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Re: [ProgSoc] software and food recipes

On Fri, 11 May 2001, James Wan wrote:

> ability. But say you have this ability, and you got the exact ratios and
> made an identical copy, then yes it would be copyright violation. It is

You've pointed out how the ability to violate copyright goes to the nature
of the object and the ability to copy that object.

For most of us, in our living memory we've seen the law have the ability
to find copyright infringement in some things and not in others.

I would put the view that to have something acceptable or not, according
to the law's ability to enforce it, is not the ideal way of arranging
things.  The fact that we've lived with the legal fiction of copyright for
so long, that it's beyond living memory and become an accepted part of the
social landscape, makes it hard to put this view.

> Greed is good, that's why the original chef would want some kind of

No, not quite.  Ambition is good.  Greed connotates detraction from

Microsoft, for instance, follows the profit motive in two different ways:
 - Producing and selling products that people find superior
 - Preventing others from producing and selling similar products

The first is competition, the second is anti-competition.  Both make a
profit.  But the first is legal, the second is not.  Thankfully we have a
legal layer over the top of the free market to keep monopolies from being
formed by the leveraging of other monopolies.

A lot of argument flies around criticising Microsoft's products and their
superiority or lack thereof.  Similarly, Microsoft's lack of source code
disclosure is criticised by =some= people who use GPL.  They may be right
or wrong, but it is irrelevant to the legality and fairness of Microsoft's
actions.  There's nothing actually too damaging to society if Microsoft
just produced crap software.

If we're left with nothing else to use, due to Bill's actions, then that's
another matter.

Also, none of this validates Microsoft's very negative views on GPL.  It
probably contradicts them, actually.


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