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Re: [dvd-discuss] Is SCO Entitled?

On Tue, 12 Aug 2003, mickey wrote:

> "SCO has invested hundreds of millions in the development of UNIX and is 
> therefore entitled to a reasonable return on its investment. SCO 
> believes that major portions of the 2.4 and later versions of the Linux 
> kernel are unauthorised derivative works of SCO UNIX IP," it said.
> This is a root issue in the copyright/patent/secret arena. The belief 
> that one is *entitled* to be paid for their efforts seems to fuel most 
> of these arguments.
> So, are they entitled? Is that what "incent" was supposed to mean?

No, they're not entitled. Many investments can turn sour. The mere input 
of capital or labor doesn't intrinsically deserve a reward; if it did, 
maybe the dot com I worked for would not have gone under. There is some 
discussion of the rejection of the sweat of the brow theory in Feist.

Copyrigt provides an opportunity -- nothing more. Just because Gigli cost 
in the neighborhood of $50 million doesn't mean that we all have to go sit 
through it, wishing we were somewhere else*, just so that it turns a 

Now, if there is infringement, this interferes with the opportunity to 
obtain a reward in the marketplace, AND tends to divert what seems to be a 
likely reward. (after all, if there is piracy, that indicates that someone 
might be interested enough to buy it for real)

But I do agree that copyrights et al are being wrongly considered as 
strong property rights when that's manifestly inappropriate.

*For example, the grave.