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When the Microsoft hegemony on the desktop is
cited by open source zealots, that single system
dominance is called an inhibitor to innovation.
When the lack of open source hegemony on the
desktop is cited by open source zealots, that
lack of dominance is called an inhibitor to
innovation. Neither of these have squat to
do with Arbortext being bought. That is a
sign of subsumption by ubiquity. Suits don't
hunt where game is scarce or skinny.
XML won; so, Arbortext is sold. Aggregation
by subsumption is normal business evolution.
From the time Jean Paoli made his speech to
the SGML conference in Vancouver forward, smart
people knew this was coming. Once any technology,
art form or other innovation goes mainstream, it
is only a matter of time before major and large
interests dominate its commerce. Ask any rock
musician about that one. If Linux ruled the world,
a small handful of large companies would rule Linux and
any small innovator with real value would be absorbed.
Copyrights and patents are not hegemonies. They
are property rights for a period. These property
rights are being abused in some cases, and weaknesses
in the systems for registering the rights or granting
the patents are being abused in others.
This is not a case for open source or against.
It is a case of systemic failures to regulate IP
ownership. We have to fix that, and once again,
the battle between large vested interests and the
public good is on. Open source advocates have an
interest in that battle, but so do small to medium
size companies selling proprietary systems. The IP
Wars are a cancer on society itself. Don't try to
spin that war only to singular interests because that
trivializes the true dangers.
Everyone is getting hurt. IP licensing is becoming a
tax levied by corporations through governments. Think
of the model of colonial India when taxes were levied
through the Raj for the profits of the colonizers.
Competition is good for innovation. Rigged contests
are not good for anyone except those that rig the contest.
That doesn't make the contest a failure. It does attest
to the failures of the officials. It is as the British
liked to say, "not cricket" and if you think that is
trivializing, watch a Hindi movie called "Lagaan" when
you have 3.5 hours to kill. Movies about cricket are
almost as slow as the game itself. The fix for this
will also be slow, but hopefully not as slow as cricket.
From: sterling [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Your "no little matter" message describes how copyrights and patents
inhibit true innovation. If everyone were using an open source
operating system, evey development innovation would become a part of that
single operating system.
The world would be uniform in its basic approach to e-information,
compatibilty between systems and users would be enhanced, users would have
many more applications to choose from, software would be more widely
distributed, and developers would not have to select a segment of the
market for their innovations and developments.
Your email reveals in vivid terms technoloy quenching by operation of
rule of law. The rule of law (copyright and patents) terminates
technology which either competes with or diverts from mainstream corporate
Thanks for your message.
On Thu, 7 Jul 2005, Liam Quin wrote:
> On Wed, Jul 06, 2005 at 05:51:35PM -0400, Frank Richards wrote:
> > By itself it doesn't sound like a big deal. But it says a lot about the
> > SGML/xml-doc world. A niche market company nobody ever heard of is
> > buying Arbortext to fill a gap in a kludged up product line that might
> > let them play Corel to AutoCAD's Microsoft. What makes it sting even
> > more is that XMetal was picked up by a web advertising company because
> > it was cheaper to buy XMetal than migrate to OpenOffice.
> Before that, SoftQuad Author/Editor was bought by Interleaf,
> and as far as I can tell never saw the light of day again.
> And Synex AB (the developers behind SoftQuad Panorama) was bought
> by InSo (who had bought EBT, and who were then bought by Enigma).
> But industry these days is a fish-eat-fish world.
> > We are not where it's at folks.
> Or, we're in demand :-)
> At any rate, best wishes to all the folks at Arbortext -- let's
> hope it works out well for them!
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