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Oct 00

Doris Day Syndrome

Here’s an interesting article (PDF file) we had to read for law. It’s about the Doris Day Syndrome and its relationship to software theft (piracy). The Syndrome describes when the early software writers wrote their programs (like Lotus 1-2-3 and GNU-Emacs), they copied bits and pieces from other programs, citing that knowledge should be universal and not allowed to be under ownership. Upon their program attaining success and popularity, however, these writers did an about-face and declared there should be stronger laws regarding protection of intellectual works as they were property, capable of ownership (and thus, theft). Not a technical document, read it if you’ve got the time. It’s all very well and good to say everything should be open-source, but how many of you, if you made a program, that “killer-app” that could instantly make you a multi-millionaire overnight – would you be so quick to open-source it and forfeit that money?

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