Open letter to John Harell

Thu 12 June 2003 by pj Tagged as ancient commentary
To: John Harell
Subject: absolute copyright

> When I create something, that thing is mine.

I'm a programmer, so I know what you mean. I write software and bring it into the world with much blood, sweat and tears along the way. And yet...

I didn't create the language the software was written in.

I didn't design the standard interface my software uses to communicate with the user.

I didn't design the operating system my software runs on.

I didn't design or produce the hardware on which it runs.

I didn't independently teach myself all the skills it takes to write software - sure, I tried my best to learn, but people from my parents to my co-workers, and not a few authors (and publishers, retailers, etc) of books, have impacted my experience and therefore my skills along the way.

So if all those people and things contributed to my being able to write software, should not they also have a claim on my works? After all, they created me.

Hopefully food for thought,