next up previous contents
Next: Trademarks Up: Law Previous: Property vs Speech   Contents

Property vs Rights

Weber [1] points out that theories of property revolve around a collection of ``rights'' held by the ``author'' of a work including the right to access, the right to extract, the right to sell and the right to lease the work.

In recent years the theory of property has been applied, somewhat incorrectly in my view, to software. The lawyers are reasoning by analogy of software to books. The analogy is weak at best and laws are being written that ultimately cause problems for all. Software is not a book even though you can print it. In fact there is nothing that is similar enough to software so that a law written for another area can be readily applied.

That has not stopped the congress from trying since there is a great deal of money at stake.

root 2004-02-10