Good point. That distinction is important, and is part of the abstraction that make arguing about copyright and violations somewhat difficult.
Property has always been used as a nomer for physical items that are clearly in possession...
I think you missed the part of history (in the 1700's) when property rights started being assigned to intangible things like the text of books, in the form of copyright. I mean, you can pretend that society doesn't recognize this particular abstraction of property rights, but there's voluminous case law and legal tradition for this, so I'm not sure what the point is.
They considered getting a license, but ultimately decided against it. I believe Larry Page said they considered it because they wanted to use Sun's java implementation (not the same thing as just using the API via the Apache Harmony implementation). But even if they thought they needed a license for the Java API, they may have decided otherwise after legal analysis.
It bugs me when lawyers think they have a smoking gun because some employee writes something in an e-mail or a presentation. They employee might be raising speculative issues that even they don't know the answer to, or they might just be wrong on the legal status of something.
Nobody was denied rights. California recognized homosexual unions, and gave them all the same rights (visitation, inheritance, custody, etc.) as man/woman marriages, before prop 8 was approved by the voters. The whole debate boiled down to what one or another group of people wanted the union to be called.
The fish *have* evolved immunity to the toxic sludge...
But only if they actually did evolve. As the grandparent rightly points out, this case appears to be an excellent confirmation of selection, but that's not what's missing in the dialog to convince people of evolution. In this case, we don't have confirmation of a mutation, let alone a *random* mutation. A non-random mutation (a "designed" one) wouldn't count, obviously.
This is what, I believe, the grandparent was saying. You can't run around trying to convince people of evolution just by pointing out instances of selection. This is, unfortunately, what often happens - causing people to just become entrenched in their positions and the dialog to falter.
Of course, Linus is not a lawyer, and his interpretation of GPL may not be correct. But the gist of the original story was that it was legal analysis made by an IP lawyer, and he essentially agreed with Linus.
I'll give you a specific example where Linus is dead wrong. errno.h. This header, from the kernel, is included in almost every Linux user-space program, whether open source or not. (glibc's errno.h includes the kernel's errno.h) If you can provide an example of a kernel header file you think would be a problem to include, please specify it.
Instead, we have statements like this in the original blog entry by Raymond Nimmer: "Not having examined the facts, I don’t know the actual truth of the matter." Indeed That pretty much describes all commentators in the entire mess.
Please note that there have been no failed terrorist attacks in the past 10 years.
"We shall reach greater and greater platitudes of achievement." -- Richard J. Daley