[sclug] Pirate Party UK and Free software

Philip Hands phil at hands.com
Tue Nov 10 11:59:02 UTC 2009

On Tue, Nov 10, 2009 at 11:06:50AM +0000, Alex Butcher wrote:
> On Tue, 10 Nov 2009, Philip Hands wrote:
>> On Sat, Nov 07, 2009 at 11:14:37PM +0000, Alex Butcher wrote:
>> Hence the need for probably independent test labs.

That was meant to say "provably independent"

> Lots of very good points, and you make a position I have a lot of sympathy
> with.
> Of course, the escrow/independent labs approach is also sub-optimal;
> presumably a software author won't be able to release any binaries until
> their code has gone through the test lab (otherwise, we'd get equivalent
> behaviour to Free software distributors/appliance manufacturers saying that
> they're get round to releasing the source they used RSN), which in turn will
> slow down the software economy.  We might decide that that is a price we're
> prepared to pay, but it shouldn't be ignored.

No -- They'd just lose copyright protection at the early "proprietary"
date if they failed to do so.  If they want to maintain their copyright
for the longer "open source" term, they need to hit that deadline.

Of course, we'd want to make it so that you can redeem yourself to some
extent, to provide a continuing incentive to release the code after
that deadline, since the code is what we'd like to see in the public
domain as some point, but that's going to be tough to do fairly to:
if I establish a business distributing out-of-copyright binaries, and
then the vendor releases source, they should get some sort of reward,
but they should not be allowed to cut me off at the knees.

Cheers, Phil.
|)|  Philip Hands [+44 (0)20 8530 9560]    http://www.hands.com/
|-|  HANDS.COM Ltd.                    http://www.uk.debian.org/
|(|  10 Onslow Gardens, South Woodford, London  E18 1NE  ENGLAND

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