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Phlegmak
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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.

How can you tell a polluted project from one that isn't?

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.

I mostly agree. However, there is a difference between an honest error and evading an obvious consequence. My point is that IF a developer does not rationally consider the long-term consequences of his choice, and IF he could have rationally foreseen that he would endanger his job, then he is acting immorally.

As a separate point, I also claim that this happens much more frequently than is commonly believed -- based on many years of personal experience.

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How can you tell a polluted project from one that isn't?

By the application of reason and identifying how the facts of reality relate to the motivations of the software developers/those in charge of the project? As opposed to making hasty and probably invalid generalisations about everyone else doing such things?

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How can you tell a polluted project from one that isn't?

Sometimes you can't as the developer does not make enough clear (such as motives, etc). But when you can tell there is the means Prometheus mentioned. And by the same means you can sometimes tell that some projects are not only uncorrupted, but in vact very pure (such as Microsoft making free software that automatically improves Windows performance by altering Windows settings and improves battery life by altering Windows settings; they do it to increase the value of Windows and thus help the sales of Windows).

As a separate point, I also claim that this happens much more frequently than is commonly believed -- based on many years of personal experience.

Maybe but so what if it does?

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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.

OK.

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.

I'm not going to try to litigate the position here. You're saying if it doesn't violate the patent then it isn't illegal or immoral. Fine, I agree with that. My point is that there are people who believe that it does violate the patent and others as well. Many of the key supporters and distributors know about that, so not disclosing that to the people who use your product is immoral because it puts them at risk.

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.

Even with a potential infringement, there is still a risk that you will be sued and will incur legal costs or end up paying to settle.

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

My point is that the ones who are guilty are immoral. Separately, I also believe that they are in the majority. I don't have first-hand knowledge of any distributors who discuss patent issues other than Novell with suse.

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.

If open source were valid as a principle, then I would expect to be able to always apply that principle, except in the context of things like physical force or fraud. I don't see how open source fits. Let's say you are working on a for-profit software product. If open source was a valid principle, wouldn't that mean that you should always release the product as open source? That for others, even without knowing the details, that your behavior in that regard should be predictable? I could understand if there was context in the form of legal restrictions that made it impossible, but as a principle, does it really work?

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.

Just because I disagree with open source as a principle doesn't mean that I disagree with it entirely. There are certainly valid, rational reasons for releasing your work as open source. I view principles as more of an automatic thing -- like honesty; it's just something that's there by default. I don't look at open source that way.

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

My point is that if you rationally consider why you are releasing your work as open source, including foreseeable long-term consequences, and if you do the work using your own time and resources, then it's moral -- and if you don't; if you evade and sacrifice a lower value for a higher one on what amounts to a whim, then it's immoral.

I know of several people who lost their jobs at Microsoft as a result of using company resources to develop open source software.

I know of several former Unix kernel engineers who contributed a lot of time to Linux development, and whose jobs were eventually phased out due to the availability of open source operating systems. They are still employed as software engineers, but at a much lower wage than before.

These consequences were not intentional, yet they were both foreseeable by a rational person. It was not honest mistakes; it was evasion.

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If open source were valid as a principle, then I would expect to be able to always apply that principle, except in the context of things like physical force or fraud. I don't see how open source fits. Let's say you are working on a for-profit software product. If open source was a valid principle, wouldn't that mean that you should always release the product as open source? That for others, even without knowing the details, that your behavior in that regard should be predictable? I could understand if there was context in the form of legal restrictions that made it impossible, but as a principle, does it really work?

Open Source is neither immoral or moral "on principle". What *is* either moral or immoral ( or possibly morally neutral ) is certain manners in which OS is used for certain purposes. One cannot validly condemn OS based on the fact that *some* may do things in relation to it which may be irrational. One cannot judge OS as inherently valid or invalid in terms of moral principles. It is actually *neither* inherently valid *or* invalid morally, not by *any* valid moral principle. What counts is *only* the moral principles relevant to use OS is used in a given context.

