the origin of the AIDS problem is poverty, and the problem is endemic, it expands in a geometrical way, and Bill's donations are linear. MS model contribute to generate that problem.
Whoa! AIDS afflicts both rich and poor. Social status and money don't protect anyone. Of course, impoverished people have no access to medical care and the medicines that can extend their lives, and there are millions of orphans left by parents who died of AIDS. So it's not just a problem of poverty, but poverty makes everything much worse.
Ok, perhaps this will carry us far away from our topic. But the statistics shows the opposite. Of course rich people is not immortal. But the conditions to get a disease (is that the correct word?) are given by the context where we live. Cholera is very weird in the world. But we, a poor country, have it. Because we have no resources to keep a clean, healthy environment, and childes with no food have a tendency, and no water pipes causes infected water. In the same way, we have much more AIDS cases than better countries, because we don't have the resources (human and material resources) to prevent it. This is valid for almost every serious medical problem. Just look at the numbers in poor and rich countries. BTW, medical patents are very important in this problem.
But my point is, a) we are wasting resources. b) we are pushing the direction of research and the investment in research to areas pointed by a marketing strategy and computers are not helping as much as they can, To be honest, they are not helping at all. They are just an element of comfort.
The charity thing has no value by itself. If we don't attack the main problem has no value at all.
Tell that to someone who has access to medicine because of the Gates Foundation. I have a cousin who is involved in college education opportunities for poor people in rural areas, particularly Native Americans. She and her husband have a proven model for making higher education possible for these people who otherwise could never have access to it. They needed funding because the state either wasn't interested or couldn't afford it. The Gates Foundation came through for them and as a result, many young people were able to continue their educations who otherwise could not have. The Gates Foundation does not just give money away. They look for plans that involve people of the area and that can continue past the initial funding.
we could quote tons of particular cases and my argument is still there. I admire your cousin very much, and that is a good thing. But if he is promoting a business model that gives the back to the hole world, that activity would be as the Royalty throwing coins to the poor people of the village.
I don't live in USA, and the patents system is a joke.
That's pretty much universally acknowledged. Microsoft is among the companies that want the system to change. What we have now is a constant string of lawsuits. A company can't just refuse to play the game because they're all caught in the system. The law needs to be changed. Patents won't disappear, however.
Taken, we need a patent system which actually defends the science. The current is just subordinating science to the market. MS is worry because they will have no software to publish without stealing code from someone else.
The Berne Convention has no value in the hole world and legal doesn't mean right. Laws can be changed.
The Berne Convention has over 160 signatories, including Argentina. In addition, over 140 member countries of the World Trade Organization are bound by the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). Argentina is a member of the WTO.
I know, what I am trying to say (very badly) is that is not the writing of God. Even more, part of the international copyright convention was signed in Buenos Aires, I think in 1900.
Of course "legal" doesn't mean "right," but since people disagree about what is right, law determines what can be done without adverse consequences, such as fines and prison. Yes, laws can be changed, but until they are, we must obey the laws we have or face the consequences. Consensus is required before a law is changed, and I don't think we are near consensus on issues of copyright and patents.
Of course! But I disagree about "consensus". Consensus didn't made the current law, was power, and fight. The war is mother of all the things, used to say some greek. And we have to keep in mind, people has not to be pushed to break the law! That is, the circumstances are very important, and the hole problem of law is how to pass from a general law to a particular case. That is not easy even more if the social environment is very aggressive, like the case of poor countries.
Well, the argument here is MS is not promoting the Progress of Science.
In your opinion. That certainly is not self-evident. At any rate, copyright is assumed. You don't have to prove that your work promotes the progress of science. The idea is that without copyright, authors and creative people will not have so much incentive to invest the time it takes to give concrete expression to ideas and thus the progress of science and arts would be impeded.
Copyright is not the same as a patent. Computer programs are copyrighted as expressions of an idea and are thus accorded the same status as a literary work. A patent applies to an invention or process. You are supposed to prove that your idea is original, which brings up questions of "prior art." Prior art is probably the sticking point, as it is time consuming and costly to find examples of prior art.
Of course, is my opinion. I think I give some arguments to support that idea though. Some are very bad, some not, some were missed in the debate. But - I think - the opposite is not clear neither, MS is at least, walking in the edge. We, as spectators and actors, can discuss the thing, but power will decide. Finally the true both, time, will judge.
Patents and Copyright are not the same, indeed. The GPL means nothing without copyright (you can't license something you are not the author). The difference between patents and copyrights is very clear to me. But the way we are using that tools (that is what the law, and perhaps the hole language, is) is under question here.
I think power and money imply some kind of responsibility, some kind of duty. We have a duty with the world around us. And more if that world gives us a privileged position.
Well, I think I have enough to think about. Thanks for a good debate, again.
EDIT: I want to re-read "The Library of Babel" story by Borges now. There is a logical argument I think goes against the "author" idea. And is an incredible piece of literature. For those interested in the "software" concept, there is something there. I give a famous english translation, here: http://jubal.westnet.com/hyperdiscordia/library_of_babel.html