[News] Microsoft Employee Speaks Against Software Patents - Linux

This is a discussion on [News] Microsoft Employee Speaks Against Software Patents - Linux ; Mark Kent wrote: > Homer espoused: >> Verily I say unto thee, that Phil Da Lick! spake thusly: >>> Hadron wrote: >>>> So you think its ok to steal someone else hard work without >>>> re-numerating them? >> That's "remunerating", ...

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Thread: [News] Microsoft Employee Speaks Against Software Patents

  1. Re: [News] Microsoft Employee Speaks Against Software Patents

    Mark Kent wrote:
    > Homer espoused:
    >> Verily I say unto thee, that Phil Da Lick! spake thusly:
    >>> Hadron wrote:
    >>>> So you think its ok to steal someone else hard work without
    >>>> re-numerating them?

    >> That's "remunerating", Hardon - and people should be /remunerated/ for
    >> the /actual/ products and services they sell ... not for the extortion
    >> racket known as Intellectual "Property", where people try to claim
    >> exclusive "ownership" of knowledge. R&D costs /can/ be recovered without
    >> resorting to such a Draconian perversion of academic principles. Those
    >> who use these unethical means to extort "remuneration" are motivated by
    >> /greed/ ... not any kind of actual necessity.
    >>
    >>> No. Stupidest question ever. Here's a better question for you even
    >>> though I know the answer. Do you think its morally ok to drive
    >>> somebody out of business or suck away all their profits just because
    >>> they do something similar to yourself and you got there first? Even
    >>> though their solution is better than yours?

    >> Two companies competing in the same market space are /bound/ to
    >> adversely affect each others' business ... that's competition, and
    >> there's nothing wrong with that, since it keeps prices low, and drives
    >> innovation. However, when the specific /means/ that a company uses to
    >> "compete" involves sabotage and exclusionary "deals", rather than merely
    >> competing /purely/ on the merits of the product or service, then /that/
    >> is racketeering ... and /that/ is how Microsoft runs its bizniz®. AFAIAC
    >> abusing Intellectual Monopoly to exclude the competition is just one of
    >> many examples of such racketeering.
    >>
    >> The Trolls in the group are either too stupid to understand that simple
    >> premise, or they are too morally deficient to care.
    >>

    >
    > A posting worthy of filing for future reference. The political position
    > with respect to freedom which RMS so eloquently describes is too remote
    > and idealistic for most people to understand, since it relies on
    > grasping the long-term economic impact of proprietary monopolies on
    > individuals. Re-presenting RMS's arguments in the form of the economic
    > analysis, however, makes the human impact of proprietary models based on
    > elevated exit costs comprehensible for anyone with a passing familiarity
    > with business accounting.



    Yes, he summed the problem up more eloquently than I've been able to.

  2. Re: [News] Microsoft Employee Speaks Against Software Patents

    chrisv wrote:
    > Erik Funkenbusch wrote:
    >
    >> Many open source people seem to be huge hypocrites.

    >
    > Many dishonest, trolling fsckwits like you and Quack like to so claim,
    > but you always seem to fail at providing the evidence.
    >
    > Being against "software patents" is not the same a condoning
    > "stealing" another person's work. I don't think that anyone would
    > argue that, for example, I should be able to "acquire" the source code
    > for Photoshop, compile it, and sell the resulting .exe.


    But only a total loon would argue that because we have photoshop on the
    market thats all we need. It works perfectly well and cannot be improved
    and should have no competition - let Adobe charge what they like for it
    to a captive market for 20 years.


    > But why would Adobe require patents to protect their investment?
    > Their software is closed and secret. They have no right to prevent
    > others form using the same algorithms, if independently developed.


    Actually they have - it happened to a company a guy who used to work for
    me went to. Even though his company had been using the algo for years
    some other company got a patent and stopped them using it without paying
    outrageous royalties. Best part was, the other company wasn't even in
    the same market. Crazy. IMHO if two programmers can arrive at the same
    result independantly then it fails the obviousness test. But then again
    when the USPTO is allowing companies to patent memory structures and
    file formats then you know the obviousness test is in real trouble.

  3. Re: [News] Microsoft Employee Speaks Against Software Patents

    Moshe Goldfarb. wrote:
    > On Thu, 03 Jul 2008 13:59:06 -0500, chrisv wrote:
    >
    >> Erik Funkenbusch wrote:
    >>
    >>> Many open source people seem to be huge hypocrites.

    >> Many dishonest, trolling fsckwits like you and Quack like to so claim,
    >> but you always seem to fail at providing the evidence.

