Open and Closed Software

Software exists in two forms – as the property of software companies, and as the property of all programmers, who can use it – and perfect it as they please. This is a new form of property that people cannot understand, and no one is helping them understand it.

Software companies get patents on all the software they own – and frequently sue each other over the use of them, for huge sums of money – much to the delight of the courts. Open software forbids patents – and has legal protections for this.

If this wasn’t complicated enough – encryption makes it more complicated. Encryption makes software security simple – and greatly enhances the flow of information that the Computer World depends on.

But this drives Business crazy – it has to know everything that is going on everywhere. And wants no secrets at all for the public at large. It will keep its own secrets, of course – and imprison those who reveal them.

This is the clash of two cultures – the Industrial (the world of Business and the Government that it owns) and the Computer.

The closed world and the open world.

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