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>>> In the end, the problem is not with who owns this property, the problem is with the property itself. The success of the Open Source movement is due solely to its concentration on dealing with intellectual property in a different way, one which does not allow any one group to own the way in which people or machines communicate with each other. I don't know that this is the best way to treat IP, but I do know that it is superior to treating purely conceptual property as if it were physical property.

John -

I guess I'm missing your point.

I write custom software for a living, and make a very good living doing so. To be honest, it's never occurred to me that it was unfair for a company to pay me to develop software for them.

When a company pays me money to solve a problem, it's because that problem hasn't been solved adequately by software solutions already available to them. Now, I certainly have the option to go off on my own and develop software solutions and sell those solutions, but marketing and sales and general business just aren't my thing. I like to write code and create solutions, and doing it on other people's dime gets them solutions and makes me a living.

Software development is the easiest thing in the world to get into. You don't even need a formal education, if you're good enough at what you do. Yes, there are cash barriers to selling that product once you create it, but the world is literally full of money at the moment, just dying to get into the business. Application development may very well be the cheapest business in the history of civilization. Give me a PC and a compiler, and get outta the way.

But I'm not interested in writing for the good of mankind - if I weren't getting paid, I'd never write another line of code, except for my own use. And I'm not interested in building shrink-wrapped software. So, I sell my services and abilities to companies who need those things, to get the money I want. It only seems fair to me that if they define the problem and they foot the bill for development that they end up owning the solution. After all, if I buy a car, it belongs to me. Why shouldn't the code they pay for belong to them?

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