    >
    > See Mark Kent for details.
    > In COLA by night he claims there is no such thing as intellectual property.
    > At his job by day he says this:
    >
    >
    > "At BT Global, our crown jewels are the services we supply to our
    > customers. With jNetX we own the intellectual property for our services,
    > allowing us to evolve the services as and when required."
    >
    > Mark Kent
    > Head of Technology Strategy
    >
    > http://www.jnetx.com/index.php?id=products
    >
    > https://solutionfinder.microsoft.com...10ba73b82dbdb4
    >
    > http://download.microsoft.com/downlo...dbox_Demo.pptx



    WTF are you on about with this ****e? Just because he works for BT
    doesn't mean he checks his brain in at the start of his employment and
    chants the company mantra every 10 minutes. Thats the MS approach.

    Oh, and I don't like BT either

  4. Re: [News] Microsoft Employee Speaks Against Software Patents

    On Fri, 04 Jul 2008 09:19:46 +0100, Phil Da Lick! wrote:

    > Erik Funkenbusch wrote:
    >>> #1: Writing software is the expression of ideas. Physical inventions are
    >>> quite different.

    >>
    >> How are physical inventions not the expression of ideas? Someone had to
    >> come up with the idea in the first place, and the physical invention is the
    >> expression of that.

    >
    > How are ideas expressed as novels different? If you're going to
    > generalise like that then *everything* should be patentable.


    Literature is not invention. At best it's theory. An invention has to
    actually *DO* something, which software does.

    > Right. Here's the thing. This argument is used by the patent fans and it
    > is bogus. Firstly in a market economy there are *no* guarantees. If you
    > want to invest millions or billions thats YOUR CHOICE.


    Of course it is. But that's really the point. Without the patent
    protection, there is little reason to choose to do that.

    > Now, if that
    > investment does go on to be successful, then copyright laws should
    > provide protection for it.


    No, they don't.

    > Now to other people coming along and doing a
    > similar thing, well that should be encouraged because if you had one
    > choice for any segment of the market then that segment would stagnate.


    No, because the patent would expire. And patents don't prevent you from
    competing, they only prevent you from using identical inventions.

    > We saw that firsthand a few years ago with IE. Although not a
    > patent-encumbrance it did have monopoly market share. Then the
    > incitement to invest was gone, no investment was made and the product
    > stagnated.


    But lo and behold, a competitor came along and guess what? it has started
    to improve again. That's the effect of an expiring patent.

    > Now apply patent ideals to that - if it had been protected by
    > patents there'd be no firefox now - we'd have to wait until all the
    > patents had expired in 20 years or so before any improvements in browser
    > cvame along. You've touched on it in your post but I honestly believe
    > that the software industry just does not lend itself well to the
    > patenting model.


    As I said, I support a greatly reduced software patent lifetime. 3 years.
    It took more than 5 for firefox to become a usable competitor.

  5. Re: [News] Microsoft Employee Speaks Against Software Patents

    On Fri, 04 Jul 2008 09:30:02 +0100, Phil Da Lick! wrote:

    > Moshe Goldfarb. wrote:
    >> On Thu, 03 Jul 2008 13:59:06 -0500, chrisv wrote:
    >>
    >>> Erik Funkenbusch wrote:
    >>>
    >>>> Many open source people seem to be huge hypocrites.
    >>> Many dishonest, trolling fsckwits like you and Quack like to so claim,
    >>> but you always seem to fail at providing the evidence.

    >>
    >> See Mark Kent for details.
    >> In COLA by night he claims there is no such thing as intellectual property.
    >> At his job by day he says this:
    >>
    >>
    >> "At BT Global, our crown jewels are the services we supply to our
    >> customers. With jNetX we own the intellectual property for our services,
    >> allowing us to evolve the services as and when required."
    >>
    >> Mark Kent
    >> Head of Technology Strategy
    >>
    >> http://www.jnetx.com/index.php?id=products
    >>
    >> https://solutionfinder.microsoft.com...10ba73b82dbdb4
    >>
    >> http://download.microsoft.com/downlo...dbox_Demo.pptx

    >
    >
    > WTF are you on about with this ****e? Just because he works for BT
    > doesn't mean he checks his brain in at the start of his employment and
    > chants the company mantra every 10 minutes. Thats the MS approach.
    >
    > Oh, and I don't like BT either


    Read the links.

    Mark Kent has issued statements to the press bragging about BT's
    intellectual property, but in COLA he says Intellectual Property doesn't
    exist.

