Time Expired Software!

Herbert M Sauro HSauro at fssc.demon.co.uk
Tue Jan 28 15:41:02 EST 1997

In article <u9buabgm3c.fsf at wol.wustl.edu>, Sean Eddy
<eddy at wol.wustl.edu> writes
>In article <32EC6E63.6AD97132 at house.med.und.ac.za> "Dr. Rob Miller" 
><rmiller at house.med.und.ac.za> writes:
>  >prices, as I was mostly funded by Glaxo).  My point, however, was that
>  >it is my impression that most bioscience software is developed with grant
>  >funding, **then sold**...
>Lots of people share your attitude that commercialization of
>federally-funded research sounds like an ethical no-no.
>However, in US law, that's not the intention of our government. The
>most relevant law is probably the Bayh-Dole Act of 1980. It permits
>("demands", according to some readings) university laboratories to
>commercialize federally-funded results where possible.  It is
>principally concerned with patentable inventions, but can probably be
>broadly interpreted as applying to tech transfer in general. There is
>a body of other legislation over the past twenty years that makes
>similar points.

If Federally-funded research is commercialised then I think the company
who makes money out of it should pay back (or pay a 'dividend') the
orignal cost to the ordinary people who contributed the startup costs
through their taxes (that's in addition to the taxes they'll pay anyway
on their profits). 

There can be a conflict, what happens if a wholly private company
develops using its own resources some new MolGizzmo and sells it. Along
comes a postdoc or whatever I writes, using Government money, a program
MolGizzmoClone and then gives it away for 'nothing'. Unfair competition?
I think so.

PS I do not write any Mol software.
Herbert M Sauro
email:     HSauro at fssc.demon.co.uk
Telephone: 01974 282428
"He who cannot draw on 3000 years is living from hand to mouth" Goethe
"Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp, or what's a heaven for?"
R Browning.

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