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This page includes all the handouts and other information relating to a talk given by Andy Pepperdine and Mike Godfrey at the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution on 9 September 2006 at 14:00. It is to be repeated on 17 January 2007.

The presentation can be found here(ODP). You will need a reader that can read the Open Document Format. It includes all comments associated with all the slides, and more slides than were shown on the day. 

NOTE: Some Linux distributions have introduced a bug into their version of OpenOffice [ed: written in 2007]. This bug prevents OpenOffice from reading documents that have been digitally signed with a digital certificate, and the documents in ODF format are so signed. If you find that you cannot read them from here, try the unsigned versions here: presentation (ODP) -- paper (ODT) -- Glossary (ODT)

Creative Commons License
The presentation is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 License.

The glossary that accompanied the talk is here (PDF) and here (ODT).

The list of equivalent applications is here (PDF). Thanks to Mike Godfrey for that one.

The poster for publicity is here for 2006 (PDF), and here for 2007 (PDF).

The paper to be presented for publication in the BRLSI Proceedings is here (ODT) or here (PDF) or here (DOC).

You can contact Andy by e-mail:  andy -at- pepsplace -dot- org -dot- uk

and Mike:  mike -at- churston -dot- plus -dot- com

[Replace -at- by @, and -dot- by . (a dot). We've provided the addresses in this form to prevent too much spam appearing in our in-boxes]

Quotation corner

On Competition

There has grown up in the minds of certain groups in this country the notion that because a man or a corporation has made a profit out of the public for a number of years, the government and the courts are charged with the duty of guaranteeing such profit in the future, even in the face of changing circumstances and contrary public interest. This strange doctrine is not supported by statute nor common law. Neither individuals nor corporations have any right to come into court and ask that the clock of history be stopped, or turned back, for their private benefit.

 -- Robert Heinlein, Life-Line (1939)

On Copyright

The primary objective of copyright is not to reward the labor of authors, but [t]o promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts. [...] To this end, copyright assures authors the right to their original expression, but encourages others to build freely upon the ideas and information conveyed by a work. This result is neither unfair nor unfortunate. It is the means by which copyright advances the progress of science and art.

 -- US Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor
(Feist Publications, Inc. v. Rural Telephone Service Co., 499 US 340, 349(1991))

On Patents

If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession of every one, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it. Its peculiar character, too, is that no one possesses the less, because every other possesses the whole of it. He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me. That ideas should freely spread from one to another over the globe, for the moral and mutual instruction of man, and improvement of his condition, seems to have been peculiarly and benevolently designed by nature, when she made them, like fire, expansible over all space, without lessening their density in any point, and like the air in which we breathe, move, and have our physical being, incapable of confinement or exclusive appropriation.

 -- Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to Isaac McPherson, August 13, 1813.

On Microsoft and engineers' reputations

In 25 years as a programmer, I have never written a windows *anything* for a client, and never will. Because when the sucker crashes (and it will), will the client blame microsoft? No, they'll blame ME - and it will affect MY reputation.
When I write for Unix/Linux/QNX/VRTX/Anything the hell else, I can be pretty sure that if something goes boom, it IS my fault - and I should take the blame, and if it reflects badly on me, I deserve it.

  -- Gorshkov (932507)  on Slashdot Thursday June 01, 2006

On Business Ethics

Corporate views on IP law might be described, I think, as similar to a 2-year-old's concept of who gets to play with all the toys in the playground, regardless of who brought them. 

-- Pamela Jones, Groklaw, 2004 09 26

Updated: 2006-12-01 at 19:00
Updated: 2010-11-26 (e-mail address changed, links corrected)
Updated: 2016-04-24 edited to match style of U3A pages