[News] Microsoft Employee Speaks Against Software Patents - Linux

This is a discussion on [News] Microsoft Employee Speaks Against Software Patents - Linux ; -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE----- Hash: SHA1 A world ruled by Apple ,----[ Quote ] | As someone who is no fan of software patents (approbrium for which seems | selectively applied among those who wished a sinkhole had spontaneously | ...

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  1. [News] Microsoft Employee Speaks Against Software Patents

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    A world ruled by Apple

    ,----[ Quote ]
    | As someone who is no fan of software patents (approbrium for which seems
    | selectively applied among those who wished a sinkhole had spontaneously
    | opened beneath Redmond sometime in the past 20 years), my personal opinion is
    | that Jobs was as right to borrow from XEROX as Gates was to borrow from Jobs.
    | Ideas are like a pyramid, and pharoah Jobs may have supplied a few stones
    | during its construction, but he built on stacks placed by others before him.
    `----

    http://blogs.zdnet.com/carroll/?p=1850

    And then there's Sun:

    DTrace vs SystemTap, Redux

    ,----[ Quote ]
    | Three years ago come August, O’Reilly’s Nat Torkington, interviewing Sun’s
    | Jonathan Schwartz, pressed the CEO on the issues of patents generally and
    | DTrace patents specifically.
    |
    | Torkington’s question? “So if the Linux kernel were to implement DTrace, Sun
    | wouldn’t employ the patents against them?”
    |
    | Schwartz’ answer? “Knock yourself out.”
    |
    | That was 2005. Fast forward to 2008. As one of the DTrace engineers has
    | noted, Paul Fox is taking Schwartz up on that challenge.
    |
    | [...]
    |
    | One answer, at least, we have. While many would probably argue that a DTrace
    | port to Linux would be disastrous for Solaris and OpenSolaris - that DTrace
    | was one the reasons the CDDL license was originally selected for the latter
    | project, in face - the engineers that built it appear to be standing ready to
    | help, should anyone be inclined to ask.
    `----

    http://redmonk.com/sogrady/2008/07/0...stemtap-redux/

    Sun has just bought a company (MySQL) which is against s/w patents.


    Recent:

    For a few dollars more

    ,----[ Quote ]
    | Since David Axmark and I started to work on MySQL we also took a strong stand
    | against software patents. MySQL AB have been sponsoring several efforts to
    | prevent software patents in Europa.
    |
    | Now David and I are continuing to do this outside of MySQL AB.
    |
    | [...]
    |
    | If you are a philanthropist and if you care about open source software and
    | don't have a love for the current patent system, I encourage you to join us
    | in sponsoring Patent Lens. You can also try to get your company to sponsor.
    `----

    http://monty-says.blogspot.com/2008/...lars-more.html
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  2. Re: [News] Microsoft Employee Speaks Against Software Patents

    Roy Schestowitz wrote:
    > -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
    > Hash: SHA1
    >
    > A world ruled by Apple
    >
    > ,----[ Quote ]
    > | As someone who is no fan of software patents (approbrium for which seems
    > | selectively applied among those who wished a sinkhole had spontaneously
    > | opened beneath Redmond sometime in the past 20 years), my personal opinion is
    > | that Jobs was as right to borrow from XEROX as Gates was to borrow from Jobs.
    > | Ideas are like a pyramid, and pharoah Jobs may have supplied a few stones
    > | during its construction, but he built on stacks placed by others before him.
    > `----
    >
    > http://blogs.zdnet.com/carroll/?p=1850


    "John Carroll has delivered his opinion on ZDNet since the last
    millennium. Since May 2008, he is no longer a Microsoft employee."


    Strange how when they leave microsoft they suddenly come out against
    software patents.

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

    In article ,
    "Phil Da Lick!" wrote:
    >
    > "John Carroll has delivered his opinion on ZDNet since the last
    > millennium. Since May 2008, he is no longer a Microsoft employee."
    >
    >
    > Strange how when they leave microsoft they suddenly come out against
    > software patents.


    What do you mean "suddenly"? Microsoft has long lobbied for reforms to
    fix the current software patent mess. That's not surprising,
    considering that they've been on the receiving end of numerous software
    patent lawsuits, but have never sued anyone over any of Microsoft's
    software patents.