Edited by Prometheus98876
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If open source were valid as a principle, then I would expect to be able to always apply that principle, except in the context of things like physical force or fraud. I don't see how open source fits. Let's say you are working on a for-profit software product. If open source was a valid principle, wouldn't that mean that you should always release the product as open source? That for others, even without knowing the details, that your behavior in that regard should be predictable? I could understand if there was context in the form of legal restrictions that made it impossible, but as a principle, does it really work?

You missed my point. My point is that either way it is contextual rather than blanketly good or blanketly bad. In some cases OSS is valid, in others it is not.

ADDITION: It is similar to how a contract between a writer and his publishing company is not blanketly good or bad, but rather how specific cases of such a contract are good or bad.

I know of several former Unix kernel engineers who contributed a lot of time to Linux development, and whose jobs were eventually phased out due to the availability of open source operating systems. They are still employed as software engineers, but at a much lower wage than before.

That wording suggests it was the fact they made OSS at all that resulted in their job loses. Or did you mean that they lost work due to doing it on company time? Or did you mean making competing OSS software? The last 2 I could believe, but not the former. MS themselves make OSS and even created a site for OSS created with their development tools. The site is called CodePlex.

Edited by DragonMaci
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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.

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.

Why would this be different for 'intellectual property'? Why can't you dispose of your intellectual property by giving it to your children, who then give it to their children indefinitely? Assuming I bought the rights to a work from someone else, why should MY property be dependent upon when someone else dies, which has no effect on the work in question?

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.

There would seem to be a big difference to me. Unclaimed land can be claimed and become privately owned property. However an existing idea cannot be legitimately claimed. Something that is in the public domain is not just unowned, but unownable. You may write an adaption of an existing work and get a copyright for it, but the original work remains free.

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.

I don't see a rational reason why something that was property would legitimately stop being property against the wishes of the property owner.

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.

Ayn Rand's theory of property is a labor centric one, best as I can tell. By labor centric, I mean that one's labor is where one obtains the right to one's property (aside from what one acquires from trade and gifts).

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?

There are differences, but there's more economic similarities between beauty and copyright than copyright and chattel.

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.

Likewise, I would say that a book is what is legitimately owned, not it's content. To own the content of the books attacks the book itself as property, and limits the usage of one's mind and body.

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Why would this be different for 'intellectual property'? Why can't you dispose of your intellectual property by giving it to your children, who then give it to their children indefinitely? Assuming I bought the rights to a work from someone else, why should MY property be dependent upon when someone else dies, which has no effect on the work in question?

Because of this :

"By forbidding an unauthorized reproduction of the object, the law declares, in effect, that the physical labor of copying is not the source of the object’s value, that that value is created by the originator of the idea and may not be used without his consent; thus the law establishes the property right of a mind to that which it has brought into existence.:" - Ayn Rand.

This does not mean however that the rights of the producer is to be protected long after the producer is dead and the right would be a floating abstraction which applies to nobody at all. The right to IP as long as it is valid, applies *to the one that produced it* and possibly anyone that may still be alive which also has some degree of valid IP over it. The issue of when the patent/whatever should expire is complicated, and even more so if you decide it should be inherited, which I dont really see any good reason for. Why should you be able to grant the exclusive right to the production/use of something to kids, when logically the right is only valid in relation to you or others that might have helped to invent such things? The only reasons it might apply after at least one of the creators deaths ( fifty years for instance) that I can see is that allows the possibility for co-claimants to arise and or it allow a default period in which co-creators may gain such protection until they also pass on.

Passing your money ( and or other stuff ) on to your kids or other people is quite different however. It is YOUR money/whatever and you have the right to make legal provisions which allow other people to become the legal owners of your property if you so wish and logically these people "inherit" the right to this property you have given away. However, this doesnt really work with IP protection as far as I can see, as those other people dont really have the right to "inherit" IP protection. Property rights involve the right to property. IP protection is a system of legal protection. You have property rights, but you do not own or have property rights *over IP protection* and you cannot simply decide to give it to you whoever you want. IP laws apply only to specific people , not whoever you choose to extend them to.

