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Re: The "intellectual property" misnomer

 
 
Ben Finney
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      07-12-2003
On Sat, 12 Jul 2003 04:29:04 GMT, Raymond Hettinger wrote:
>> >> If the PSF holds the copyright to Python, please say that. If the
>> >> PSF holds patents which cover Python, please say that. If the PSF
>> >> owns the trademark for Python, please say that. If the PSF has
>> >> trade secrets in Python, please say that.

>
> PSF is the copyright holder and issuer of the python license to the
> code covered by that copyright.


Excellent. So "The PSF is the copyright holder for Python". No need
for gymnastics, and it actually says something meaningful.

> In layman's terms, it means exactly what Guido said.


The layman's understanding of "intellectual property" is confused,
doesn't relate to reality, and is harmful. Please avoid use of that
term.

> Hope this helps,


It does, thanks.

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Raymond Hettinger
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      07-12-2003
> >> If the PSF holds the copyright to Python, please say that.
> >> If the PSF holds patents which cover Python, please say that.
> >> If the PSF owns the trademark for Python, please say that.
> >> If the PSF has trade secrets in Python, please say that.

> >
> > So you somehow managed to divine Guido's intent from that "ridiculous,
> > meaningless term"

>
> No, I requested that the term be clarified, because *I don't* know what
> is meant by "The PSF holds the intellectual property rights for Python".
> It's a meaningless statement as it stands.


PSF is the copyright holder and issuer of the python license to the
code covered by that copyright. Type license() at the command
prompt to see the elaboration using terms that *do* have meaning
to the legal types who helped craft and vette the wording.

In layman's terms, it means exactly what Guido said.

Hope this helps,


Raymond Hettinger


 
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Peter Hansen
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      07-12-2003
Ben Finney wrote:
>
> On Sat, 12 Jul 2003 04:29:04 GMT, Raymond Hettinger wrote:
> > In layman's terms, it means exactly what Guido said.

>
> The layman's understanding of "intellectual property" is confused,
> doesn't relate to reality, and is harmful. Please avoid use of that
> term.


You've already stated clearly your belief (Are you a lawyer?
No? So it's merely a belief, right? a personal opinion.)
that the term "intellectual property" has no legal meaning,
therefore "layman's" in the above is redundant. The result
is that you are saying in effect that the term "intellectual
property" is wrong for everyone on the planet and that no one
can have a useful meaning for it and therefore must avoid its use.
One might almost expect you to claim copyright on the phrase and
refuse to license its reproduction to the rest of us.

As far as I'm concerned, "intellectual property" *has* a useful
meaning, though an ambiguous one (as intended, no doubt), and
Guido used it in a way which communicated *to me* (as he intended
it to communicate to people like me) certain information. There's
no need in non-legal documents to avoid ambiguity and in fact
there's a lot of advantage in using it. Think of it as a Pythonic
approach to communication: it's not rigorously defined, yet
it works!

You may not like the term, but I got something useful out of
that use of it, as was intended, and I might feel somewhat
offended by your telling me and everyone else on the planet that
we should avoid it when *we* believe it communicates something
useful, and effectively.

-Peter
 
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