use them than I am for wanting to keep the notes for my fiction stories to myself so others cannot use them. And this is not a privacy right, but rather a right to the product of one's mind - for the same reasons one has the right to physical products one makes. That is all a copy or patent right is - ie, property rights applied to the products of one's mind. This principle applies as much to software as to other products of the mind, such as art.

I see it as disrespectful to the user, just as I see DRM as disrespectful to the user. What constitutes being rude is subjective, though.

He of all people should know that p2p software is in fact legal and has many legal uses - such as for collaborative work, or downloading open source software, or downloading other free software that the rightsholders make available via p2p software. It is simply certain uses of it, ie ones that breach copyright laws, that is illegal.

And his desire is for the ones that breach copyright laws to become legal.

Then he is a highly irrational fool. That is all there is to it.

He is correct from the US legal standpoint

1. Influence is not the same as controlling. Stallman seems to think it controls people, not just that it influences them.

Influence is enough to opt for something else in regards to news.

This is a fictional need. Just because one has a lot of money does not automatically mean one will have an expensive life style. In fact contrary to popular belief there is such a thing a rish people and semi-rich people that spend very little money. In fact in many cases that is a large part of how they got so much money in the first place.

He was specifically talking about not having an expensive lifestyle, so he wouldn't dearly need money.

So producers don't have an inalienable right to the products of their minds? That is nonsense. And even if the current implemntation is flawed (I cannot comment there as I don't know US copyright and patent laws) that does not mean the concept is. The concept is about the rights of producers to the products of their minds.

No after publishing, which is bringing it into the public's view. Propertizing positive externalities isn't a particularly good idea, and is in many cases implausible. Let's say I have a date with a beautiful woman. She spends a considerable amount of time, labor, and knowhow to make herself exceptionally beautiful that night for me. However, other patrons of the restaurant are able to see her beauty without either her or my permission. Are they committing a moral wrong in doing so, or should we have just stayed home if we didn't wish for her beauty to be seen?

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So, using your own time and resources might be moral, as I discussed earlier -- but using your employer's resources is really a form of theft. Using software that was created using immoral means (theft or fraud) is also immoral, in the same way that using stolen property is.

I am not blaming this blame game. I refuse to blame the wrong people for the fact that *some* people choose to do stuff like this. You know who is to blame? The people that do this at work. It makes no sense to blame Open Source or t hose that make Open Source software collectively.

See my previous post.

I asked for evidence of specific patent violations. You gave one in a reply to DragonMaci, and I will look into that one a little later.

As the page I linked to showed, Google was found liable. There's no legal reason why anyone running Linux 2.4.22.x or later wouldn't also be liable.

I want a reason why they *would* be, not why you think that t hey wouldnt be.

A "trade secret" is a means of protecting a process or system by not disclosing how it works and requiring customers not disclose the same data.

I didnt ask what a trade secret was, but I appreciate the detailed explanation anyway :). Judging from your explanation I dont really see that such a "trade secret" would be an immoral thing, though it might be a strange thing to do in at least some cases.

Consider honesty as a moral virtue. We know that telling a lie is bad, because it can hurt you; not just through guilt, but also from the reaction of others. If you don't care or don't think about the consequences of telling a lie, it doesn't mean they aren't there.

As an example, imagine that you worked for someone making orange juice. Everyone worked hard, used the best oranges, and made really good juice. The quality product brought in many customers. The juice sold for a good price, and your employer was therefore able to pay you well. Then, on your own time, you decide to make lemonade, and give it away. You make lots of it. The quality might not be as high as what you make at work, but it's pretty good, and you soon develop a large following. However, people start coming into your work and saying "hey, why isn't your juice free like the lemonade guy's?" Next thing you know, your wage is declining as your boss cuts costs. You might even lose your job. The first moral question here is, first: is such a response predictable, similar to the response to a lie being predictable. I believe it is. The next question is whether your job is more important to you in the long term than what you get out of making lemonade. Perhaps you have plans to encourage others to do the same as you, and to make a living selling them lemon-specific equipment. If it is valuable to you, then you're acting morally. But if it isn't, then you aren't.

I dont see how this serves as a valid defense of the original point. All it means is that *some* may possibly people may be acting in a way which is not in their best interests by endangering their job. However, I do not imagine that this sort of situation is very common or that there is a rational reason to blame the vast majority of Open Source creators that probably are not in such a situation.

Someone else training your competition isn't immoral. You training your own competition might be, unless it consciously and rationally fits your value hierarchy. You may value training people more than your current job, for whatever reason. That's fine. But to deny that releasing a complex, functional, well-tested application as open source doesn't serve as education, and to deny that some of those you educate might eventually compete with you in some way, is just evasion.

My point being that yes, maybe it *would* do so, but maybe your competition will get that education *ANYWAY* from another source and you have *other* good reasons for wanting to release the Open Source software and are willing to take the risk that your competition might gain more from it than from some other way and hence ruin one of your other activiites in some manner. Perhaps you are not concerned that your competitors will be able to compete with you just by looking at source code and there may be justified reasons to beleive this. There is really only so much to be gained by studying source code after all, and it wont necceasirly help them outdo you.

