Think of what would have happened had Linux been patented, copy-protected, copyrighted, etc... where would it be now, and where would we be?
Copy-protected? Since when? (Maybe I've fallen behind the times again...) Here all this time I thought Linux was copylefted. (I do realize that certain patents are in the possession of the Linux Foundation... but that's a matter of self-defense, is it not?)
The Linux developers own the Linux copyrights. So Linux is copy-protected. It is also 'copylefted' because of the licence it's distributed under. You can copy it and use it freely, but if you redistribute it you have to stick to the terms of the GNU General Public License, which would be meaningless in a world without copyright.
Sure, the Linux developers own the copyrights - that's as it should be. It's when copyrights are owned by folks who don't have any skin in the game and just want to extract royalties from an unsuspecting public that I take exception (see SCO vs. IBM, for example). I might have gotten carried away a bit. Copyright is not always a bad thing. Here lately, though, I think most of us can agree that patents, and more especially software patents, have become so poorly conceived, so poorly executed, and so pervasive and insidious they are ridiculous. They are having a stifling effect on innovation in programming, and concentrating power into the hands of a few megacorporations who can afford to gobble up patents to squeeze out the little guys who really do a lot of the creating.
Oops... I didn't make what I meant clear enough with regard to "copy protection". I'm talking about all the arcane BS that software vendors use that inhibit the legal rights of paying customers to make legal backup copies just so that, ostensibly, they can prevent the making of illegal copies.
I feel this way about it: if you're fool enough to buy something with copy protection on it and shell out your good money, you got what you paid for - junk! The only copy-protected software I tolerate is from Allen-Bradley/Rockwell Automation, and I'm moving away from that (since, lately, you gotta be a frackin' cryptographer to get it correctly installed). There are other vendors out there making PLCs and HMIs that are every bit as functional for maybe a third the cost, and their software packages are cheaper and not copy protected. (One vendor of note, Red Lion, gives their Crimson HMI and device programming software away - it's Open Source.)
I could go on, but I think I've made my point, and admitted my earlier error. Thanks for the catch! (Keep callin' me on my BS, friends! At least that way I know you're still reading.)