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Re: What should be open/free? (Was: Low-end Office 11 won't do

  • To: "XML DEV" <xml-dev@l...>
  • Subject: Re: What should be open/free? (Was: Low-end Office 11 won't do user...
  • From: "Bill Kearney" <wkearney@i...>
  • Date: Sun, 13 Apr 2003 10:25:57 -0400
  • Organization: http://www.ideaspace.net/users/wkearney/foaf.xrdf
  • References: <127.271af66e.2bcab0e6@a...>
  • Reply-to: "Bill Kearney" <wkearney@i...>

software ownership
> Implicitly, it seems to me that by putting "our" data into a data container
> which belongs to Microsoft (as it happens to be in this case) we are creating
> what I (provocatively?) might term "jointly owned data". The data, held in
> Microsoft format, has more value (to us, to our customers) than raw data.

There's no 'ownership' here on the part of the vendor.  To make that statement
needlessly tries to conflate a users' sense of ownership with some
pseudo-indignant 'how dare the vendor be involved'.

> Yes, the data points we entered were solely "ours" but after we put them into
> proprietary software which adds value to what we had before, does ownership
> remain solely ours? Or is it in some implicit but real sense shared?

No, it's not shared, the ownership is exclusively the authors.  The metaphor
just doesn't conflate.

> Very possibly none (few?) of us actually thought through the implicit "joint
> ownership" of data when we, or more menial colleagues, spent countless hours
> typing at the keyboard.

Mainly because that's not what's going on.

> One aspect was straightforward and up front - we paid Microsoft money to
> license (buy) their software and use it. A second aspect was more implicit -
> but likely was a crucial part of Microsoft's forward business planning - that
> we would continue to use Microsoft's software to manipulate that "jointly
> owned" data. The arrival of XML has the potential to seriously dislocate that
> second, implicit, assumption.

When you buy a razor you're implicitly agree to continue buying that vendor's
blades.

> But, hopefully, somewhere among the outrage at least a few will recognise
> that there is a modicum of truth in the view I am putting forward. :)

Where?  None from what I've seen.

-Bill Kearney


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