A rational person will probably care if they have competition. Wages in the software industry, as in most industries, are proportional, in part, to supply and demand. If there are a large and increasing number of people available who can do the same things you do, then your wages and possibly your job are at risk; specialization and uniqueness have value.

Of course they will in at least many situations. However, I would imagine that t hose tend to apply to commercial applications and I if they are going to make *those* Open Source while giving away the source, *those* people *might* be acting irrational. Or maybe they do not plan to make money from directloy from the software itself but from supporting the software , something the competitors use of the source code may not allow them to be able to effectively outdo you on. However again, that blame the few people irrational enough to do something like this, not Open Source itself.

Open Source is a specific licensing system, it is basically a legal tool and it makes no sense to blame it or its users in general for the irrational choices of some of its users. Though this is something you seem to insist on doing anyway.

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Google recently lost a $5M patent infringement suit that was based on something specific in the kernel. See http://www.baudlabs.com/archives/1441

That article claims it is patent trolling. Often companies doing that are misusing their patents and/or have illegetimate patents in the first place. If true then the real evil is on Bedrock Computer Technologies' part not Google's. The fact they sued only Google, not the makers of the Linux kernel suggests they are indeed patent trolling. It seems to me that Bedrock Computer Technologies is very similar to Rambus. Suing only Google and leaving alone Linus Torvalds, the guy who puts everything in Linux (others merely submit code; Linus determines whjat goes into the kernel and then puts it in), is a very questionable tactic.

and for the way it handles long names (Joliet naming)

Do you know for a fact that Linux handles long names in the same way? Or does it handle it differently? If the former, can you prove it? If the latter, there is no problem.

but that's really an unknown until they are litigated; there is still a potential liability.

So what if there is a potential? And is the patent even legitimate in the first place? There are some illegitimate patents in the software industry (just like in other industries).

True. However, it still retains the rich intellectual heritage of Unix

The point was it is not so rich anymore thanks to that divergence.

Equally important, AT&T's work established the initial market for this type of OS, including wide adoption in Universities due to a liberal licensing policy for educational institutions. Without those efforts, while something like Linux may have come along eventually, it wouldn't have had nearly the same level of acceptance.

What has that got to do with anything? Microsoft and Apple paved the way for some features that now exist in Linux that now make Linux distributions more widely accepted. No copyright or patent infringement exists there though as the Linux versions use very different code than even Apple despite OS X also being Unix based.

Consider honesty as a moral virtue. We know that telling a lie is bad, because it can hurt you; not just through guilt, but also from the reaction of others. If you don't care or don't think about the consequences of telling a lie, it doesn't mean they aren't there.

That is not relevant. It does not mean makers of free software are doing something wrong. They are not responsible for the result. The bad ideas of those that think like that are, not the makers of free software. There are many good reasons to make software free, including but not limited to the following:

1. Having free versions of software to try convince people to get a paid version. Good examples include: Ad-aware Free, Advanced System Care Free, Avast Antivirus, the Express Edition versions of MS's Visual Studio family (which in fact has a licence which does not let you make and release commercial software with it), and many more. Sure, many don't upgrade to paid versions, but many do upgrade as well. This model has been going a long time and has proven profitable for the companies that do it if done right.

2. Similar to number 1, some companies make software free to enhance the value and/or usage of other software they charge for or otherwise profit off. Such as Microsft making some of their software free to enhance the value and usage of Windows (eg: a Windows performance optimizing tool they recently released for end users that don't know how to do such themselves, and a similar battery life optimizing tool they recently released).

3. The software itself is free to end users but you get revenue thanks to advertising revenue. It is not just websites that do this, some software does it too. The only example that I can think of right now is Microsoft Office Starter, which you can only get pre-installed on PCs that OEMs make.

4. Some software is simply worth so little money that the revenue wouldn't justify the costs of selling it (marketing, etc) as the profit wouldn't be worth the effort or in fact you might lose money. But the demand for the software does exist and you might have a good reason to create and release it. A good example is a browser toolbar such as Google Toolbar for Internet Explorer. That at best is worth a few dollars, making commercialising it more trouble than it is worth. However, Google has good reason to release it anyway, ie, potentially increased use of their search engine, which is a big money maker for them, so the toolbar is also a good example of number 2.

5. Making the software itself free but charging for support and the likes. An example is Canonical and Ubuntu/Kubuntu/etc.

Some companies even combine multiple of the above. These are all very selfish, moral, and legitimate reasons to make free software. Your lemon example does not change that fact.

The main irrational actors in this case are the developers.

No. It is the people that choose irrational ideas about software development that are the main (and unless the developers are actively promoting such ideas, in fact only ones) that are being irrational in that regard.

