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> (using the term Intellectual Property)
> for things which have few of the characteristics of property.
  We agree.  It's quite unlike land, sheep, etc.  But given digital
distribution, we need to come up with a some way of encouraging authors
to produce works useful to the public.  Simply saying computer
programmers should not ask for money for their work is a bit
short-sighted.  It is downright annoying when the people telling me I
should not ask for money (work on a farm, programming in the evenings?),
are themselves being whelped by large companies or universities (i.e.,
government grants).  It is doubly annoying when those people are being
paid by, e.g., IBM, to preach ideas which make it yet more difficult for
small competitors to arise and challenge IBM.  It is triply annoying
when those people claim the flags of  virtue, "The Public Interest" and
"Freedom".

> protected by the GPL
  The GPL is most assuredly a copyright, a claim that the owner has
rights over distribution.  I object to the particularly draconian GPL
rights, just as I would object to the oil companies buying the
proverbial patent for an engine that runs on water, and then  highly
restricting use of that invention. I'd argue that such limits on use
violate the intent "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts"
of the Constitution.  And most certainly if government money helped pay
for a development, the GPL would be a highly unreasonable set of
restrictions on its use.

> ad hominem
  I don't claim your argument is bad because of who you are, but I do
find it odd that someone who seemingly is willing to produce programs
for hire wants to be paid and *also* to retain all rights to the
program.  Given your later explanation of the difference between what
you want and what you're able to have, I now understand how you could
want a different employment contract than the one (I presume) you have.
;)