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Re: Getting rid of software patents = All software becomes free?

From: rjack
Subject: Re: Getting rid of software patents = All software becomes free?
Date: Tue, 11 Dec 2007 08:34:40 -0500
User-agent: Thunderbird (Windows/20071031)

Andy Baxter wrote:
On Sat, 08 Dec 2007 18:11:34 -0800, mike3 wrote:


I saw this:


"It's not as if the various manufacturing companies don't have very
good reasons for keeping the code
and specifications closed. They all infringe on each other's patents,
however none of this can be
proved without the various plans. Releasing anything is a big risk,
not necessarily a certain one,
since they could countersue for whatever the opponent infringes, but a
possible problem

So if there were no software patents, there'd be no more to sue over,
and hence the "very good reasons" for (eternally!) hiding the source
code would evaporate like mist in the heat of the day. Poof, like
magic, they'd be gone! And suddenly there would be no problem with
releasing software as Free and we'd finally have FREEDOM on the PC!!!!

Ain't it great? Get rid of software patenting!

But alas the companies don't want that, they *want* patents on their

If you replace 'companies' with 'large companies' (who have the resources
to lobby government, and the money to pay lawyers to enforce their
patents), it makes more sense. Individually some of them might want to get
out of it, but over the smaller companies and other interests (e.g.
individuals) that patents affect, they have a collective interest in
getting the government to support patent laws. So they do. It's called
'regulatory capture'- we studied it in a course I did on technology policy

For the Unix clone name aficionados. From the above referenced link:

"Firstly, I use “Linux”, not “GNU/Linux”. Firstly because I think saying “GNU/Linux” all the time sounds stupid. Secondly, as was pointed out on Slashdot, we don’t call something developed with Microsoft’s visual studio MS-###. I understand the people who made Linux possible by building GCC deserve credit and I accept that, but only to an extent."


--- "Although the United States Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. §§ 101-1332, grants exclusive jurisdiction for infringement claims to the federal courts, those courts construe copyrights as contracts and turn to the relevant state law to interpret them."; Automation by Design, Inc. v. Raybestos Products Co., 463 F3d 749, (Seventh Cir. 2006) ---

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