Continuing the example above, how can your employer compete with "free"? One way is to cut costs. They might reduce staff and just make less of the same high-quality product. Or, when they see that the public accepts a lower quality product as long as it costs much less, they might jump on the bandwagon and do they same. Maybe they replace their staff with a bunch of low-paid flunkies, or they buy cheap oranges from overseas, or maybe they even ship the whole business overseas. Whichever direction they choose, odds are that your job, wage and future will be impacted.

Or he could do what many software developers do and make their paid versions enough of an improvement on free software that people consider them worth paying for. This is one reason why commercial security suites like Norton's and McAfee's still sell despite free virus scanners, adware scanners, firewalls, etc existing, ie, many think it is worth paying for even though free stuff exists. Hell, most of the makers of free security software make successful commercial versions of their software (Ad-Aware, Avast, etc). This in fact may have a positive effect on their job as the improved nature of their software helps their revenue stream, thus making them more likely to give you a raise, especially since you done some of the work that helped make it better.

Therefore, if you give away a product similar to what you're being paid to create, it has the potential of damaging you, not unlike being dishonest does, so it's immoral.

Btw, it is very rare for developers to actually compete with software they make for their employees, even with another commercial item let aline free things. They usually make non-competing software.

But to deny that releasing a complex, functional, well-tested application as open source doesn't serve as education, and to deny that some of those you educate might eventually compete with you in some way, is just evasion.

Not all open source code is used for competing software. Sometimes (and in fact quite often) open source code is used for software that doesn't at all compete with the software it originates from. This may be that the code is also useful for a very different program, that the software is a similar program but being released in a different market, or tagergeting different types of people, etc.

A rational person will probably care if they have competition. Wages in the software industry, as in most industries, are proportional, in part, to supply and demand. If there are a large and increasing number of people available who can do the same things you do, then your wages and possibly your job are at risk; specialization and uniqueness have value.

There is a way of avoiding this result. It is called upskilling or otherwise making yourself more valuable than your competing workers.

My perception of Objectivism thus far has been that, you are not required to give away anything you don't want to. Following the same train of thought, you are entitled to give away whatever of your possessions you choose, for whatever reason you choose. The major determining factor is that you are not morally obligated to do so making Linux well within the realm of neutral when viewed Objectively.

Correct. The right to property, by extension, includes the right to dispose of it how you want (as long as you don't violate someone else's rights, such as dumping your rubbish at their place without permission), including selling it or gifting it (which as has been stated in this thread already, open source software if done right is an equivalent to).

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I see it as disrespectful to the user, just as I see DRM as disrespectful to the user. What constitutes being rude is subjective, though.

Then I guess it must be disrepectful for an author to not give away his plot notes with books or via other means so that users can do the equivalent with books (ie create their own books based on the notes, create modified versions and distribute them, etc). Despite what you and Stallman may or may not think, the two are equivalent.

He is correct from the US legal standpoint

I made it perfectly clear elsewhere in that post or another post that I was referring to his views on copyright and patents quo the general concepts, not quo the specific implementation in the US.

Influence is enough to opt for something else in regards to news.

All that matters me is whether they are objective. That is all that should matter to anyone, not whether or not they are paid for their efforts. Though getting monetary compensation for one's efforts is a good thing, including for media.

He was specifically talking about not having an expensive lifestyle, so he wouldn't dearly need money.

I know. I was addressing his pathetic attempt to justify that.

No after publishing, which is bringing it into the public's view. Propertizing positive externalities isn't a particularly good idea, and is in many cases implausible. Let's say I have a date with a beautiful woman. She spends a considerable amount of time, labor, and knowhow to make herself exceptionally beautiful that night for me. However, other patrons of the restaurant are able to see her beauty without either her or my permission. Are they committing a moral wrong in doing so, or should we have just stayed home if we didn't wish for her beauty to be seen?

I am not sure what you are trying to say, but your example is utterly nonsensical. The re is no "looking at her beauty without permission" when she goes to a public restaurant. And, no, viewing source code without the maker's permission is not similar to that. It is closer to viewing her insides, what she is physically made of, without her permission.

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Naturally I agree with what DragonMaci said in his post just after my last one and I might have bothered to make some of the points I did not if I had not been distracted by other things or more essential points.

By contrast I would call Open Source Software the natural and perhaps best thought out business strategy I have seen in a long time.

I am not sure I would agree with this. I know that Open Source can be used as a part of highly successful business strategies, but as far as it being the best thought out one? I am not really so sure...

There's a great book on the subject by the name of 'Against intellectual Monopoly', which is one of the most fact-ridden things I've ever seen on the subject.

Then perhaps I shall see if I am able to check this out at some stage.

The full text is that Congress shall have the power "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries." Note that Congress is empowered to promote progress, with copyright and patents being the methods through which they can do so.

I am confused, doesnt this support the right to grant and enforce patents and copyrights? I thought something in there was meant to make it more questionable. Perhaps I lost track of this part of the debate at some point.. Or is this meant to relate to the thing about extending them? Obviously it is possible to unreasonably extend patents and copyrights, but this seems a little bit off the topic.