[quote

I don't see a rational reason why something that was property would legitimately stop being property against the wishes of the property owner.

]

Actually, I am saying that you should use the correct definition of "property" ion the first place , at least when trying to analyse her statements.

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As far as I know, there are two main schools of thought, implicitly and/or explicitly, in the Open Source movement. Or rather, there's two similar movements that look the same, but are essentially different. The Open Source movement and the Free Software movement.

As far as I know, the Open Sourcers' goal is just to make better software. Their reasoning is that when the source code is available for anyone to change, people will find ways to make it better. With a lot of intelligent programmers out there, bugs and errors and such won't exist for long before someone finds them and fixes them. So they're doing it for practical reasons.

the Free Software Foundation, on the other hand, with Richard Stallman as its very vocal leader, advocates that all software be "free", in the sense that it is both open source, and any and all comers may have the source code and modify it as they desire. Free, in the same sense that people who reject intellectual property advocate for the "free-flow" of ideas, including the ideas of inventions that rightfully belong to their originators. Richard Stallman explicitly opposes proprietary software, and he explicitly does so on a moral basis. He explicitly states that he disagrees with Open Source school of thought, because they're willing to accept proprietary software if it works better than open source software. He uses a stone-age computer with no graphical interface, because it is the only thing he can find that "free" OS, hardware, and BIOS. He rejects proprietary software, on moral principle. The creators of a program don't have a right to their own creation, under his school of thought. Because he thinks like most other people who reject intellectual property. Proprietary software, to him, violates a person's right to their physical property by restricting what they are allowed to do with their own computers.

Here is an article straight from the horse's mouth. http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/open-source-misses-the-point.html

It is true that Ayn Rand was not alive to talk about Open Source software. But we can apply her philosophy to this situation to come to a conclusion based on Objectivism. I conclude that the Open Source movement is fine, maybe even good, and that the Free Software movement is evil.

EDIT: Whoa, I didn't realize this is eight pages long. I only have the first page's context, so keep that in mind when you read this.

Edited by Amaroq
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You missed my point. My point is that either way it is contextual rather than blanketly good or blanketly bad. In some cases OSS is valid, in others it is not.

I agree that principles are contextual. However, the contextual exceptions need to be well defined.

ADDITION: It is similar to how a contract between a writer and his publishing company is not blanketly good or bad, but rather how specific cases of such a contract are good or bad.

OK, so the principle there is that having a contract between a writer and a publisher is good; it's something you should want to do. However, you need to be careful, because the terms of the contract might be damaging if they aren't properly formulated. I agree with that.

An equivalent statement about open source as a principle would be: open source is good; it's something you should want to do. However, you need to be careful, because there are certain types of open source that might be damaging. Do you agree with that formulation? I don't.

That wording suggests it was the fact they made OSS at all that resulted in their job loses. Or did you mean that they lost work due to doing it on company time? Or did you mean making competing OSS software? The last 2 I could believe, but not the former. MS themselves make OSS and even created a site for OSS created with their development tools. The site is called CodePlex.

The Unix kernel developers I was talking about didn't work at Microsoft. They lost their jobs because they helped to create an OS that was competitive with Unix, but which was free and open source.

I have no objection to MS creating open source software and releasing it on Codeplex or wherever. I'll say it again: my objection is not to the concept of open source as such; it's to the irrationality of some of the people who participate in it.

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Because of this :

"By forbidding an unauthorized reproduction of the object, the law declares, in effect, that the physical labor of copying is not the source of the object’s value, that that value is created by the originator of the idea and may not be used without his consent; thus the law establishes the property right of a mind to that which it has brought into existence.:" - Ayn Rand.

This does not mean however that the rights of the producer is to be protected long after the producer is dead and the right would be a floating abstraction which applies to nobody at all. The right to IP as long as it is valid, applies *to the one that produced it* and possibly anyone that may still be alive which also has some degree of valid IP over it

It already is a floating abstraction, and you don't seem to be presenting a logical argument for why a right must be tied to an author. If I make a chair, I can sell the chair to someone else, and they will have all of the same valid rights to the chair that I had before I transfered ownership. If IP is really property, I see no reason why it would be incapable of transfer.