    In particular, Microsoft has called for these changes to reduce the
    number of bad patents:

    * Using patent fees to support better quality patent examination by the
    patent office (instead of using patent fees to support general
    government spending), so that patent applications aren't approved
    without a thorough and competent examination.

    * Providing a way for third parties to submit potential prior art during
    the examination process, so that bad patents can be stopped early (as
    opposed to them being issued, and then third parties with prior art
    having to either file for an expensive re-examination if they want to
    shoot down the patent, or having to litigate).

    * Add a post-grant opposition procedure, so third parties could object
    after the patent is issued.

    They've called for these changes to curb excessive patent litigation and
    litigation abuse:

    * Creation of a special court to hear all patent cases at the district
    court level.

    * Reform the standard for "willful" infringement. If you are found to
    have willfully infringed a patent, you can get nailed with triple
    damages. Microsoft says they don't like this for two reasons. First,
    if you are aware of a patent that you might infringe, you end up having
    to devote considerable resources to getting opinion of counsel as to
    whether or not you are infringing (if you get sued for infringement and
    lose, the fact that you had patent lawyers review the patent and they
    concluded you weren't infringing goes a long way from making your
    infringement non-willful). Microsoft says that large companies like
    them can afford this, but it is a tremendous burden on small companies.

    Second, they point out that the current "willful" standard actually
    encourages inventors to avoid looking at other patents. You can't
    willfully infringe a patent you aren't aware of. This goes directly
    against the purpose of having a patent system.

    * Make it harder to obtain injunctions. Injunctions should return to
    being an equitable remedy only used when the litigant establishes that
    irreparable harm that cannot be compensated by monetary damages will
    occur if the injunction is not granted.

    The reasons they give for this suggestion is that (1) it will encourage
    patent owner to commercially develop or license their inventions, and
    (2) it will stop people from using injunctions tactically. The latter
    goes like this: P sues D for infringement, and gets an injunction that
    shuts down D's business. D now has a choice--spend a couple years in
    litigation, while their business is shut down, or pay whatever
    outrageous license fee P wants to get the suit dropped.

    They have also called for cooperation among different countries:

    * Switch from first to invent system to a first to file system.

    * Publication of pending applications.

    >



    --
    --Tim Smith

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

    Tim Smith wrote:
    > In article ,
    > "Phil Da Lick!" wrote:
    >> "John Carroll has delivered his opinion on ZDNet since the last
    >> millennium. Since May 2008, he is no longer a Microsoft employee."
    >>
    >>
    >> Strange how when they leave microsoft they suddenly come out against
    >> software patents.

    >
    > What do you mean "suddenly"? Microsoft has long lobbied for reforms to
    > fix the current software patent mess. That's not surprising,
    > considering that they've been on the receiving end of numerous software
    > patent lawsuits, but have never sued anyone over any of Microsoft's
    > software patents.


    Microsoft do not advocate the abolition of software patents and to
    suggest so is foolish. They are pushing for reform of the uspto so they
    can get their patents through quicker.


    > Second, they point out that the current "willful" standard actually
    > encourages inventors to avoid looking at other patents. You can't
    > willfully infringe a patent you aren't aware of. This goes directly
    > against the purpose of having a patent system.


    So they want to make sure everyone who infringes a patent IS guilty
    whether they are aware of it or not. Useful.


    > They have also called for cooperation among different countries:


    "Foisting the crappy US software patent regime on the rest of the world"
    - there I translated your sentence for you. And they aren't the only
    ones trying to do this.


    As a software developer I am against software patents because they could
    potentially restrict my future activities.

    As a human being I am even more against software patents because as
    computers and software become more important in the running of the
    world, driving of new breakthroughs, and mankind's future in general it
    seems ****ing ludicrous to me to allow any individual, company or
    government to monopolise control. Software development *must* be free. I
    think future generations will look back on us and comment on how stupid
    we were for allowing all this ****.

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

    "Phil Da Lick!" writes:

    > As a human being I am even more against software patents because as
    > computers and software become more important in the running of the
    > world, driving of new breakthroughs, and mankind's future in general
    > it seems ****ing ludicrous to me to allow any individual, company or
    > government to monopolise control.