She said three things:

In capitalism, all property must be privately owned

intellectual property is property because it is the product of one's mind.

intellectual property rights cannot be exercised in perpetuity

If IP can't be exercised in perpetuity, it will be unowned at some point, which means the proposed system can't be capitalism.

This does not contain any contradiction or a reason why I think she must have been mistaken, nor does it imply a contradiciton in any view I expressed agreement with.

I see it as disrespectful to the user, just as I see DRM as disrespectful to the user. What constitutes being rude is subjective, though.

The producer has no moral obligiation to be "respectful" to the users of their products, as long as they do not violate their rights by initating force. It is as simple as that.

No after publishing, which is bringing it into the public's view. Propertizing positive externalities isn't a particularly good idea, and is in many cases implausible. Let's say I have a date with a beautiful woman. She spends a considerable amount of time, labor, and knowhow to make herself exceptionally beautiful that night for me. However, other patrons of the restaurant are able to see her beauty without either her or my permission. Are they committing a moral wrong in doing so, or should we have just stayed home if we didn't wish for her beauty to be seen?

Completely irrelevant rationalization.

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I am confused, doesnt this support the right to grant and enforce patents and copyrights? I thought something in there was meant to make it more questionable. Perhaps I lost track of this part of the debate at some point.. Or is this meant to relate to the thing about extending them? Obviously it is possible to unreasonably extend patents and copyrights, but this seems a little bit off the topic.

It states very explicitly that in the US, IF we have a patent or copyright system, it MUST exist because it will create a public benefit, not because of natural right.

This does not contain any contradiction or a reason why I think she must have been mistaken, nor does it imply a contradiciton in any view I expressed agreement with.

Yes it does. This three statements are not logically consistent with each other, so at least one of them must be false.

The producer has no moral obligiation to be "respectful" to the users of their products, as long as they do not violate their rights by initating force. It is as simple as that.

I'm not saying that they do. You don't have a moral obligation to not be a jerk, but being disrespectful towards others make you one.

Completely irrelevant rationalization.

It's the same concept with beauty and copyright: Containment of positive externalities of labor.

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It states very explicitly that in the US, IF we have a patent or copyright system, it MUST exist because it will create a public benefit, not because of natural right.

Then if so it is a flaw that needs to be rectified.

Yes it does. This three statements are not logically consistent with each other, so at least one of them must be false.

Nope. Besides, you need to show how such a statement is the case, not just state that it is the case.

It's the same concept with beauty and copyright: Containment of positive externalities of labor.

Mind explaining that?

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It states very explicitly that in the US, IF we have a patent or copyright system, it MUST exist because it will create a public benefit, not because of natural right.

The public good is an undefinable and rationally useless term which could mean almost anything. It does not as far as I can tell clearly forbid/exclude the valid uses of copyright and patents as described by Ayn Rand, so how is this really an argument for not doing so?

Yes it does. This three statements are not logically consistent with each other, so at least one of them must be false.

How are they not logically consistent with each other? Asserting that they are not does not make it so.

I'm not saying that they do. You don't have a moral obligation to not be a jerk, but being disrespectful towards others make you one.

So what if you are being a jerk? As long as you do not initate force, nobody has the right to demand that you stop doing so. Especially if that would involve the violation of your property rights.

It's the same concept with beauty and copyright: Containment of positive externalities of labor.

False.

Edited by Prometheus98876
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Then if so it is a flaw that needs to be rectified.

That's you're opinion, but I disagree.

How are they not logically consistent with each other? Asserting that they are not does not make it so.

Nope. Besides, you need to show how such a statement is the case, not just state that it is the case.

All property must be privately owned in capitalism. IP must at some point be not privately owned. Dante summarized the conflict pretty well: "How can her support for time limits on patents be reconciled with her view that all property should be privately owned under capitalism? "

The public good is an undefinable and rationally useless term which could mean almost anything. It does not as far as I can tell clearly forbid/exclude the valid uses of copyright and patents as described by Ayn Rand, so how is this really an argument for not doing so?

It's an entirely different rationalization for copyright and patents, and thus it would be guided by different principles. I would think that it's quite likely that you would note support such an institution at all if not for it's passing similarity to the system you advocate.

False.

Mind explaining that?

The onlookers are receiving the 'fruits of the labor', namely beauty of my date in the example without giving any compensation or receiving permission. This is what is known in economics as positive externalities, and the insult du jour of the beneficiaries is 'free riders.' The patrons are 'free riding' on my date's labor in the given scenario, and if free riding is immoral, then the other patrons are immoral actors. Mark Lemly worte a good paper on the subject. http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=582602

So what if you are being a jerk? As long as you do not initate force, nobody has the right to demand that you stop doing so. Especially if that would involve the violation of your property rights.

If you don't care about being a jerk, that's fine. I consider the ability to be a jerk among our most important personal liberties, and a society that does not allow you to be a jerk is a repressive society. You are free to be a jerk, but many people prefer that others not be jerks, and choose to not associate with those they consider to be jerks.

