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Re: Flight Computers

>The only motivation I see in GPL's demand that all changes be
>distributed under the same terms is idealistic anti-intellectual
>property socialist whackoisim. 

What an exceedingly strange argument! No one can apply the GPL to a
piece of software he does not own. So how is it "idealistic
anti-intellectual property socialist whackoism" for a copyright owner
to require compensation and to dictate whatever license terms he
chooses?  Copyright owners do that all the time.  It's just that under
the GPL, the required compensation to the owner consists of bug fixes
and enhancements rather than money.

As with any piece of copyrighted software, if you don't like the
license terms, you're free to not use it. Just return it to your
place of purchase and receive a complete refund. :-)

>If a good capitalist gives away source code and sees Apple or
>Microsoft "enhance" and successfully sell it, will cheer them on
>whether or not the changes are released.

Exactly how is it "good capitalism" to give software away so that
someone else can make money from it with *nothing* in return to the
author?  That sounds much more like corporate socialism to me.

>One reveals the keys of one's invention which make it unique, defends
>one's claims initially contested by the patent examiner, possibly
>later contested in court. In exchange is granted temporary protection
>against others applying the same invention without compensation.

That's certainly the theory. The practice is very, very different. In
practice, software patents disclose little if any prior art. In
practice, patent examiners are almost entirely incompetent; they work
at the PTO only because they can't get jobs in the real world.  In
practice, most patents are granted whether or not they disclose
anything truly useful, novel and non-trivial, as the law requires. In
practice, whoever has the most money for lawyers wins. In practice,
twenty year terms are hardly "temporary" given the pace of the
software industry. In practice, software patents suck big time.

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