The issue of when the patent/whatever should expire is complicated, and even more so if you decide it should be inherited, which I dont really see any good reason for. Why should you be able to grant the exclusive right to the production/use of something to kids, when logically the right is only valid in relation to you or others that might have helped to invent such things?

The way I thought you were going about this was that the content in the abstract is the property (please clarify if you were saying something else). So long as the content exists outside of the author's mind, there's no inherent advantage to the author in regards to controlling of the content. One's mind is one's property, but the content of a published work is no longer bound to author's mind, making the rights just as transferable as any other property.

The only reasons it might apply after at least one of the creators deaths ( fifty years for instance) that I can see is that allows the possibility for co-claimants to arise and or it allow a default period in which co-creators may gain such protection until they also pass on.

I've never heard such a theory, and it isn't logical. The vast majority of works bring in no significant income past 10 years, and those that do are of such a high profile that an author who doesn't claim authorship within a decade is practically saying they've abandoned any claims to the work. There may be exceptions with extenuating circumstances, but they are rare enough to not be worth considering, let alone setting a rule for all works.

Passing your money ( and or other stuff ) on to your kids or other people is quite different however. It is YOUR money/whatever and you have the right to make legal provisions which allow other people to become the legal owners of your property if you so wish and logically these people "inherit" the right to this property you have given away. However, this doesnt really work with IP protection as far as I can see, as those other people dont really have the right to "inherit" IP protection. Property rights involve the right to property. IP protection is a system of legal protection. You have property rights, but you do not own or have property rights *over IP protection* and you cannot simply decide to give it to you whoever you want. IP laws apply only to specific people , not whoever you choose to extend them to.

As far as I'm aware, there is no nation that is remotely close to having such a system, as your rights to a work can be transferred. The closest thing would be 'moral rights' in European countries, which is mostly concerned with fraudulent claims about authorship and distorting derivatives.

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As to the IP debate, Objectivism upholds IP as the most important property right of all. As I'm sure others have mentioned, a mind brought an idea into being, so the idea belongs to the person whose mind did that. The justification behind IP isn't any utilitarian bullshit. It's that whoever put the mental effort into creating that idea is entitled to reap the rewards that that idea brings about. They have the right to exploit that idea for profit, since it is theirs.

It already is a floating abstraction, and you don't seem to be presenting a logical argument for why a right must be tied to an author. If I make a chair, I can sell the chair to someone else, and they will have all of the same valid rights to the chair that I had before I transfered ownership. If IP is really property, I see no reason why it would be incapable of transfer.

The way I thought you were going about this was that the content in the abstract is the property (please clarify if you were saying something else). So long as the content exists outside of the author's mind, there's no inherent advantage to the author in regards to controlling of the content. One's mind is one's property, but the content of a published work is no longer bound to author's mind, making the rights just as transferable as any other property.

You're wrong.

There's a huge difference between selling a chair and the idea of selling IP rights. When you create a physical object, you can trade it to someone in return for something, but you can only do this one time. Intellectual property can be repeatedly exploited. If you invent something, you can make a profit off of the production of that invention for years. When you sell a chair to someone and they re-sell it, they can only get whatever one person is willing to trade for it one time. If it were possible to transfer intellectual property rights, then someone whose mind did not create that intellectual property could profit off of someone else's mental labor for years without having to put any effort into it.

The reason the right to an idea cannot be transferred is because the ideal purpose of all property is to allow an individual to benefit from their actions. Traders of physical property cannot leach benefits from others' actions indefinitely. The recipient of someone else's intellectual property right can benefit from the originator's actions indefinitely without putting any effort into it. So rightfully, only the creator of an idea should be granted the right to exploit that idea for a duration of time. Whether by keeping it to himself or giving companies permission to produce it in return for payments on every product produced from the idea.