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The onlookers are receiving the 'fruits of the labor', namely beauty of my date in the example without giving any compensation or receiving permission. This is what is known in economics as positive externalities, and the insult du jour of the beneficiaries is 'free riders.' The patrons are 'free riding' on my date's labor in the given scenario, and if free riding is immoral, then the other patrons are immoral actors. Mark Lemly worte a good paper on the subject. http://papers.ssrn.c...tract_id=582602

Here is the key thing you are mjissing: by going to a public restaurant, she is givinmg implicit permission for them to appreciate her beauty, so free-riding is occuring.

You know, I have to wonder why you come to this site given you seem not to agree with Objectivism.

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That's you're opinion, but I disagree.

Your blatent disregard for facts is irrelevant. Disagree all you wish.

All property must be privately owned in capitalism. IP must at some point be not privately owned. Dante summarized the conflict pretty well: "How can her support for time limits on patents be reconciled with her view that all property should be privately owned under capitalism? "

No, you just got this wrong. Obviously the property rights which *YOU* have in relation to your inventions/creations/etc should not be transferred automatically after your death or to those that have not in any way earnt the right to claim such property rights. I would say that really after ones death, that should be about it, a point Ayn Rand agrees with as far as I recall. Nonetheless, there is no contradiction in Ayn Rands view, which says that IP protects property rights, as long as said property rights validly exist .

The onlookers are receiving the 'fruits of the labor', namely beauty of my date in the example without giving any compensation or receiving permission. This is what is known in economics as positive externalities, and the insult du jour of the beneficiaries is 'free riders.' The patrons are 'free riding' on my date's labor in the given scenario, and if free riding is immoral, then the other patrons are immoral actors. Mark Lemly worte a good paper on the subject. http://papers.ssrn.c...tract_id=582602

Right, becaus this is somehow relevant to the issue of *intellectual property rights* <_< No, I dont think it is and you have yet to provide any good reason why anyone should think that it is.

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Here is the key thing you are mjissing: by going to a public restaurant, she is givinmg implicit permission for them to appreciate her beauty, so free-riding is occuring.

You know, I have to wonder why you come to this site given you seem not to agree with Objectivism.

Then I would contend that by selling copies of a book without the involvement of a contract, you are giving implicit permission for buyers to do whatever they please with their copy, creation of additional copies included. Before the advent of the printing press, this was certainly the case.

As for why I came here, I was linked here from another place, and I have some intelligent friends that read Rand's books and enjoy them, so I figured I might have some interesting conversations on this subject. She appears to have said some rather smart things, but it seems to me she made a mistake on the subject of IP. However, I thought that, given her importance upon rational thought and reason, her mistakes wouldn't stand in the way of later thinkers.

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Then I would contend that by selling copies of a book without the involvement of a contract, you are giving implicit permission for buyers to do whatever they please with their copy, creation of additional copies included. Before the advent of the printing press, this was certainly the case.

As for why I came here, I was linked here from another place, and I have some intelligent friends that read Rand's books and enjoy them, so I figured I might have some interesting conversations on this subject. She appears to have said some rather smart things, but it seems to me she made a mistake on the subject of IP. However, I thought that, given her importance upon rational thought and reason, her mistakes wouldn't stand in the way of later thinkers.

Not really. Especially since copyright law provides *automatic* protection of your intellectual property rights, even if you dont make people sign contracts when buying the books. Your intellectual property rights do not exist only if you make someone sign contracts promising to protect them, and neither should they. They should ( and to some extent *do) apply automatically.

She made no such mistakes, the errors are yours and your friends and those that agree with you and your friends.

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Your blatent disregard for facts is irrelevant. Disagree all you wish.

Snappy today, aren't we?

No, you just got this wrong. Obviously the property rights which *YOU* have in relation to your inventions/creations/etc should not be transferred automatically after your death or to those that have not in any way earnt the right to claim such property rights

By that logic, wouldn't inheritance be unjust? You have not earned the rights claim property rights on your parent's property.

I would say that really after ones death, that should be about it, a point Ayn Rand agrees with as far as I recall. Nonetheless, there is no contradiction in Ayn Rands view, which says that IP protects property rights, as long as said property rights validly exist .

But then the work become public property, which is by definition NOT privately owned, which is in conflict with capitalism.

Right, becaus this is somehow relevant to the issue of *intellectual property rights* <_< No, I dont think it is and you have yet to provide any good reason why anyone should think that it is.

It's relevant to the labor centric theory of property, and it uses the same underlying economic principle for justification. Under such a theory, there is property in her beauty.

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Snappy today, aren't we?

Nope, I just do not see any reason to mince words, especially when you are not thinking this issue through very carefully.

By that logic, wouldn't inheritance be unjust? You have not earned the rights claim property rights on your parent's property.

