Fri Dec 5 12:51:07 GMT 2003 Darl McBride's Open Letter on Copyright (SCO Lawsuit)
I used to play poker with a friend who was once a professional magician. Whenever someone new joined the group, the rest of us would hound Larry to do a few tricks. One of his favorites was impressive when you first saw it, and hilariously funny once you were in on the joke.
Larry would say, "All right, I'm going to deal out five cards to each player. I'm going to have a straight flush, or four of a kind, and I don't know what you'll get. The only rule is that you can't pick up your cards until I'm done dealing". He'd then start dealing, and sure enough, he'd have a straight flush. He'd repeat this a couple of times while those of us who were in on the trick laughed and laughed at the befuddlement of the new folks.
What was funny was that after Larry dealt out the hands, he'd simply pick up the entire remaining deck, fan it out, and pick out his straight flush. This was completely visible to everyone, but everyone was looking at their own cards, and if they noticed him at all, it would never register that he was looking through twenty or thirty cards instead of five. Funny stuff, but it never failed.
That's kind of what Darl is doing here. Everything is right in front of your face, and he's hoping that you don't notice.
Darl says that RedHat and other Open Source advocates are opposed to patents and copyrights on software. That's absolutely true: a LOT of people, myself included, think that software should never be able to be patented and rarely should get copyright protection. I'm not going to bother with the reasons for that here, because the important point is that Daryl then proceeds to pick up the whole deck of cards and says that we are against ALL patents and copyrights. That's complete nonsense - oh, maybe somewhere there is some wild eyed idealist who thinks that, but it certainly isn't the normal view. Sure, some of us may think many patents are too broad and that research on prior art is poor, and that copyright terms are way too long, but how many want to toss out the whole system as Daryl suggests?
This is the kind of FUD we'll see more of. Daryl says he'll be posting more open letters, and I'm sure the misdirection and nonsense will continue.
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More Articles by Tony Lawrence © 2009-11-07 Tony Lawrence
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