in reply to Professional Employees and Works for Hire

What I want to know is - can someone take Perl away from us? We all feel for tilly, but he brought us a warning. It has been mentioned in passing by several of us so far - but could it happen? Could a company (or several companies) come up and say "We own this - the language design is Larry's, the engine that implements it is ours"? Those of us hacking at the core, and core modules (we've been trying to convince people that Perl is helpless without them) need to take a look at what kind of position we're in. I think we can trust that the bad publicity this is generating, and an awareness of the strength of the Open Source community would prevent most companies from trying anything. But that's no reason to cover our butts. We can pretend that there isn't any large section of important code that a company concievably owns, but if we haven't thought about it, we don't know. I just keep thinking of the CGI mantra, "Security through obscurity is no security at all". It probably won't happen, but then I think of the GIF image format - not quite the same, but enough to scare me.

Hoping someone can calm me, and tell me it's all alright,
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