Inheritance of *what*? Of patents and or copyrights? That is arguable in at least some cases I suppose, but if we are talking about passing on things such as money : No, that does not follow. The right to property is the right to dispose of if it /use it *however you wish* ( excluding the initation of force), be that giving it to your children or whatever. That right exists however irrational you may use your property, as long as you do not use initiate the use of force.

But then the work become public property, which is by definition NOT privately owned, which is in conflict with capitalism.

At which point I guess it isnt property now is it? The concept of property as used by Ayn Rand is such that it only applies to *private ownership*. Ie, that which belongs to someone according to right. But assuming we judge the truth or falsehood of her statements according to her own definitions ( and assuming those are valid definitions) we will find that in that case it probably isnt property is it? Does that prove a contradiction in her views in this matter? No, it simply means one should understand what she is actually saying.

It's relevant to the labor centric theory of property, and it uses the same underlying economic principle for justification. Under such a theory, there is property in her beauty.

Lets use Ayn Rands theory of property and properly rights shall we? Since this is an *Objectivist* forum and most of us agree with her on this issue. If you dont , well that is unfortunate, but take your arguments on this matter elsewhere if you will not listen. This is not the place for you if you have fundamental disagreements with Objectivism.

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Then I would contend that by selling copies of a book without the involvement of a contract, you are giving implicit permission for buyers to do whatever they please with their copy, creation of additional copies included. Before the advent of the printing press, this was certainly the case.

This is never done. All publishing companies put "you may not copy, modify etc this without permission" text in the page about when it was published. Not to mention, as Prometheus said, the automatic protection under law, which is valid since one has property rights to the products of one's mind. Besides, that is an invalid comparison anyway. The two are very different. You are comparing looking at and appreciating one thing with copying and modifying a very different thing. See the key and obvious differences in the two things? If not why should I bother to debate with you?

By that logic, wouldn't inheritance be unjust? You have not earned the rights claim property rights on your parent's property.

1. Inheritence can be earned.

2. As I stated earlier, the right to property includes the subset right of the right to dispose of your property as you wish as long as you do not violate the rights of others. This includes putting your house, savings, car, or whatever else in your will for your kids, lower, whoever to get when you die.

But then the work become public property, which is by definition NOT privately owned, which is in conflict with capitalism.

No. It would become unowned, not public property. It is similar to how unclaimed land is unowned not public property. Public property is an invalid concept at best and an anti-concept at worst.

It's relevant to the labor centric theory of property, and it uses the same underlying economic principle for justification. Under such a theory, there is property in her beauty.

Then the theory is confused and incorrect. Beauty is a result of actions not property. To say beauty is property is as silly as saying you own the greenness of the grass on your lawn. To say you own the greenness of your grass is utterly nonsensical. You own the grass not its colour.

EDIT: Corrected a spelling error and improved the formatting.

Edited by DragonMaci
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I am not blaming this blame game. I refuse to blame the wrong people for the fact that *some* people choose to do stuff like this. You know who is to blame? The people that do this at work. It makes no sense to blame Open Source or t hose that make Open Source software collectively.

What I'm saying is that IF a person who is participating in open source uses their employer's resources without permission, then they are acting immorally.

I am also asserting, based on personal experience, that I believe this is commonplace.

I am further asserting that this use of stolen resources morally pollutes the pool of open source software, in the same way that excessive stolen goods might pollute an otherwise valuable flea market.

I want a reason why they *would* be, not why you think that t hey wouldnt be.

Sorry, apparently my use of a double-negative was confusing.

Patent law restricts the use of a patented invention without the explicit agreement of the patent holder, regardless of how the item containing the invention was acquired. Infringement, even if accidental, is subject to financial penalties.

I didnt ask what a trade secret was, but I appreciate the detailed explanation anyway :). Judging from your explanation I dont really see that such a "trade secret" would be an immoral thing, though it might be a strange thing to do in at least some cases.

I'm not saying that trade secrets are immoral. I'm saying the anti-trust procedures that required AT&T to resort to trade secret law instead of patent law, and which also discouraged them from properly enforcing their trade secret contracts, are immoral.

I dont see how this serves as a valid defense of the original point. All it means is that *some* may possibly people may be acting in a way which is not in their best interests by endangering their job. However, I do not imagine that this sort of situation is very common or that there is a rational reason to blame the vast majority of Open Source creators that probably are not in such a situation.

Yes, and when those people act in a way that endangers their job, they are being immoral. Morality is always about individual behavior.

My point being that yes, maybe it *would* do so, but maybe your competition will get that education *ANYWAY* from another source and you have *other* good reasons for wanting to release the Open Source software and are willing to take the risk that your competition might gain more from it than from some other way and hence ruin one of your other activiites in some manner. Perhaps you are not concerned that your competitors will be able to compete with you just by looking at source code and there may be justified reasons to beleive this. There is really only so much to be gained by studying source code after all, and it wont necceasirly help them outdo you.

If your choices are rational for the long-term, then they are moral. My claim is that many people involved in open source are not thinking about the long term.

