Posted on | November 2, 2007 | 4 Comments
I stumbled across an I.T. code of ethics while digging around in the Slashdot fire hose today. I’ve been looking for some kind of standardized code of ethics for this industry so that I could say “I support and adhere to this .. “, in an effort to help bridge the initial trust gap which is common when greeting new clients.
I read through the document and closed the window half way through the reading, as soon as I saw the clause named “1.6 Give proper credit for intellectual property.“
I can not, will not and should not use the term “Intellectual Property” in anything other than text that serves to advocate NOT using that term. I have some very, very good reasons for this policy. I’d like to challenge anyone reading this little rant to show me one human being who was solely responsible for shaping their intellect?
Such a being would have to be born on an uninhabited island and abandoned by its parents after birth. Furthermore, this being must also be blind and deaf so that it is not influenced by other living things that might be found on the island.
Should this miracle occur, I’ll happily pronounce the primitive grunts coming from such a being as its sole “intellectual property”.
Intellectual property is the misnomer that fuels software patents. It also enabled kings throughout history to quell disruptive authors by claiming that all works produced were the “intellectual property” of the king. This is a great misnomer, cherished by lawyers around the globe. Even Rome (who invented property) insisted that property must be something that you could hold in your hands or touch. Patents give you claim to something, however, that something remains completely illusionary.
Everyone who likes software patents and/or lawyers who profit from enforcing them, please raise your hand. I didn’t think so What remains is our copyright over our creative works, be they books or computer programs.
Please, do not use those words or join organizations that advocate their use, doing so only makes things much worse.