TECH­NOL­OGY FREE

EDGE - - KNOWLEDGE KEN PERLIN -

De­spite in­vent­ing tech­nolo­gies that are now foun­da­tional to com­puter sci­ence and gam­ing, and all the count­less bil­lions of dol­lars that they must have helped gen­er­ate, he didn’t pa­tent shaders or Per­lin noise. “No, and it’s a good thing I didn’t,” he says. “I to­tally gave it away. I copy­righted it so peo­ple wouldn’t make wrong ver­sions of it, but I didn’t charge for it.” It’s not that he’s against patent­ing, and part of the rea­son was the tech­nol­ogy’s le­gal relationship with his then-em­ployer, MAGI. “I don’t think in terms of mak­ing money, I think in terms of how my chil­dren thrive, and it’s a dif­fer­ent rule for each thing.” If it was hard­ware tech­nol­ogy, then patent­ing would’ve helped to se­cure the cap­i­tal needed to re­alise it, but as pure soft­ware it would flour­ish by sim­ply be­ing given freely to the world.

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