    So you think its ok to steal someone else hard work without re-numerating them?

    > Software development *must* be
    > free.


    > I think


    Uh oh!

    > future generations will look back on us and comment on
    > how stupid we were for allowing all this ****.


    All what ****? Protecting peoples R&D costs?

    --
    "**** you, you lying bitch. "
    -- Rick in alt.true-crime, comp.os.linux.advocacy

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

    Hadron wrote:
    > "Phil Da Lick!" writes:
    >
    >> As a human being I am even more against software patents because as
    >> computers and software become more important in the running of the
    >> world, driving of new breakthroughs, and mankind's future in general
    >> it seems ****ing ludicrous to me to allow any individual, company or
    >> government to monopolise control.

    >
    > So you think its ok to steal someone else hard work without re-numerating them?


    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?

    I'll give you a hint: If the answer is yes, then you endorse zero
    competition = monopoly = expensive or crap.

    Copyright is more than sufficient to protect software products. You are
    talking about protecting software industries rather than products.


    >> Software development *must* be
    >> free.

    >
    >> I think

    >
    > Uh oh!
    >
    >> future generations will look back on us and comment on
    >> how stupid we were for allowing all this ****.

    >
    > All what ****? Protecting peoples R&D costs?



    Try not to be such a ****ing knobhead. Software development R&D costs
    are very low compared to most industries. Oh yes, and basic economics:
    just because you initiate an R&D project it does not neccessarily follow
    that you will be renumerated for it. That will only happen if your
    product is successful. That's successful, not artificially protected.
    Rudimentary business philosophy is to spot a winner and not both with a
    loser.

    Oh, and in the realm of software development this year's eureka is next
    year's building block. But by all means lets have plenty of state
    endorsed monopoly so billysuckers such as yourselves can feel good.

    You'd have thought that the whole IE incident would have shown the
    dangers of stagnation by monopoly.

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

    "Phil Da Lick!" writes:

    > Hadron wrote:
    >> "Phil Da Lick!" writes:
    >>
    >>> As a human being I am even more against software patents because as
    >>> computers and software become more important in the running of the
    >>> world, driving of new breakthroughs, and mankind's future in general
    >>> it seems ****ing ludicrous to me to allow any individual, company or
    >>> government to monopolise control.

    >>
    >> So you think its ok to steal someone else hard work without re-numerating them?

    >
    > 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?


    No I do not.

    >>
    >> All what ****? Protecting peoples R&D costs?

    >
    >
    > Try not to be such a ****ing knobhead. Software development R&D costs
    > are very low compared to most industries. Oh yes, and basic economics:


    You have zero idea.

    *snip*

    --
    "I program Windows systems yes. But I am not a Windows user."
    Peter Koehlmann, COLA.

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

    In article <48KdnXq_4p9sUPHVnZ2dnUVZ8uidnZ2d@posted.plusnet>,
    "Phil Da Lick!" wrote:
    > > Second, they point out that the current "willful" standard actually
    > > encourages inventors to avoid looking at other patents. You can't
    > > willfully infringe a patent you aren't aware of. This goes directly
    > > against the purpose of having a patent system.

    >
    > So they want to make sure everyone who infringes a patent IS guilty
    > whether they are aware of it or not. Useful.


    What? Where did you get that notion? What you describe is how it
    already is, both in the US, and how it is in most other patent systems
    around the world. Lack of awareness is not a defense to infringement
    anywhere, as far as I'm aware.

    So, if I get a patent on a new kind of, say, plow blade, and you start
    making those blades, totally unaware of my patent, you are still guilty
    of infringement, and I can nail you in court.

    If you *were* aware of the patent, then I have a chance to show that you
    knew you were infringing, and did it on purpose. That would make you a
    willful infringer, and damages could be tripled.

    Microsoft is saying it is too *easy* to be found to willfully infringe.
    They want to make it *harder* for the defendant to be nailed for
    willfulness. They want you, the infringer, to only be considered a
    willful infringer when you have done something egregious. So, if you
    did something like say "screw their patent--they don't have the balls to
    sue is--let's clone their plow blade", that would be willful. In most
    real life cases, infringement would not be willful if Microsoft had its
    way.

