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2Eminent Domain

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  • Richard P. Gabriel
    Apr 2, 2001
      Joe Bergin wrote this:

      >I want to stress that I think the solution to at least some of this is
      >organizational, not technical. RPG said some interesting things lately
      >about Eminent Domain (hope I spelled it right) being used to seize
      >software in certain circumstances just as it is used to sieze land and
      >other property. Perhaps he would elaborate here a bit.

      I was "teaching" his poor students the other week when I heard myself
      make up a sort of principle about software in society. Suppose that
      some software company became such a monopoly that the government or
      peoples' lives depended on it. Suppose that the company did not
      behave as if it believed it had such a central place in the common
      good. Would it make sense for the government, for example, to declare
      eminent domain over the intellectual and real property of the company
      (its software) and "hand it over" to public use? Suppose there were
      an on-going uber-open-source project that the government supported -
      could it turn that software over to that OS group?

      Under what circumstances would this make sense (or not)? Are we in
      those circumstances now?

      What brought this idea to mine was the following article, which I
      read a few years ago:

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