Eric Lewis

@ericandrewlewis

🗽 Lives in NYC

📰 Web Developer @ NYTimes

👣 WordPress Core Committer

🚫⚖ Not a lawyer

A Brief History of Ownership in Software*

*in the United States

🚫⚖ Not a lawyer??

🚫⚖ Not a lawyer??

You don't need a law degree to understand software ownership

Ownership (Intellectual Property)

Patent

Copyright

Trade Secret

Trademark

Ownership (Intellectual Property)

Patent

Copyright

Trademark

Trade Secret

How a thing works

Expression

Company secret

Stamp of authenticity

Making knowledge is expensive,

using knowledge is cheap. 

The pitch for software ownership

Maya is inventing a new bike. She invests time and money into research and prices the bike accordingly. Probably change this to a drawing, no need for tons of text.

Research $1,000
Cost to build one $20
Sales price $150

Maya makes a bike

Research $0
Cost to build one $20
Sales price $75

Drawing of the Copyright and Patent acts, which are what the pitch is for

What is a Patent?

Public disclosure of a "process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter"

20 years of exclusive ownership over implementations

 

What is a Patent?

Dissect a patent, draw out a sample one

What is a Patent?

"System for converting television commercials into interactive networked video games "

https://www.google.com/patents/US8246454

Patent grants allow you to use a patent someone else owns

Maya's bike

show that the other dude can't sell his bike because maya applied for a patent

Google PageRank

drawing of pagerank paper by larry and sergey

Google PageRank

drawing of how pagerank works

1-click Patent

https://www.google.com/patents/US5960411

The GIF Patent

The GIF Patent

The GIF Patent

GIF Patent?

"The patent system is broken" — EFF

patent trolls?

patent arms race?

Patent grants?

https://www.eff.org/patent

What is a copyright?

Ownership of the use and reproduction of an expression for 75+ years

What is a copyright?

Code is a "non-dramatic literary work"

 

maybe mention how you don't own copyright at work

Software licenses let you use someone else's copyrighted code

What is a trade secret?

Protected information that gives a company economic advantage

What is a trademark?

An icon that proves the thing came from a specific organization

What is a trademark?

An icon that proves the thing came from a specific organization

Who "owns" code?

The author?

The company the author works for?

Someone else?

Software licenses grant the right to software you don't own

Software licenses grant specific rights:

 

Run the program

Modify code

Redistribute

Patent grant

etc.

2003

2003

2003

Movable Type 2.6

Movable Type 2.6 license disallowed redistribution

Movable Type 3.0 license charges $100s per site

[WordPress is] a path forward. Movable Type is a dead end. In the long run, the utility of all non-Free software approaches zero.

Mark Pilgrim

 

http://web.archive.org/web/20070911032533/http://diveintomark.org/archives/2004/05/14/freedom-0

Drawing of Richard Stallman's idea of users

 

users think that they are in control of what happens on their computer

when in fact the software is in control

you are controlled by your software

deck

By Eric Lewis

deck

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