piclist 2005\08\22\171342a >
Thread: I say it is spinach . . .
picon face BY : Gerhard Fiedler email (remove spam text)

Olin Lathrop wrote:

> But open source would make this substantially easier.  Certainly the
> number of people that would have the skills to crack open source is much
> greater than those that know how to crack (and are willing to spend the
> significant effort it takes) executable binaries.

I really don't know how easy it is to hack these closed source programs,
and I'm not sure you know. (I'd be surprised if you had experience... :)

In any case, the ease of /hacking/ is not really the point. Not everybody
who wants to run a bootleg has to hack himself one. The ease of /obtaining/
a bootleg copy couldn't be much greater with open source than it is now
with closed source.

> In any case, open or closed source is and should continue to be a
> decision of the intellectual property owner.  I get really irked when I
> hear modern day hippies telling others what they should do with their
> self-created property.  I'm not necessarily against open source, only
> people telling me that all source should be open.

I'm not sure you read my other messages about the subject; especially about
property rights themselves. I'm also not sure what you mean by the phrase
that you get "irked" by some people in the context of this discussion. Did
you get irked here? By whom (or better by what)?

Firstly, I didn't see anybody trying to tell you what to do. (I'm also not
sure how I would identify a "modern day hippie" here :)

Secondly, property rights are only existent to the degree that there are
laws that give people these rights -- meaning that everybody who is in
favor of property rights (of whatever color, in whatever context) is the
one who is trying to tell other people (through property rights laws) what
they can or can't do, not the other way round. How about a law that
essentially says "your IP is protected by law to the extent that it is
published"? In (more than) a way, this makes sense -- why should the
community carry the burden of protecting something that's not accessible to
the community? It would still be everyone's choice to publish or not to

Thirdly, there is really no other means of enforcement for source code
copyright than compulsory open source. I didn't really mean to say that I
think this is how it should be -- and I don't think I said that --, but I
think the statement is true. There's no way for anybody to tell how much
stolen code is in a closed source software product. Given this, I don't
think it to be impossible that enforcement of intellectual property rights
would be better, not worse, with compulsory open source. (Or maybe with
laws in the spirit of the last paragraph, which is similar and probably
better: you publish and get the community's protection, or you don't
publish, bet on the "secrecy protection" horse, and are on your own with

Fourthly, I'm not sure why nobody picked up on that. There are all kinds of
programs in public service, used to make all kinds of policy decisions,
down to providing the information that's used to decide who's going to
Congress and to the White House. Pretty much all of this is closed source.
And pretty much nobody knows what's going on in these devices and programs.
I think that would be a /very/ good place to start with checking out how
compulsory open source could work.

<13nulf2w14urt.yxftqvyc04x2.dlg@40tude.net> 7bit

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