[Edu-sig] politics,again

Arthur ajsiegel at optonline.net
Sun Oct 5 08:54:33 EDT 2003

No avoiding the "big picture" political issues.

Disturbing - to say the least.

A innocent browse to http://www.knoppix.org/ produces:

"""Closed because of "Software-Patents" """

and a referal to http://swpat.ffli.org for more information.

I know that Laura Creighton has been active in Sweden in trying to get this
issue addressed - or bill defeated, or sufficiently toned down.

Me - I'm confused.  On one hand I'm understanding that the bill being
considered in Europre is US style protections.  But little of the extreme
ramifications being discussed in Eutrope in lobbying for defeat of the
legislation are in effect in the US -e.g., collecting license fees on
"progress bars", etc.

It is protrayed as an issue of Big Companies using the pending new law to
prey on others and drive them from business.

But where were the laws that might have protected the innovators behind the
Speadsheet or Internet Browser from being ripped off by Microsoft and driven
from businesses that they effectively created? I guess laws strong enough to
do that would also have created monopolies - and we would be cowering before
Lotus instead of Microsoft.  No simple answers is probably the answer.

Shouldn't folks be entitled to put conditions on the issuance of their
intellectual property - even if is just the GPL? Isn't that what we are
telling SCO?

Not expressing an opinion - just confusion. Fundamental confusion.

And frustration that the net effect of this wrangling is Knoppix closed for
business - at least temporarity

Just when I needed them.


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