    ....
    > As a software developer I am against software patents because they could
    > potentially restrict my future activities.


    So if you were not a software developer, but instead were a plow maker,
    would you be against plow-related patents, but not care about software
    patents?

    > As a human being I am even more against software patents because as
    > computers and software become more important in the running of the
    > world, driving of new breakthroughs, and mankind's future in general it
    > seems ****ing ludicrous to me to allow any individual, company or
    > government to monopolise control. Software development *must* be free. I
    > think future generations will look back on us and comment on how stupid
    > we were for allowing all this ****.


    Can't you say the same thing about all patents? If your position is
    that there should not be a patent system at all, then that makes sense.
    If your position is that patents in general OK, just not for software,
    you haven't given any reason that really shows why software should be
    different from the rest.

    For instance, 100-150 years ago, you could have said about the railroads
    what you say about computers and software. Do you think that patents on
    railroad-related inventions should not have been allowed in the last
    half of the 19th century? (Many major breakthroughs in railroad
    technology of the time, by the way, came from inventors who spent years
    working on them, sinking all their savings into the work, knowing that
    when they succeeded in solving the problem they were working on, they
    could get a patent and so have some leverage in selling their invention
    to the railroads).

    I don't see any reason software should be different in principle, as
    long as the standard of patentability is high enough (and the bar I
    think would be right would exclude about 99.99% of current software
    patents).

    It seems to me that knowledge is knowledge. Say two guys go down in
    their basements for five years, and spend all their savings researching
    engine efficiency. They both emerge, with techniques for making cares
    20% more efficient. The first guy has a new design for spark plugs.
    The second guy has a new algorithm for use in the engine control
    computer.

    It seems ludicrous to me to tell the first guy he can potentially have a
    patent, because his knowledge involves an arrangement of atoms, and to
    tell the second guy that he cannot even be considered for a patent,
    because his knowledge involves an arrangement of computer instructions.

    --
    --Tim Smith

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

    * Tim Smith peremptorily fired off this memo:

    > In article ,
    > "Phil Da Lick!" wrote:
    >>
    >> Strange how when they leave microsoft they suddenly come out against
    >> software patents.

    >
    >>


    So basically, Microsoft wants to make it simpler and cheaper to get
    patents.

    --
    I prefer rogues to imbeciles because they sometimes take a rest.
    -- Alexandre Dumas, fils

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

    On Thu, 03 Jul 2008 14:02:45 +0100, Phil Da Lick! wrote:

    >> What do you mean "suddenly"? Microsoft has long lobbied for reforms to
    >> fix the current software patent mess. That's not surprising,
    >> considering that they've been on the receiving end of numerous software
    >> patent lawsuits, but have never sued anyone over any of Microsoft's
    >> software patents.

    >
    > Microsoft do not advocate the abolition of software patents and to
    > suggest so is foolish. They are pushing for reform of the uspto so they
    > can get their patents through quicker.


    What part of "reform" do you think means "abolish"? Since you use the word
    yourself, it's kind of odd that you would claim to not understand Tim's use
    of it.

    >> Second, they point out that the current "willful" standard actually
    >> encourages inventors to avoid looking at other patents. You can't
    >> willfully infringe a patent you aren't aware of. This goes directly
    >> against the purpose of having a patent system.

    >
    > So they want to make sure everyone who infringes a patent IS guilty
    > whether they are aware of it or not. Useful.


    No. Their point is that in a system that punishes willful infringement
    (treble damages), all patent lawyers will tell you to absolutely never
    search to see if your software violates another patent. If you are found
    in violation, you will be liable for much less.

    That's stupid.

    How is it that you don't understand english? Twice now you've responded
    with a response that had nothing to do with the statement you were
    responding to.

    > As a software developer I am against software patents because they could
    > potentially restrict my future activities.


    As a human being, i'm against any laws whatsoever, because they could
    potentially restrict my future activities.

    > As a human being I am even more against software patents because as
    > computers and software become more important in the running of the
    > world, driving of new breakthroughs, and mankind's future in general it
    > seems ****ing ludicrous to me to allow any individual, company or
    > government to monopolise control. Software development *must* be free. I
    > think future generations will look back on us and comment on how stupid
    > we were for allowing all this ****.