    One of his statements is false.

  6. Re: [News] Microsoft Employee Speaks Against Software Patents

    Erik Funkenbusch wrote:
    >> Right. Here's the thing. This argument is used by the patent fans and it
    >> is bogus. Firstly in a market economy there are *no* guarantees. If you
    >> want to invest millions or billions thats YOUR CHOICE.

    >
    > Of course it is. But that's really the point. Without the patent
    > protection, there is little reason to choose to do that.


    What a load of old tosh. With patent protections in place venturing into
    a new market would be like walking through a minefield never knowing if
    you're going to step on one.


    >> Now, if that
    >> investment does go on to be successful, then copyright laws should
    >> provide protection for it.

    >
    > No, they don't.


    Erm. Yes they do. And have done for decades. The very act of writing
    software grants it copyright status.


    >> Now to other people coming along and doing a
    >> similar thing, well that should be encouraged because if you had one
    >> choice for any segment of the market then that segment would stagnate.

    >
    > No, because the patent would expire. And patents don't prevent you from
    > competing, they only prevent you from using identical inventions.


    So product 1 includes capability A which is patented. Product 2 includes
    capability B which is also patented. Wouldnt it be nice to have cap A
    and B together? Yeah it would you can have it in 20 years - assuming
    they dont renew the patents.


    >> We saw that firsthand a few years ago with IE. Although not a
    >> patent-encumbrance it did have monopoly market share. Then the
    >> incitement to invest was gone, no investment was made and the product
    >> stagnated.

    >
    > But lo and behold, a competitor came along and guess what? it has started
    > to improve again. That's the effect of an expiring patent.


    Erm you've missed the point. There was no patents on IE therefore
    firefox could come along. If there were we'd still be waiting.


    >> Now apply patent ideals to that - if it had been protected by
    >> patents there'd be no firefox now - we'd have to wait until all the
    >> patents had expired in 20 years or so before any improvements in browser
    >> cvame along. You've touched on it in your post but I honestly believe
    >> that the software industry just does not lend itself well to the
    >> patenting model.

    >
    > As I said, I support a greatly reduced software patent lifetime. 3 years.
    > It took more than 5 for firefox to become a usable competitor.


    Plus the 3-5 years it takes the application to go through. Bah. MS did
    just fine without patents for all those years. There is no tangible
    benefit in the software industry as a whole for advancing the state of
    the art. There is only tangible benefit for companies to tie up a sector
    and shake everyone else down.

  7. Re: [News] Microsoft Employee Speaks Against Software Patents

    Erik Funkenbusch wrote:
    > On Fri, 04 Jul 2008 09:30:02 +0100, Phil Da Lick! wrote:
    >
    >> Moshe Goldfarb. wrote:
    >>> On Thu, 03 Jul 2008 13:59:06 -0500, chrisv wrote:
    >>>
    >>>> Erik Funkenbusch wrote:
    >>>>
    >>>>> Many open source people seem to be huge hypocrites.
    >>>> Many dishonest, trolling fsckwits like you and Quack like to so claim,
    >>>> but you always seem to fail at providing the evidence.
    >>> See Mark Kent for details.
    >>> In COLA by night he claims there is no such thing as intellectual property.
    >>> At his job by day he says this:
    >>>
    >>>
    >>> "At BT Global, our crown jewels are the services we supply to our
    >>> customers. With jNetX we own the intellectual property for our services,
    >>> allowing us to evolve the services as and when required."
    >>>
    >>> Mark Kent
    >>> Head of Technology Strategy
    >>>
    >>> http://www.jnetx.com/index.php?id=products
    >>>
    >>> https://solutionfinder.microsoft.com...10ba73b82dbdb4
    >>>
    >>> http://download.microsoft.com/downlo...dbox_Demo.pptx

    >>
    >> WTF are you on about with this ****e? Just because he works for BT
    >> doesn't mean he checks his brain in at the start of his employment and
    >> chants the company mantra every 10 minutes. Thats the MS approach.
    >>
    >> Oh, and I don't like BT either

    >
    > Read the links.
    >
    > Mark Kent has issued statements to the press bragging about BT's
    > intellectual property, but in COLA he says Intellectual Property doesn't
    > exist.
    >
    > One of his statements is false.


    One of his statements was on company time and maybe he was speaking for
    the company. Does that mean he has to sell his soul entirely?