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As to the IP debate, Objectivism upholds IP as the most important property right of all. As I'm sure others have mentioned, a mind brought an idea into being, so the idea belongs to the person whose mind did that. The justification behind IP isn't any utilitarian bullshit. It's that whoever put the mental effort into creating that idea is entitled to reap the rewards that that idea brings about. They have the right to exploit that idea for profit, since it is theirs.

You're wrong.

There's a huge difference between selling a chair and the idea of selling IP rights. When you create a physical object, you can trade it to someone in return for something, but you can only do this one time. Intellectual property can be repeatedly exploited. If you invent something, you can make a profit off of the production of that invention for years. When you sell a chair to someone and they re-sell it, they can only get whatever one person is willing to trade for it one time. If it were possible to transfer intellectual property rights, then someone whose mind did not create that intellectual property could profit off of someone else's mental labor for years without having to put any effort into it.

That's precisely what happens on a regular basis all over the world. Copyright is often fully transfered.

The reason the right to an idea cannot be transferred is because the ideal purpose of all property is to allow an individual to benefit from their actions. Traders of physical property cannot leach benefits from others' actions indefinitely. The recipient of someone else's intellectual property right can benefit from the originator's actions indefinitely without putting any effort into it. So rightfully, only the creator of an idea should be granted the right to exploit that idea for a duration of time. Whether by keeping it to himself or giving companies permission to produce it in return for payments on every product produced from the idea.

You seem to be focused on elimination of indefinite benefit, at least to those that didn't author a work, but you've not managed to do so. If there is a benefit of exploiting a work after the death of the author(s), there is going to be an indefinite benefit to be had that involved no effort involved whether we have copyright as indefinitely inheritable or the work falls into the public domain. Either way someone or someones will will receive a benefit indefinitely if copyright is transfered (this applies to a limited extent to "Peter Pan" within the UK, where a certain institution has an indefinite right to royalties for any adaption, but no creative control), or any publisher that wishes to publish a certain work will receive a benefit (as is the case with all 'classic' literature).

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It already is a floating abstraction, and you don't seem to be presenting a logical argument for why a right must be tied to an author. If I make a chair, I can sell the chair to someone else, and they will have all of the same valid rights to the chair that I had before I transfered ownership. If IP is really property, I see no reason why it would be incapable of transfer.

How is transferability all that essential to the context here? It's like saying a threat isn't an initiation of force because you have the choice to ignore a person threatening you. Essentials of a discussion are what matter when it comes to philosophy, not some consideration that won't resolve the more fundamental questions. What it all comes down to is a system which best provides benefit to those who *deserve* it. IP is an outgrowth of that. Transferability is merely a consideration of HOW to create a system of property that allows people to get what they deserve.

In order to make this discussion more concrete and pertinent to the actual thread, ask whether or not open source promotes ideas related to capitalism and giving people what they deserve. Open source *per se* isn't wrong or immoral, however, might it ultimately lead to a more destructive end that throws out any admiration or respect for the creators of ideas?

Edited by Eiuol
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How is transferability all that essential to the context here? It's like saying a threat isn't an initiation of force because you have the choice to ignore a person threatening you. Essentials of a discussion are what matter when it comes to philosophy, not some consideration that won't resolve the more fundamental questions. What it all comes down to is a system which best provides benefit to those who *deserve* it. IP is an outgrowth of that. Transferability is merely a consideration of HOW to create a system of property that allows people to get what they deserve.

What author's deserve is a fair point to start at. There are two common conclusions to be drawn. There is control over what the author concretely makes, namely a manuscript, and there is control of what one makes in the abstract sense, the content itself. I contend that the author only deserves the former and not the latter. If one holds that the latter is rightly the property of the author (and especially if one holds it to be the most important property), then the author should have the right to dispose of it however they see fit, including transfer to others, unless there is a reason it just can't happen. In the instance of one's body, a total transfer is not possible, so even if you hold your body to be property, it is justifiably not transferable. However, a writing in the abstract is not bound to the author in such a manner, so if it were truly the author's property, there's no reason it couldn't be transfered and transfered indefinitely. It seems to me that practically all reasonable arguments on copyright and patents insist on limited duration, not because of an inability to justly transfer them, but because that such a system becomes increasingly burdensome and inefficient. Thus, some kludge of a rationalization is thrown in, making handling what is supposedly 'fundamental property', something that should be a very simple matter, incredibly complex.

