Licences Question : Squeak-L Art 6.
Alan.Kay at squeakland.org
Thu Feb 20 14:57:29 UTC 2003
Not to open a can of worms here ... but it would be nice to have a
better distinction between that which should be shared and that which
can be owned.
My own notions are probably hopelessly idealistic, since they were
formed during the sixties and the wonderful public domain support of
ARPA and then Xerox PARC. This was basically a patronage model in
which the Medicis supported the artists to create what the artists
needed to create and the resultant art belonged to the public.
For-profit companies formed all the time from this process but didn't
damage it. This was overwhelmingly successful but has not been taken
up in current times by governments or companies, primarily, I
believe, for "being out of control" reasons.
Today, the patrons don't exist on the necessary scale to make this
work -- so everyone is struggling. If we look to the history of
Science as a model, we find that open sharing and preservation of
citation have been key to its success. Distinctions have been made
between basic knowledge, which is to be shared, and specific
invention, which can be owned for a time. This has always been a bit
messy, and large corporations have usually had the advantage
regardless of the merits of the case.
It's not clear quite how to do this with computer stuff, especially
in an image model employing objects that are *all* instances of
subclasses of base classes. Those of us who invented and made Squeak
decided to share all, and not try to make any direct money from any
part of Squeak. For those who want to own parts of their creations
and to sell them without being ripped off, I say "Yes, you should be
able to do this". But I also say, if you come up with some new
principle or mechanism that advances the state of software
engineering and/or computer science, you really owe it to the larger
world community to find a way to share the new idea. And the world
community needs to find ways to protect the citations of the
contributors (as Ted Nelson pointed out long ago) through use and
reuse of these ideas.
I think part of the solution path here is to deal with Ted's point
that in the hyperlinked world of the future it is far more important
to protect citation than ownership. He proposed a variety of ways to
do this, and some of today's capability systems (like e) could be a
nice start on that route.
At 8:45 AM -0500 2/20/03, Jon Hylands wrote:
> >At 8:47 AM +0100 2/20/03, goran.hultgren at bluefish.se wrote:
>>>- Making sure how we want it: Should improvements be published
>>>regardless of distribution? AFAICT Andrew got to this conclusion given
>>>the current language. (Which btw probably means some of us are
>>>the license currently - do you have improvements that you haven't
>This was one of the things we talked about at Interval Research.
>Glen Eden's interpretation of that clause was that we had to publish
>improvements to the base classes, but the license doesn't say anything
> Jon Hylands Jon at huv.com http://www.huv.com/jon
> Project: Micro Seeker (Micro Autonomous Underwater Vehicle)
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