  8. Re: [News] Microsoft Employee Speaks Against Software Patents

    > mentally-ill troll wrote:
    >>
    >> chrisv wrote:
    >>>
    >>> Erik Funkenbusch wrote:
    >>>
    >>>> Many open source people seem to be huge hypocrites.
    >>> Many dishonest, trolling fsckwits like you and Quack like to so claim,
    >>> but you always seem to fail at providing the evidence.

    >>
    >> See Mark Kent for details.
    >> In COLA by night he claims there is no such thing as intellectual
    >> property. At his job by day he says this:
    >>
    >>
    >> "At BT Global, our crown jewels are the services we supply to our
    >> customers. With jNetX we own the intellectual property for our
    >> services, allowing us to evolve the services as and when required."


    Not every advocate is a clear thinker. Not every advocate is perfect.
    In fact, none of us are.

    That doesn't make it right to pick and choose some quotes to justify
    outrageous claims like "many" of us are "huge hypocrites". As a rule,
    we're a hell of a lot more moral and correct that you Micro$oft
    supporters (who I would claim "many" are lying assholes).

  9. Re: [News] Microsoft Employee Speaks Against Software Patents

    Phil Da Lick! wrote:

    > chrisv wrote:
    >>
    >> Being against "software patents" is not the same a condoning "stealing"
    >> another person's work. I don't think that anyone would argue that, for
    >> example, I should be able to "acquire" the source code for Photoshop,
    >> compile it, and sell the resulting .exe.

    >
    > But only a total loon would argue that because we have photoshop on the
    > market thats all we need. It works perfectly well and cannot be improved
    > and should have no competition


    Obvious.

    > - let Adobe charge what they like for it
    > to a captive market for 20 years.


    >> But why would Adobe require patents to protect their investment? Their
    >> software is closed and secret. They have no right to prevent others
    >> form using the same algorithms, if independently developed.

    >
    > Actually they have


    I don't doubt that they have the legal right. I meant that they have no
    moral right.

    > IMHO if two programmers can arrive at the same
    > result independantly then it fails the obviousness test.


    Obvious or not, they should both have the freedom to use the idea.

  10. Re: [News] Microsoft Employee Speaks Against Software Patents

    Phil Da Lick! espoused:
    > Erik Funkenbusch wrote:
    >>> #1: Writing software is the expression of ideas. Physical inventions are
    >>> quite different.

    >>
    >> How are physical inventions not the expression of ideas? Someone had to
    >> come up with the idea in the first place, and the physical invention is the
    >> expression of that.

    >
    > How are ideas expressed as novels different? If you're going to
    > generalise like that then *everything* should be patentable.
    >
    >
    >>> #2: In terms of physcial inventions patents can actually drive the state
    >>> of the art forward. That is not the case for software. It has been
    >>> proven that software patents stagnate the industry. Bill Gates has also
    >>> admitted this.

    >>
    >> Software patents stagnate the industry only because the software industry
    >> moves so much faster than most other industries. That's why I support a
    >> greatly reduced patent lifetime.

    >
    > Most definitely.
    >
    >


    I'm not sure that this remark is true at all, ie., that software moves
    faster than most things. The entertainement industry surely moves
    faster than software, so does the clothing fashion industry, in fact,
    most low-mid priced retail stuff has a 1 year lifetime, whereas software,
    generally, is a long, slow, build on previous ideas, much like mechanical
    or electrical engineering.

    If you look at the impact of patents on mechanical engineering, then
    it's been frequently shown that they've served to slow development to a
    crawl. The condensing steam engine is one example.

    The basic problem is that the idea of granting a monopoly is
    anachronistic at best, since it was really, originally, about monarchs
    granting monopolies to those they wished to favour who would be acting
    in the interests of both themselves and the monarchs (hence Royal
    Patent). The present system is directly descended from this, although
    it's had a few tweaks en route, it hasn't really changed significantly,
    except in mainly bad ways. The bad ways? Two spring to mind:

    1. Extending patent beyond national borders (global monopolies)
    2. Extending terms (longer is worse, shorter is better)

    If you consider item 2. over time, and extend it to its limit cases
    (something which has rather bizarrely become known as "corner cases" in
    comp sci), then clearly, if shorter is better, then shortest should be
    best.

    The only question remaining is whether the expression for 2. is
    non-linear, ie., it's possible to find another zero at some point other
    than t=0. Personally, I rather doubt it.

    --
    | mark at ellandroad dot demon dot co dot uk |
    | Cola faq: http://www.faqs.org/faqs/linux/advocacy/faq-and-primer/ |
    | Cola trolls: http://colatrolls.blogspot.com/ |
    | Open platforms prevent vendor lock-in. Own your Own services! |


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