    Software isn't like hardware. Because of it's near 0 dollar production
    cost (though insanely high development cost), it's much easier and faster
    to recoup your development investment. I wouldn't mind software patents so
    long as they were only, say 3 years. if you can't recoup your investment
    in 3 years, you are doing something seriously wrong. Either nobody wants
    your invention, or you're incompetant at marketing and selling it.

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

    On Thu, 03 Jul 2008 15:09:24 +0200, Hadron wrote:

    > "Phil Da Lick!" writes:
    >
    >> As a human being I am even more against software patents because as
    >> computers and software become more important in the running of the
    >> world, driving of new breakthroughs, and mankind's future in general
    >> it seems ****ing ludicrous to me to allow any individual, company or
    >> government to monopolise control.

    >
    > So you think its ok to steal someone else hard work without re-numerating them?


    Ironic, isn't it? Since they're the first ones to cry "theft!" if someone
    violates the GPL.

    Many open source people seem to be huge hypocrites. They want to use
    copyright and other intellectual property laws to protect THEIR work so
    that others can't do things with it they don't agree with, yet nobody else
    is allowed to have that same right if they don't agree with what they want.


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

    On Thu, 3 Jul 2008 14:08:59 -0400, Erik Funkenbusch wrote:


    > How is it that you don't understand english? Twice now you've responded
    > with a response that had nothing to do with the statement you were
    > responding to.


    I smell Schestowitz in this one.
    Phil is sounding more and more like that loon.


    --
    Moshe Goldfarb
    Collector of soaps from around the globe.
    Please visit The Hall of Linux Idiots:
    http://linuxidiots.blogspot.com/

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

    On Thu, 03 Jul 2008 15:54:02 +0100, Phil Da Lick! wrote:

    >> So if you were not a software developer, but instead were a plow maker,
    >> would you be against plow-related patents, but not care about software
    >> patents?

    >
    > No. For a number of reasons:
    >
    > #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.

    > #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.

    > #3: The patent circus is being totally abused in the software industry.
    > It serves only as a barrier to entry. The big boys have all cross licensed.


    That's because the requirement for a physical implementation is gone. If
    that were back, then it would severely curtail the problem, though it
    wouldn't stop patent trolls from buying old patents that had physical
    implementations.

    > #4: Becuase of the rapid evolutionary nature of software this year's
    > eureka is next year's bog standard building block. You could have the
    > best invention in the world patented but it wouldnt protect you against
    > the big boys because you can bet your arse they've got patents that
    > you've infringed just getting your product to market. So the old
    > "defence for the little guy" argument is bogus in software.


    That's the part i disagree with. If you spend millions or billions of
    dollars developing something, you should have the chance to recoup those
    costs. Allowing anyone to benefit from my hard work, without compensation
    of some kind is just a stab in the back.

    Or, in other words, why should you be able to copy my invention at no cost
    that i spent billions of dollars creating?

    > Bill Gates himself said that had people understood patents 20 years ago
    > the industry today would be at a standstill. Microsoft was never in
    > favour of patents until they'd plateau'd and were simply looking for a
    > way to protect themselves from falling.


    Microsoft still is not in favor of patents as they are today. You have to
    have patents to protect yourself from your competition who has patents.
    That's just the way it works.

    Even Red Hat has patents, because they know they have to or they're a
    target.

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

    On Thu, 3 Jul 2008 14:11:04 -0400, Erik Funkenbusch wrote:


    > Ironic, isn't it? Since they're the first ones to cry "theft!" if someone
    > violates the GPL.
    >
    > Many open source people seem to be huge hypocrites. They want to use
    > copyright and other intellectual property laws to protect THEIR work so
    > that others can't do things with it they don't agree with, yet nobody else
    > is allowed to have that same right if they don't agree with what they want.


    See Mark Kent for details.
    The link has been posted many times already.

