Software patents concern me. I worry about some greedy companies -- possibly failing ones, trying to make trouble and abusing the system. Software patents, in particular, are very ripe for abuse. The whole system encourages big corporations getting thousands and thousands of patents. Individuals almost never get them.
Section 8, clause 8 of the US constitution says:
To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;
The aim here is clear -- to promote the progress of science and useful arts by protecting authors and inventors. I wonder how the people who wrote that document would feel about the situation today. Virtually no individual inventors, almost all patents granted to large, rich companies who force their employees to assign all their intellectual property. Patents not being used to protect an invention being brought to market, but to wait until an invention is brought to market, then pounce, hoping to extort money.
I like the fact that Linus freely admits to being a dictator. Because of brainwashing in school and beyond, many people see Democracy as the only right way to run things. If cats don't respond to herding well, imagine how poorly they would respond to voting. Besides, Linus sees that the most important quality that a leader can have is the trust of those he's leading:
To be honest, the fact that people trust you gives you a lot of power over people. Having another person's trust is more powerful than all other management techniques put together.
It's also interesting that he sees "open source" development as simply being a facet of the scientific method:
I think the method is the scientific method. The open-source people use it for software. So, engineering and science are all about the open-source method. It's mainly about knowledge and information. You can spread it without losing it yourself. Groklaw.net is the open-source mentality applied to legal research. There are encyclopedias -- a collection of a lot of information that's neutral. One project on the Web is Wikipedia.