[Fwd: Re: payroll]

Thomas Bushnell BSG tb at becket.net
Wed May 25 22:07:21 EDT 2005

"Stuart D. Gathman" <stuart at bmsi.com> writes:

> For this kind of problem requiring continuous expert review and updates,
> I have always envisioned an open-source engine with paid-for data.

Please remember, this is a free software project.  If people want to
have non-free software (both programs and data are software), then
that's up to them, but it shouldn't be our job or business to
encourage them.

> The tax lawyers would offer the xml-described data for sale on a 
> subscription basis, say quarterly updates.  

This would be extraordinary.  Normally, legal advice is free (libre);
that is, your lawyer gives you advice or explains the law to you, and
you are free to repeat his advice or explanation to whoever you like.

Let's foster that model if we can.

> It would be nice if this would happen for personal tax software
> also, but protecting copyright of the xml data would be easier for
> businesses.  

I don't think businesses are helped by being forced to use restricted
information.  Businesses would be much more helped by a free software

> Updates could include a digital signed serial number so
> that copyright violations could be detected.

I want to urge very strongly that we not include *any* feature like
this.  Geez, are we now cops on behalf of the software-hoarders too?


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