Re: "Copyleft" article in New Scientist

From: Arthur Smith <apsmith_at_APS.ORG>
Date: Fri, 1 Feb 2002 17:01:47 -0500

Stevan Harnad wrote:
> To put it more directly, using software development language to make the
> point: The "developers" of the code that constitutes a refereed research
> paper do not, never did, and never could or would, write the "code" in
> order to sell it, and get fees or royalties from its use. Their rewards
> come EXCLUSIVELY from the user community's use itself, which any form
> of fee or toll would simply diminish or block.

Sounds exactly like Tim Berners-Lee's arguments about why he never even
considered making the World-Wide-Web a commercial service, because if he
had it would not have become what it did... The "open source" movement
encompasses a bit more than just program code; it extends particularly
to protocols (like the http the web depends on - in contrast there are
also proprietary protocols owned by the likes of IBM, Microsoft and
Cisco) and similarly high-level design, specifications and API's - for
example document formats like TeX, PostScript and PDF, vs. MS Word. Of
course the analogy isn't exact, but it seems to me there's quite a lot
to learn.

Though I know Stevan doesn't like analogies that aren't exact :-)

Received on Fri Feb 01 2002 - 22:55:05 GMT

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