I support strong intellectual-property rights. I believe any programmer has the same fundamental right as any other producer to ‘hoard’ and sell the fruits of his/her labor on whatever terms the market will bear. While I choose to publish nearly all of my software as open-source, I will never, ever condemn others for choosing differently.

I believe in strong IPR because every work of design and implementation consumed precious, irreplaceable time from the developer's life. The developer's right to trade or sell his software on exclusive terms derives from his right to trade or sell his own time.

Some people find it odd that I hold this position while publicly championing open-source software and choosing to give away almost all of my own product. The key point is that it is my choice; I believe that voluntarily opening my sources, and encouraging others to do so, makes a better world.

But it has to be voluntary. I would strenuously oppose laws that abolished software copyright, because that would in effect be saying that no programmer is allowed to own the products of his skill and effort.

Similarly, I would favor the idea of software patents if independent re-invention were accepted as a defense against infringement claims. As it is, the software patent system is flawed both in principle and in practice. Far too many patents are granted for ideas that are neither novel nor original, and which impede the use of common techniques that are part of every developer's toolkit.