The Intellectual Property Oxymoron

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garybelton
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The Intellectual Property Oxymoron

Post by garybelton » Sun Jul 03, 2011 7:09 pm

"Copying isn't theft, and it isn't piracy. It's what we did for millennia until the invention of copyright, and we can do it again, if we don't hobble ourselves with the antiquated remnants of a censorship system from the sixteenth century." — Karl Fogel

http://www.red-bean.com/kfogel/

"Bach, Shakespeare and Michelangelo didn't need copyright, we don't need copyright. Copyright infringement is a victim-less crime, nobody has a right to have a monopoly on ideas or information, you have a right to keep your ideas and information private, but if you make them public, they are not your private property anymore."

http://harmful.cat-v.org/economics/inte ... _property/

Interesting views that differ from those of Fischer, Danailov and the ICGA panel.

Sean Evans
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Re: The Intellectual Property Oxymoron

Post by Sean Evans » Sun Jul 03, 2011 7:22 pm

garybelton wrote:"Copying isn't theft, and it isn't piracy. It's what we did for millennia until the invention of copyright, and we can do it again, if we don't hobble ourselves with the antiquated remnants of a censorship system from the sixteenth century." — Karl Fogel

http://www.red-bean.com/kfogel/

"Bach, Shakespeare and Michelangelo didn't need copyright, we don't need copyright. Copyright infringement is a victim-less crime, nobody has a right to have a monopoly on ideas or information, you have a right to keep your ideas and information private, but if you make them public, they are not your private property anymore."

http://harmful.cat-v.org/economics/inte ... _property/

Interesting views that differ from those of Fischer, Danailov and the ICGA panel.
And your point?

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hgm
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Re: The Intellectual Property Oxymoron

Post by hgm » Sun Jul 03, 2011 7:59 pm

garybelton wrote:Interesting views that differ from those of Fischer, Danailov and the ICGA panel.
Not to mention the law, and all those nasty judges that will send you to jail for it...

wgarvin
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Re: The Intellectual Property Oxymoron

Post by wgarvin » Sun Jul 03, 2011 8:33 pm

garybelton wrote: Interesting views that differ from those of Fischer, Danailov and the ICGA panel.
While its easy to conflate the two issues of intellectual property and plagarism, I think it would be a mistake.

About intellectual property, I actually agree with you. Its ludicrous to pretend that ideas, mathematical objects and other similar intangibles can be "owned". Granting monopolies on such things is dangerous and short-sighted of us. Its directly counter to the natural mode for ideas or other representable information ("bits") which is that they can be replicated as many times as we want for near-zero cost, without depriving anyone of their pre-existing copy.

However, modern societies seem intent on regulating and taxing and hampering the free flow of information, and IP laws are one of the ways they do this.

But the issue of plagarism (and related issues such as academic integrity) is about something else. Its not about someone "owning" ideas or even code. Its about having a level playing-field and about having the integrity to do your own work, and not pass someone else's work off as your own.

A university wants students to write their own essays so that they will learn something, and develop skills that are useful later in life.

The ICGA wants engine programmers to write their own code (or at least acknowledge where it comes from and have the original authors' permission) so that competitions will be fair.

garybelton
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Re: The Intellectual Property Oxymoron

Post by garybelton » Sun Jul 03, 2011 8:51 pm

Its not about someone "owning" ideas or even code.
Good to hear a member of the ICGA panel say that, this comment strikes me as intelligent.
or at least acknowledge where it comes from
My belief was that the Rybka author did not say "I did not go through Fruit code and took many things", and "Fabien is not a great engineer" but the opposite.
and have the original authors' permission
This seems a little at odds with your comment:
I actually agree with you. Its ludicrous to pretend that ideas, mathematical objects and other similar intangibles can be "owned".
Permission implies some kind of ownership/claim on the thing that you are granting permission for.

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JuLieN
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Re: The Intellectual Property Oxymoron

Post by JuLieN » Sun Jul 03, 2011 8:58 pm

garybelton wrote:"Copying isn't theft, and it isn't piracy. It's what we did for millennia until the invention of copyright, and we can do it again, if we don't hobble ourselves with the antiquated remnants of a censorship system from the sixteenth century." — Karl Fogel

http://www.red-bean.com/kfogel/

"Bach, Shakespeare and Michelangelo didn't need copyright, we don't need copyright. Copyright infringement is a victim-less crime, nobody has a right to have a monopoly on ideas or information, you have a right to keep your ideas and information private, but if you make them public, they are not your private property anymore."

http://harmful.cat-v.org/economics/inte ... _property/

Interesting views that differ from those of Fischer, Danailov and the ICGA panel.
In France, the copyright was invented when Molière complained to Louis XIV that lots of theater troops were making money with his work without him getting any reward for it. As a consequence of its invention, some people could make a living of writing, whereas before it was a privilege of the nobles, who didn't need to work in order to live. This was the birth certificate of the richest literacy in the world. Without copyright, you wouldn't have all those novels and movies you enjoy reading and watching, as their authors couldn't make some living out of them and would be reduce to waste their talents working in offices.