    The problem with the Linux movement is the hypocritical nature of the core
    group.
    Look at Schestowitz for example.
    Sure it's great to want to sit around the campfire holding hands and
    singing kumbaya, but the real world doesn't work like that.
    Roy Schestowitz, a professional student, hasn't had the opportunity to
    design, create or develop anything other than a following of idiots and a
    reputation for being a nut case.

    You can bet that when/if he finally gets into the real world and comes up
    with some great idea, he will be the first person to use every legal means
    at his disposal to protect it for his own benefit.

    The problem with the OSS community is that the model is inherently flawed.
    Giving away or sharing work, programs, code etc is great and it contributes
    to the community however it only works when EVERYONE is doing it and that's
    not the way things are going right now.

    Companies like IBM are laughing all the way to the bank as they use and
    repackage the free code and make a fortune off these people either directly
    or indirectly.
    And what do the OSS programmers get?
    Their 5 minutes of fame?
    Big deal.

    Suckers....
    They are suckers...



    --
    Moshe Goldfarb
    Collector of soaps from around the globe.
    Please visit The Hall of Linux Idiots:
    http://linuxidiots.blogspot.com/

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

    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 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.


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

    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



    > Being against "software patents" is not the same a condoning
    > "stealing" another person's work.


    You mean like Roy Schestowitz did when he continued to use copyrighted
    artwork on his website long after being informed about it by the author?


    Next.............
    --
    Moshe Goldfarb
    Collector of soaps from around the globe.
    Please visit The Hall of Linux Idiots:
    http://linuxidiots.blogspot.com/

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

    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.

    --
    | 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! |


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

    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.


    >> #4: Becuase of the rapid evolutionary nature of software this year's
    >> eureka is next year's bog standard building block. You could have the
    >> best invention in the world patented but it wouldnt protect you against
    >> the big boys because you can bet your arse they've got patents that
    >> you've infringed just getting your product to market. So the old
    >> "defence for the little guy" argument is bogus in software.

    >
    > That's the part i disagree with. If you spend millions or billions of
    > dollars developing something, you should have the chance to recoup those
    > costs. Allowing anyone to benefit from my hard work, without compensation
    > of some kind is just a stab in the back.
    >
    > Or, in other words, why should you be able to copy my invention at no cost
    > that i spent billions of dollars creating?


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


    >> Bill Gates himself said that had people understood patents 20 years ago
    >> the industry today would be at a standstill. Microsoft was never in
    >> favour of patents until they'd plateau'd and were simply looking for a
    >> way to protect themselves from falling.

    >
    > Microsoft still is not in favor of patents as they are today. You have to
    > have patents to protect yourself from your competition who has patents.
    > That's just the way it works.
    >
    > Even Red Hat has patents, because they know they have to or they're a
    > target.


    Precisely the problem. We need nukes cos the russkies have got 'em.
    Those pesky russkies!

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

    Erik Funkenbusch wrote:
    > Software isn't like hardware. Because of it's near 0 dollar production
    > cost (though insanely high development cost), it's much easier and faster
    > to recoup your development investment. I wouldn't mind software patents so
    > long as they were only, say 3 years. if you can't recoup your investment
    > in 3 years, you are doing something seriously wrong. Either nobody wants
    > your invention, or you're incompetant at marketing and selling it.



    That wouldn't work. It takes longer than that to get the application
    through. The *pure* software industry just doesn't lend itself well to
    patenting.

    You know its funny how its all the big boys pushing for this **** in
    europe when over 85% of polled SME's (thats real SMEs, and not the BSA
    pretending to be SMEs) were against. I remember years and years ago the
    might Bill promising MS would never become a grasping incumbent like IBM
    using any means at all to hold onto their monopoly. No, MS would always
    lead with its products. Yeah right.

    Any system designed to protect the big boys when their flair has gone at
    the expense of the next whiz-kid is pants.

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

    Moshe Goldfarb. wrote:
    > On Thu, 3 Jul 2008 14:08:59 -0400, Erik Funkenbusch wrote:
    >
    >
    >> How is it that you don't understand english? Twice now you've responded
    >> with a response that had nothing to do with the statement you were
    >> responding to.

    >
    > I smell Schestowitz in this one.
    > Phil is sounding more and more like that loon.



    So I'm Schestowitz now huh?

    Wish I had the time.

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