Friday, August 27, 2004

Open Source

I just read an article on Open Source development projects... One side of the situation is that companies that stay in business by selling their software are trying to file hundreds of patents that will protect their investments (which stifles the abilities of open source developers to work on projects for fear of a lawsuit). And on the other side of the situation we have literally tens of thousands of open source projects waiting to be worked on. There are those enterprising people who decide they want to develop code on their own time for no financial compensation, wonderful people.

My take is this:

Intellectual rights patents are bologne. We should allow anyone to develop anything they want to, even if it is the same exact application. Where you are going to see the benefits - who makes the interface easier to use, what options there are, cost of the product.

I can understand the fear of getting your newly coded software ripped of by someone hacking into your system (actually in my utopian world up above my guess would be most corporations would be hiring hackers to do just that to their competition). It would suck to devote 2 years of man power to a software product just to have the rug swept from under your feet by a company stealing your code and selling it for half the cost. But I think it would also generate more competition, which would fuel more innovation in the industry. So definitely don't make everything free, but make idea's and thoughts free.

Ahh here is what I think I mean to say. Make patents only good for a finished product and only for very limited time window. Something like - I create a document writer program that has the neat feature of a built in dictionary (I know been done a long time ago). For the first 12 months, no-one can release a product that is similar to that product. After those 12 months the patent is expired. It would fuel the corporations to do constant updates to keep in patent, furthering the software industry...

I don't know those are just my thoughts.

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