[linux-elitists] California Copyleft Research Initiative of 2001

Mr.Bad mr.bad@pigdog.org
Sun Jul 1 13:47:43 PDT 2001

>>>>> "SDS" == Seth David Schoen <schoen@loyalty.org> writes:

    SDS> Just copyrights or also patents?

I'm not sure. Can you patent an idea or design that is in the public

    SDS> I can think of some patent interests and business interests
    SDS> that would be pretty scared of this.  It is a pretty
    SDS> fundamental shift from what some corners of universities have
    SDS> been doing since after World War II.

Absolutely. However, I think Free Research (p.d. or copylefted) would
be a tremendous boon to business. Instead of having to fight for space
and attention at R&D labs, and dumping capital into risky theoretical
science ventures, they could concentrate on production, marketing,

Think of the benefits to consumers, also! Instead of having certain
industries making monopolistic profits on publicly-developed ideas,
these ideas would quickly be inserted into the marketplace. Prices
would be controlled by supply and demand rather than legal

<spin>California tax dollars should be used to enrich the lives of all

Competition is encouraged, here, too. The current system allows those
companies with capital to grant money for research and then monopolize
the research (if it's in the company's interest) and/or bury it (if it
could be competition). A relatively small investment of hundreds of
thousands of dollars pays off in millions or billions in profit.

Under a Free Research law, small players can enter the high-tech arena
without the crushing startup costs of R&D. More players in a market is
better for consumers.

Not to mention that the question then becomes not who has the
"ownership" of the ideas, but who is willing to produce them. Even
niche items would be marketed by at least one or two public companies,
and not buried in corporate IP vaults.

<spin>By making its science public, California can once again become
the technology leader in the world economy.</spin>

    SDS> Is this "all government-funded research" or "all research in
    SDS> government-funded institutions"?

I dunno. Which one would fly? I think it'd have to be "in state-funded
institutions," since CA doesn't seem to do much investment in other

One interesting thing would be to build up some case studies where
proprietarized research has hurt the public interest. An obvious field
to look into would be pharmaceuticals, where research done at
universities is funneled into the private sector and then put under
exorbitant price regimes or simply abandoned.

[My only concern here would be exploiting an already hot issue
(especially among people with chronic or painful illnesses) to make a
relatively unimportant point about software freedom. However, gotta
crack some eggs, etc.]

Some other fields: agriculture (<spin>food for the world</spin>)
_energy_ (<spin>CA blackouts</spin>), technology (<spin>more cool
gadgets, earlier faster cheaper</spin>).

Anyone have a good book to recommend on the unholy alliance between
gov't-funded universities and private industry?

~Mr. Bad

 Mr. Bad <mr.bad@pigdog.org> | Pigdog Journal | http://pigdog.org/ 
 "Your description of coffee is how you interpret Sex."
                              -- "Personality Quiz" chain letter

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