Leszek Matok wrote:
> Dnia 26-02-2007, pon o godzinie 21:42 +0200, Avi Kivity napisaƂ(a):
>> The light bulb makers used their own brains to invent something new, 
>> without stealing the candlemaker's bright ideas.
> No, it's the same idea - an idea that we can make light when it's dark.
> It's only a difference in implementation. If you don't get that, think
> about the invention of CFL when there are already light bulbs.

CFL is a new idea.  A better one, too.

I don't think the inventor of the lightbulb was granted a patent on
light, or even artificial light.  Just a way of producing light by
applying current to a metal filament which heats and emits light.

>> That's called 
>> progress.  The bicycle cloners invented nothing
> It's hard to clone something. They would rather make their own
> implementation of an idea. In order to sell their bicycles they would
> have to make it better in some way. We'd get bicycles that are
> cheaper/better/lighter/whatever than original. _That's_ called progress.
> It's also called competition, which is good for the consumer.

Right, so write your own code/film your own movie/record your own song. 
That's competition and that's good for the consumers.  Copying someone
elses code is _not_ competition.

Allowing people to copy music/movies/non-free software and redistribute
it is not competition.

> You, on
> the other hand, are advocating monopolies.

Certainly not.  You want to compete with my bicycle rental business,
design and build your own bikes, may the best cycle win.

I _am_ advocating that you can have a monopoly on your own creation, but
not that you can prevent someone else from creating.

>> (except the cloning 
>> machine; they could be rich unless someone cloned _that_)
> Yeah, yeah. Whenever someone clones the real clone machine (that can
> clone anything) and starts to sell that, next day there will be no
> famine in the world. But you say it's bad for mankind to clone things.

Let's drop the cloning machine thing.  It's too far-fetched to make good

I hope we don't have a cloning machine as it's most likely we'll be gone
soon afterwards.

>> you can probably appreciate 
>> the amount of effort that goes into producing software.  That effort
>> has 
>> value.  Allowing anyone to copy it reduces that value.
> How many times did you buy a program that had 1000 functions, but you
> needed it for just one?

Well, I use open source software, so I rarely have pay for it.  I did
pay Red Hat back in the 9 days to get updates, because I appreciated the
effort that went into those updates.  I also pay for my LWN
subscription.  Sure, downloading the articles somehow wouldn't take them
away from them, but I wouldn't do it even if I could.

> Is the program worth $1000 for you? No. But hey,
> the idea of that one function is patented and no one can write a simple
> program doing just that.

I oppose software patents, at least as currently abused.  I think a
better solution is trade secrets, but I admit that I haven't given it
much thought.

> I fully understand that making The Big Program took 10 years of work for
> 100 programmers. But don't make me pay for things I don't need.

I'm with you on that.  But that doesn't mean you can freely copy the
$1000 program, just because you want to use part of the functionality.

> Again, there's also the monopoly behind such program which idea can't be
> copied. The company will stop making any improvements because they
> already know you will pay anyhow and no one can make a better program
> anyhow.

If they stop making innovations, others will, and the customers will
switch to them.

> If you're so convinced that we have to protect ideas, because otherwise
> people will stop inventing things, make a software patent last 1 year.
> If the company can make a good product out of the brilliant idea, they
> can make billions during the year. Otherwise, don't stop the competition
> from doing it better.

That could work.  The worst thing about software patents IMO is that
they make it impossible for small companies to write software without
infringing.  The large ones are mostly cross-licensed, and they have the
pockets and patent portfolios to fight a patent war.  And it's the small
companies that do the innovations.

> And please, think, what takes more time - thinking about a nice feature
> or actually implementing it?

Implementation, of course, but what has that to do with abolishing

Copying non-free software (or movies, or songs) steals both the value of
the idea and the value of the implementation effort.

Free software is great, but it has to be voluntary.  Forcing all
software to be free is wrong.

Do not meddle in the internals of kernels, for they are subtle and quick to panic.