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Salon.com: Public money, private code

Jan 04, 2002, 20:05 (29 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jeffrey Benner)
"Many would regard giving the Internet to the world as a benevolent act fitting for one of the world's great public universities. But Bill Hoskins, who is currently in charge of protecting the intellectual property produced at U.C. Berkeley, thinks it must have been a mistake. "Whoever released the code for the Internet probably didn't understand what they were doing," he says.

Had his predecessors understood how huge the Internet would turn out to be, Hoskins figures, they would surely have licensed the protocols, sold the rights to a corporation and collected a royalty for the U.C. Regents on Internet usage years into the future. It is the kind of deal his department, the Office of Technology Licensing, cuts all the time.

Hoskins' "privatize it" attitude has become the norm among administrators at many universities and federal labs across the country. As a result, computer-science professors and researchers who want to release their work to the public as open-source software often face an uphill battle."

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