In order to make this discussion more concrete and pertinent to the actual thread, ask whether or not open source promotes ideas related to capitalism and giving people what they deserve. Open source *per se* isn't wrong or immoral, however, might it ultimately lead to a more destructive end that throws out any admiration or respect for the creators of ideas?

I would say that the ideas it promotes are in line with capitalism, and that it actually fosters more respect than a proprietary environment. The payments made within a FOSS environment is generally going to be for something that creates new value (fixing a bug, adding a feature, technical support), while the payments made in a proprietary environment has more of a focus on extracting value from work already done. One thing to note is that the majority of employed programmers are working on internal projects that aren't distributed outside of the organization they are written for, so their employment is more of a service market like FOSS than a product market like proprietary software.

Keep in mind that these are gross generalizations, so many exceptions to this may exist, and more internet centric models are still changing the dynamics of both types of environments.

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However, a writing in the abstract is not bound to the author in such a manner, so if it were truly the author's property, there's no reason it couldn't be transfered and transfered indefinitely.

There is literally no THING to transfer, that's why. Fortunately, transferability is only a consideration for things that are tangible. You don't pose anything that's a problem. To say that writing in the abstract would be transferable if it is truly property is to be suggesting that transferability is an essential characteristic of property. I'm saying no, that's not an essential characteristic, though we'd agree that it's a reason why patents/copyrights should not be indefinite.

It seems to me that practically all reasonable arguments on copyright and patents insist on limited duration, not because of an inability to justly transfer them, but because that such a system becomes increasingly burdensome and inefficient.

I'm not sure why you brought that up, because no one here provided that reasoning.

This seems like thread derailment by me.

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There is literally no THING to transfer, that's why. Fortunately, transferability is only a consideration for things that are tangible. You don't pose anything that's a problem. To say that writing in the abstract would be transferable if it is truly property is to be suggesting that transferability is an essential characteristic of property. I'm saying no, that's not an essential characteristic, though we'd agree that it's a reason why patents/copyrights should not be indefinite.

Copyright and patents ARE transferable, though, and suffer no detriment when separated from the author. What I'm saying is that since they are transferable and considered natural property, it makes no sense for them to expire. The insistence that copyright and patents aren't transferable doesn't have any grounding.

I'm not sure why you brought that up, because no one here provided that reasoning.

This seems like thread derailment by me.

I'm saying that the burden is the real reason for these limits in the minds of many, and that they come up with some half-baked rationalization to cover up such a fact.

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I'm saying that the burden is the real reason for these limits in the minds of many, and that they come up with some half-baked rationalization to cover up such a fact.

Well, "real reason in the minds of many" is irrelevant. Rational discussion at least requires the assumption that both parties are using logic, even if the "many" use rationalizations. I'll continue discussing this; you can make another thread, or later I'll split some of the thread starting at Amaroq's previous post.

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  • 3 months later...

Besides the already stated fact that open source programs (and OS') are created & constantly modified by multiple programmers, no one mentioned that contributing to these are highly beneficial to the individual. The same is true of kids who join clubs/ student govt/ journalism in school.. it's great to put on a resume and talk about in interviews! The main concept in non-technical programmer books (ie the passionate programmer & other pragmatic bookshelf reads) is that you need to go above and beyond to get awesome jobs, lots of money, and be successful overall. So many people can say 'GIMP user' or 'Django user,' but how many can say 'GIMP contributor' or 'Django contributor'? You can say you love programming all you want in an interview, but you won't get anywhere if you can't back it up with facts. If you're working 50 hour weeks and still make time to contribute to programming projects (instead of just watching tv), you really show your passion.

You'll also notice that programmers who actually program more are much more successful than those who only program during their day jobs. You can't expect to get paid for learning new skills on the job; you have to do most of that on your own time. Contributing to OS projects (or publishing code on git) is a great way to practice, build your confidence, and get feedback on your code.

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