As for the patents, they were invented in Italy during the Renaissance, when some craftsmen, after a long and perilous (for the health) process, invented new way to produce china objects with new colors. As a result, there was a boom in science and economy, as courageous people were guaranteed to secure some profit out of their work and risk taking. Without patents, you would still live like your ancestors did before the Renaissance. in a way that would solve the code plagiarism, as there would not be any computer...

Are you SURE that's what you want?
"The only good bug is a dead bug." (Don Dailey)
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wgarvin
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Re: The Intellectual Property Oxymoron

Post by wgarvin » Sun Jul 03, 2011 9:04 pm

I think I did not describe the "permission" bit very clearly.

All of the people who wrote code in the engine, have to be acknowledged as authors. They are considered the "team" that is entering. You can't enter the tournament as part of more than one team, so E.g. Fruit and Toga can't play in the same tournament because Fabien L. would be considered one of the "authors" of both of them.

Its a competition. The point is to compete -- each team's creation, on a level playing field.

If you take someone's code and they refuse to be part of your "team" then you can't enter it anyway, because it makes the competition unfair. You end up with a bunch of engines whose authors wrote their own evals, competing against an engine whose author plagarised one from Fruit. How is that fair? Obviously, it isn't.

garybelton
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Re: The Intellectual Property Oxymoron

Post by garybelton » Sun Jul 03, 2011 9:15 pm

This seems fair, yes, thanks for the explanation.

After reading the reports on your wiki it would seem that if the Rybka author had communicated with you then probably only the 2007 and 2008 titles would have been stripped, as from Rybka 3 onwards no offending codes were found?

So is it possible he is being punished by losing all four and a lifetime ban for being uncooperative/uncommunicative?

Also, do you have any insight into why all the hyperbole in the press? Why not have a balanced announcement saying "We took these actions because we found X and our rules do not permit it. We will say however that Rybka and ideas from it have helped all engines improve by significant amounts"? Why a lot of the use of the word "cheat"? From a chess engine fan perspective it looks over the top.

wgarvin
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Re: The Intellectual Property Oxymoron

Post by wgarvin » Sun Jul 03, 2011 9:31 pm

Sorry, I'm not a member of the ICGA itself, and could only speculate about their reasoning. You could read David Levy's message, though.

I participated in the panel during the Rybka investigation, but we did not make the final judgement or the decision about what penalty to impose.

This post by Mark Watkins (BB+) may give some insight into the process.
http://www.open-chess.org/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1466

bob
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Re: The Intellectual Property Oxymoron

Post by bob » Sun Jul 03, 2011 9:36 pm

garybelton wrote:This seems fair, yes, thanks for the explanation.

After reading the reports on your wiki it would seem that if the Rybka author had communicated with you then probably only the 2007 and 2008 titles would have been stripped, as from Rybka 3 onwards no offending codes were found?
Not quite. We did not look at Rybka 3. This is a time-consuming process. You start with a binary that was produced by a very good optimizing compiler, then you strip all symbols so that nobody can tell what function does what, what variable means what,, and then you have to convert that binary back to assembly language, and then study the code to see what it does. not easy. Then, once you uderstand the code, you start to work backward from the assembly language to C, to make the comparison possible. We found that the first rybka versions (including 1.6.1) were pure crafty ripoffs, then, starting with 1.0 beta, we see fruity search and evaluation converted to bitboards, but with the same scores, the same things evaluated, in the same order, in the same way (except translating mailbox to bitboard). And then 2.3.2a shows the same evaluation with a few minor additions.

At some point in an investigation like this, the burden of proof shifts to the accused. There is no need to do more of this time-consuming work to check rybka 3 or 4 (not even sure 4 has competed). There's already plenty of indications that Rybka is "bad". If Vas wants to contest anything with respect to Rybka 3, he can produce source code to prove originality. I don't see any reason to check every version he has done, since so many of them have been proven to be bad. It is not unreasonable to assume the rest are bad until he finally steps up and offers proof.


So is it possible he is being punished by losing all four and a lifetime ban for being uncooperative/uncommunicative?
Only David and the ICGA board can answer that. But it would certainly seem reasonable, that after all the prompting David did to try to get him to respond to either the panel's deliberations, or to the panel's report, or to the board after the panel's report was submitted, and he supplied _nothing_ in return. I'd think that in any sort of legal trial, the judge would not be too impressed on such a lack of cooperation. In the US, in federal courts, this is actually a component of the sentencing formula the sentencing recommendations contain. There are points added for various things like prior convictions, did the defendent show remorse and accept responsibility for his actions, and such. And the more points you get, the longer the sentence. Not cooperating, not accepting responsibility can absolutely land you with a stiffer sentence in US Federal court..


Also, do you have any insight into why all the hyperbole in the press? Why not have a balanced announcement saying "We took these actions because we found X and our rules do not permit it. We will say however that Rybka and ideas from it have helped all engines improve by significant amounts"? Why a lot of the use of the word "cheat"? From a chess engine fan perspective it looks over the top.
There is no "good side" to this story. Cheating is the right word. From Webster's:

Verb: Act dishonestly or unfairly in order to gain an advantage, esp. in a game or examination.

Pretty well described exactly what happened...

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