Of course they will in at least many situations. However, I would imagine that t hose tend to apply to commercial applications and I if they are going to make *those* Open Source while giving away the source, *those* people *might* be acting irrational.

In which case they would acting immorally.

Open Source is a specific licensing system, it is basically a legal tool and it makes no sense to blame it or its users in general for the irrational choices of some of its users. Though this is something you seem to insist on doing anyway.

I'm not against Open Source as such. I'm against the irrational behavior of some of the people who are involved in Open Source.

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I am further asserting that this use of stolen resources morally pollutes the pool of open source software, in the same way that excessive stolen goods might pollute an otherwise valuable flea market.

No. It pollutes some open source projects, not "the pool of open source" which can really only mean "open source as a whole. Nor does the stolen goods thing work that way for a flee market. Unless only stolen goods are sold, one can still buy legimately obtained stuff from the flea market mentioned. That is not devalued just because other vendors stole goods. Same goes with open source projects that do not involve stolen resources.

Patent law restricts the use of a patented invention without the explicit agreement of the patent holder, regardless of how the item containing the invention was acquired. Infringement, even if accidental, is subject to financial penalties.

So what are you trying to say?

Yes, and when those people act in a way that endangers their job, they are being immoral. Morality is always about individual behavior.

The point is that many (and probably even most) open source developers are in no way endangering their job. Besides, it is not true that any act that endangers one's job is immoral. Such an act can accidentally be done through honest error. Honest errors are not immoral.

If your choices are rational for the long-term, then they are moral. My claim is that many people involved in open source are not thinking about the long term.

So what? There is also many that do thinking long term.

EDIT: Fixed a few spelling mistakes and added clarification to my 2nd to last point.

Edited by DragonMaci
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What I'm saying is that IF a person who is participating in open source uses their employer's resources without permission, then they are acting immorally.

I am also asserting, based on personal experience, that I believe this is commonplace.

I am further asserting that this use of stolen resources morally pollutes the pool of open source software, in the same way that excessive stolen goods might pollute an otherwise valuable flea market.

Fine, then blame the people that are foolish enough to act against their self interests. But it is not a fault of Open Source or a reason to assert Open Source is immoral or some such. Almost anything can be misused, but that is not necceasirly a reason to condemn it as immoral or such, even *if* it is commonplace.

Actually, we were talking about this blame being attributed to Linux werent we? Well, in any case, the essential point remains the same.

Patent law restricts the use of a patented invention without the explicit agreement of the patent holder, regardless of how the item containing the invention was acquired. Infringement, even if accidental, is subject to financial penalties.

Ah, I was not exactly sure on what it had to say on this issue ( as I beleive I indicated). However, obviously if there is patent violation taking place, then the problem is compounded by not giving users a reasonable way of knowing that are taking certain legal risks by using such software.

Yes, and when those people act in a way that endangers their job, they are being immoral. Morality is always about individual behavior.

I know what morality is about, thank you. The issue is that you are blaming attributing immorality to *LINUX*/*Open Source* for the immoral action of *some people*. Or this seems to be what you are doing anyway.

I'm not against Open Source as such. I'm against the irrational behavior of some of the people who are involved in Open Source.

If so, that sort of renders the vast majority of your comments in here a little off topic and pointless...

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Suing only Google and leaving alone Linus Torvalds, the guy who puts everything in Linux (others merely submit code; Linus determines whjat goes into the kernel and then puts it in), is a very questionable tactic.

Except Linus lives in Finland, and isn't subject to US law or US courts.

Do you know for a fact that Linux handles long names in the same way? Or does it handle it differently? If the former, can you prove it? If the latter, there is no problem.

I haven't taken the time to look into this myself. However, last I heard, Linux supported FAT32, and part of FAT32 is Joliet naming.

So what if there is a potential? And is the patent even legitimate in the first place? There are some illegitimate patents in the software industry (just like in other industries).

The "so what" is that many users of Linux and other open source software are unknowingly accepting the risk of being liable for patent infringement. The creators of the software know that risk is present, and refuse to disclose it. I view this lack of disclosure to be an immoral action by the creators and distributors.

That is not relevant. It does not mean makers of free software are doing something wrong. They are not responsible for the result. The bad ideas of those that think like that are, not the makers of free software. There are many good reasons to make software free, including but not limited to the following:

I agree that there are many good reasons to make software free. I never said otherwise. The point I'm trying to make is that free software as a principle is flawed; that there are cases where making software free, or releasing it in open source form, is damaging to the developer.

Or he could do what many software developers do and make their paid versions enough of an improvement on free software that people consider them worth paying for.

Again, I'm not arguing against free software as such. I'm saying the reasons some developers choose to make their software free or release it as open source are not always rational.

Btw, it is very rare for developers to actually compete with software they make for their employees, even with another commercial item let aline free things. They usually make non-competing software.

They may not release directly competing software, but it can still be competitive in the sense that all software is written by software developers; the products may not compete, but the skillsets do.

