Polycom is commited to protecting… uuuuh that sounds.
Well, the story is ugly but not the ugliest. In IP related fields much uglier things have happened, done, as a matter of rule, by big guys, either fighting for their monstrous “rights” or infringing or the rights of little guys.
- So, what is the ugly aspect in the story? It has nothing to do with copying. The ugly thing is that the copier never attributed used code to the authors. It does not make any difference, in my view, whether they didn’t want to attribute or they wanted but couldn’t due to copyright law, for that law does not allow to use any creative work with or without attribution unless a usage openly licensed by the “owner.”
- Furthermore, it is quite possible that regardless the infringer’s intentions one could not attribute the code to authors for they usually are not attributed to by the hiring company. If that is so, in my view, the “owner” of the code is the first and the worst infringer, thief, pirate even though the law would not agree with me.
- So, how would things worked ideally out if it wasn’t for monstrous copyright and other IP concepts and laws? We saw how it works every time when IP enforcement tangibly stood in the way of progress (which is its only real effect) and because of that was ignored by big guys up to states.
- You could not even dream about suites like the one we discuss in China while China was developing their software and related industries. Only after they reached certain point of development they started to take IP seriously. Same in India. Same in the US at certain points in certain industries. I am talking about patents specifically. Just two examples: aviation wouldn’t develop until the State bought out Wright brothers’ aircraft patents and made respective inventions available to all. Another example: A while ago the Silicon Valley run into some technological barriers and, after bouncing their heads against the wall, the major players had to give up their patents so that a pool of available technologies emerged and let them all to make leaps. I don’t remember the article title but do remember a very carefully crafted phrase. It sounded about the following: It may be that patents do not work quite the way we usually think of them. There are also very telling stories about productive copyright abolishment in music (Metallica, but not them only, is a perfect example).
- So again, how it supposed to work. The first graders in “Culture vs. Copyright” came to understand that. Your creative work can be used freely on one condition only which is a proper attribution. That makes your name or brand for that matter known (the same effect you count on while investing in marketing). And that exposure is that very tool which turns your work into money.