Open source, closed source, and the value of code

Robert Mann rman at
Mon Feb 29 15:31:39 EST 2016

hi folks, what is this fuss about?

First : no. The allegation about hypercard forcing the open source path on
all usage is not true. There was a command to protect a stack ("protect" of
course!) . And some interesting pieces of software were sold as protected

And it is precisely that positioning which is about to be abandoned by
livecode and why i think it's going backwards (with LESS) rather than going
forward (with MORE).

What the fuss is NOT : 
1) I never questioned the Open Source version of Livecode. it's fantastic
and needed.
2) I never questioned the Commercial version. Again it's great and helps
going forward.

What I questionned is that we're going to be missing an intermediate
tool/license that would allow somebody to close SOME of his work at a
reasonable cost for a hobbyist. Just as was originally designed in

Now most reactions are : if it is to play around just don't bother and
distribute as open sourced. Ok guys.
But things are not just that "idealistically" simple. Sometimes you just do
not know yet. And wish to try out something. Because some people just do not
know everything in advance.

And on a deeper level, please, do pay attention that it is our whole
copyright system which is being thus challenged.
-- would you find it "ok" that everything you write with your open sourced
word processor be absolutely open sourced? Whatever you write? even if it is
your next brilliant patent? 
-- same question for the various open sourced "tools" that allow to edit
pictures, drawings, videos and so on.

The fuss about is that in the present state of the license applicable to
open sourced livecode,
whatever you "write" with live code, if "given" "shared" to anybody else,
then becomes open sourced.
THe frontier between the tool itself (its modules etc) and the "day to day"
work you can produce with it have been blurred. Fine if that is what was
really wanted!  But did we really all mean that???

Actually it would be interesting to precise what rights get open sourced in
a stack :
-- do all the media incorporated in a stack become open sourced when shared?
-- what about the copyright on the layout of the application ?
-- what about the writing of the documentation included?
-- what about the logo of the company/individual  included?
-- what about the trade marks eventually?

What happens if you incoportate in a stack a specific copyright protection
for some elements.
There would be a kind of conflict there.

That is why, I thought it would not be a bad idea to keep a door opened for
some protection on some cases even for individuals indies etc. that will not
pay 999$ every year.

And if you think these question over copyrights and so on are just a do
about nothing, for most of us it is, clearly, but for Disney who managed to
extend the copyright period by another 25 years and more in effect it is
vital. A largest part of our economy will now more and more rely on these

Last : are there other computer programming languages that are open sourced
and that impose on all programs written with it to be open sourced same

best to all,

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