Thursday, February 07, 2013

Open Source LiveCode & MarshalPlan, My Evidence Marshaling Software Application

RunRev, the company that developed and owns LiveCode -- a scripting language that is a descendant of Revolution & HyperCard, -- recently announced that it is turning LiveCode into open source software. This development interests me because my evidence marshaling software application MarshalPlan (which is a descendant of a HyperCard-based software application that David Schum and I developed 20 years ago) is based on the scripting language LiveCode. When LiveCode becomes open source software, I will probably have a much easier time distributing my evidence marshaling application - MarshalPlan - to the world at large. Since I believe MarshalPlan incorporates and illustrates important insights into and productive methods of evidence marshaling, I believe this turn of events is probably a good thing. But a caveat lurks in my brain: I am not versed in "intellectual property." I will have to figure out how or if I can retain any "intellectual property" in future iterations of MarshalPlan if I use Open-Source-LiveCode to develop future iterations of MarshalPlan and if I distribute such Open-Source iterations of MarshalPlan to other people. (I do not expect to get rich from MarshalPlan. But I confess I would like to retain the faint possibility of making some money from my [crude] "app.")

In its announcements RunRev asks the public to "pledge" money to the enterprise of converting LiveCode into open source software. Have I walked into an NPR or PBS fundraiser? Has RunRev turned into a charitable religious organization? Why should people give away their hard-earned money to help RunRev make more money? Am I being retrograde? Is RunRev indirectly selling shares or some sort of property interest in its new enterprise? If so, is this solicitation of "pledges" legally kosher? (Another thing I profess to know nothing about: the law governing shareholding, securities, blue sky claims, and similar matters.) 
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