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Re: [dvd-discuss] Gedanken Experiment -Unix and Norton

John Zulauf wrote:
> Seth Johnson wrote:
> > The application of the trade secret model is far better because it separates
> > private interest from exclusive rights.  "Publishing" does not simply mean
> > "readable" or "viewable."  It means making available to the public.
> Publication != "freely given" however.

The only restriction on published information is the reproduction of
original expression.  I don't understand what you mean by "freely given." 
If you mean not given of free will, then I don't understand what on earth
you mean.  One chooses to publish or not (unless someone does it for you
against your wishes).  If you mean to imply that the published work is not
open to free use, you're wrong as far as anything besides reproduction of
original expression.  If you mean things won't be given for free, it's not
relevant to the point that publishing means making information available
such that it can be used freely, save for reproduction of original
expression.  You can't support your point with the false notion that the
economic incentive has priority over the purposes of the exclusive rights
clause, or the intrinsic nature of information as such.

> As an example, a copy of the
> source (or the right to one) could accompany each binary copy of the
> application and fulfill a publication requirement.  However, if
> algorithm can only protected as a trade secret
> (a) The secret is never shared (and never falls into the public domain)
> and potentially lost (c.f. the Stradivari (sp?) brothers and their
> irreproducible violins)
> (b) a source publication requirement will never be accepted by software
> companies
> (a) and (b) tending to be antithetical to "promote progress" I'm not too
> fond of them.

If you want to incentivize disclosure, figure out what might encourage that
without violating the intrinsic freedom of information as such.  It doesn't
follow that software should be patented.

Overextending exclusive rights such that you restrict the free use of
information as such is an expression of allowing the private interest to
overtake the public interest in exclusive rights policy -- not just the
"promotion of progress," but fundamental rights.

Nothing has changed as far as what governs the choice to keep a discovery a
secret or to publish it.  There has only arisen an egregious desire to lay
inappropriate claims on new media and digital tools.

Seth Johnson


DRM is Theft!  We are the Stakeholders!

New Yorkers for Fair Use

[CC] Counter-copyright: http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/cc/cc.html

I reserve no rights restricting copying, modification or distribution of
this incidentally recorded communication.  Original authorship should be
attributed reasonably, but only so far as such an expectation might hold for
usual practice in ordinary social discourse to which one holds no claim of
exclusive rights.