Quite recently some questions appeared with respect to open-source, IP rights and our (Bitlattice) attitude toward those matters. Thus, I decided to write this small piece.
Before I delve into the attitude let’s explain some issues related to open-source and IP rights.
Often I have an impression that people believe in something without sparing even a minute to know better the essence of their belief. But then it’s no longer a belief, so there may be a method in it.
First, open-source has nothing to do with authorship and protection of IP rights. Companies providing closed-source software could open their sources without risking compromising their rights — they don’t do it as it could lead to an awkward situation when it would become obvious that the product they offer publicly substantially differs from what it actually is or that it’s so trashy that it shouldn’t be touched even with a stick.
The same applies to free software. While some, like Stallman, present a naive stance on the subject trying to fit a pure idea into the real world, the reality sucks and refuses to follow. So, free software doesn’t mean that there is no author and no obligations imposed on a user. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be a plethora of different permissive licenses.
Going further, the economy that rules our world isn’t about a common effort to provide better life for all. Sadly. No matter what socioeconomic system is used. It can be jokingly summed up that the difference between capitalism and socialism is that in the former people exploit people while in the latter it’s the other way round. Of course, there are other options as well, but the rule remains the same — resources are limited and everyone wants to have access to as much of them as possible. When it comes to achieving that the end justifies the means. If an idea is valuable it may be stolen or taken over. Or, a malicious actor may involve an author into lengthy legal process by patenting the idea prior. Ever heard about patent trolls maybe?
So, our, Bitlattice, stance is that we leave nothing to chance. Instead, we intend to cover all bases. The unclear situation around Bitcoin IP matters impacted and still impacts blockchain industry. Even if it’s seldom in news.
Nevertheless, we are committed to provide Bitlattice with its source open and on a permissive license.