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The GPL is economic imperialism, Sun says

That is the heart of the argument Sun President Jonathan Schwartz made at the Open Source Business Conference this week. As reported by our own Stephen Shankland, because code used with GPL components must be released under the GPL, it imposes on its users a rather predatory obligation to disgorge all their IP back to the wealthiest nation in the world, the United States, where the GPL originated.
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Written by Dana Blankenhorn, Inactive on

That is the heart of the argument Sun President Jonathan Schwartz made at the Open Source Business Conference this week.

As reported by our own Stephen Shankland, because code used with GPL components must be released under the GPL, it imposes on its users a rather predatory obligation to disgorge all their IP back to the wealthiest nation in the world, the United States, where the GPL originated.

This is truly amazing stuff. Brazil, which is pushing GPL tools despite Microsoft's strong objections , is actually a tool of the U.S. imperialist dogs. And Sun's CDDL is going to save them.

This is Alice in Wonderland stuff.

Let's be clear where Schwartz is coming from, as his Web log stated in putting this case:

I believe in IP. I believe in its value, both economic and social. I believe it should be protected, as any other property, as a means of fostering independence, investment and autonomy. And not just in wealthy nations -- but in those struggling to build wealth or pay down debt. I believe the creation, protection and evolution of intellectual property can accelerate everyone's ability to participate in an open network.

Let me respond as clearly as I can. I don't believe in IP. Patents and copyrights are monopolies, allowed under the Constitution for limited times and for a limited purpose, to encourage the creation of more. Those I believe in.

The phrase intellectual property does not appear in the U.S. Constitution, and for very good reason. The phrase is a lie. It turns ideas into land, and allows corporations who own the vast majority of patents and copyrights to control anyone who doesn't serve them.

Where you stand on these questions often depends on where you sit. Schwartz sits atop a massive patent portfolio, whose life he would like to extend if possible. His rhetoric serves the corporate good. I don't hold patents, my copyrights are small in number. My income depends on what I might do in the future.

Where do you stand, and why? Let us know in Talkback.

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