There is a way of avoiding this result. It is called upskilling or otherwise making yourself more valuable than your competing workers.

If you were planning to actively upskill, while using open source to reduce the value of the jobs of your competing coworkers and improve the health of the company you work for, that might be a rational reason to participate in it. Unfortunately, most of the Open Source developers I know don't think that far ahead.

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[quote

Except Linus lives in Finland, and isn't subject to US law or US courts.

]

Actually, Linus and his family have been living in the States for quite some time now and he is even registered to vote. I think that would mean that it is quite subject to US law.

The point I'm trying to make is that free software as a principle is flawed;

There is no basis for this whatsoever and you have most definitely not come close to providing justification for this assertion.

They may not release directly competing software, but it can still be competitive in the sense that all software is written by software developers; the products may not compete, but the skillsets do.

Not everyone cares about this or has a reason to. Many people have all sorts of valid reasons why they might wish to release free software and the fact that others may have "competing skillsets" makes no difference whatsoever.

Edited by Prometheus98876
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Fine, then blame the people that are foolish enough to act against their self interests. But it is not a fault of Open Source or a reason to assert Open Source is immoral or some such. Almost anything can be misused, but that is not necceasirly a reason to condemn it as immoral or such, even *if* it is commonplace.

That's reasonable.

I know what morality is about, thank you. The issue is that you are blaming attributing immorality to *LINUX*/*Open Source* for the immoral action of *some people*. Or this seems to be what you are doing anyway.

An inanimate object can't be blamed for being immoral -- so, yes, I'm calling out the immoral actions of some of the people involved with Linux and other open source projects. I'm also saying that I think those immoral actions are much more common than some people seem to believe.

If so, that sort of renders the vast majority of your comments in here a little off topic and pointless...

So as we come to some understanding and agreement, you call my comments off topic and pointless? Nice.

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Except Linus lives in Finland, and isn't subject to US law or US courts.

I never mentioned US law or US courts. I left it open to which country's laws and courts. This is because I didn't know where he is based.

I haven't taken the time to look into this myself. However, last I heard, Linux supported FAT32, and part of FAT32 is Joliet naming.

And do you know for a fact that Linux's support of FAT32 uses Joliet naming rather than a work around? The latter is in no way illegal to the best of my knowledge. It certainly shouldn't be illegal. Nor is it immoral.

The "so what" is that many users of Linux and other open source software are unknowingly accepting the risk of being liable for patent infringement.

That doesn't really answer the question of "So what if there is a potential patent infrigement." Your "answer" really only answers "So what if there is a patent infringement"? I asked the former not the latter. The two are very different questions.

The creators of the software know that risk is present, and refuse to disclose it. I view this lack of disclosure to be an immoral action by the creators and distributors.

Some may be guilty of that, but not all are.

The point I'm trying to make is that free software as a principle is flawed; that there are cases where making software free, or releasing it in open source form, is damaging to the developer.

No, it is not. It depends on the context to which the principle is applied. My example reasons are cases where in fact the principle is very sound and even sometimes makes a profit (very good profit in some cases. And "that there are cases where making software free, or releasing it in open source form, is damaging to the developer" if anything helps my point of it being contextual, not your point that the principle itself is flawed. Thoses cases are contextually bad cases, whereas others are contextually good cases.

Again, I'm not arguing against free software as such. I'm saying the reasons some developers choose to make their software free or release it as open source are not always rational.

Well you seemed to be saying the former not the latter. In fact "The point I'm trying to make is that free software as a principle is flawed" further seems like the former not the latter despite what you followed that quote with.

They may not release directly competing software, but it can still be competitive in the sense that all software is written by software developers; the products may not compete, but the skillsets do.

Well, might not compete even then. Maybe they work for different companies, in different divisions of the same company, or make their ownh software for different customers, so they can both co-exist without ever competing for each other. The job of a programmer for the interface of Windows might never end up competing even for promotion within Microsoft.

If you were planning to actively upskill, while using open source to reduce the value of the jobs of your competing coworkers and improve the health of the company you work for, that might be a rational reason to participate in it. Unfortunately, most of the Open Source developers I know don't think that far ahead.

I am not sure what your point is here. Could you please clarify?

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That's reasonable.

An inanimate object can't be blamed for being immoral -- so, yes, I'm calling out the immoral actions of some of the people involved with Linux and other open source projects. I'm also saying that I think those immoral actions are much more common than some people seem to believe.

So as we come to some understanding and agreement, you call my comments off topic and pointless? Nice.

Good, then we have indeed reached some sort of agreement and perhaps we did not disagree as much as we might both have initially thought.

Look, I am not trying to be mean here or to assign blame or anything like that. I am just saying that we seem to have gotten a little off topic. Of course, you are the only person that has done this and it is not necceasirly a criticism. I am just pointing that the discussion of irrational acts in relation to OS/Linux projects is not entirely on topic. Neither do I see a lot of point discussing it, as I am sure we both are perfectly aware that it takes place.

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