Gentoo Archives: gentoo-dev

From: Stuart Herbert <stuart@g.o>
To: matt@×××××××××××××××.org, gentoo-dev@g.o
Subject: Re: [gentoo-dev] European Patentability rules
Date: Thu, 28 Aug 2003 01:46:33
In Reply to: Re: [gentoo-dev] European Patentability rules by Matt Chorman
1 On Wednesday 27 August 2003 10:35 pm, Matt Chorman wrote:
2 > It's amazing to me that any open-source developer would agree with software
3 > patents.
5 The current software patent system you have over there in America has been a
6 source of much merriment on this side of the pond over the last few years ;-)
7 At least, it was until the beaurocrats over here decided it was a good idea
8 to install something similar :(
10 Personally, I believe that some form of IPR protection is morally right, no
11 matter what the field of endeavour. Unfortunately, no-one seems to have
12 invented a creditable form of IPR protection which would seem fair in the
13 computing world.
15 Let's say that HP *did* actually invent remote access to another computer.
16 (Two disclaimers: first, I've worked for HP in the past, and second I have no
17 idea whether the patent in question is creditable or not) Why shouldn't they
18 be entitled to protect their IPR, and to earn revenue from it? Never mind
19 the details, it's a simple yes or no question of morals.
21 Now let's look at the music industry as a parallel. Songs aren't patented (at
22 least, I've never heard of one that is :), but they are copyrighted. The
23 performance is copyrighted. The original music is also copyrighted, often
24 seperately. So, if you wanted to use a sample of Hendrix on your own song,
25 you'd need permission from whoever holds the copyright to the actual
26 *performance* that you've sampled. But, if you want to publish your own
27 performance of a Hendrix song, you need permission from whoever owns the
28 copyright to Hendrix's original music.
30 > While you're at it, look up 6,611,268. Then look up all patents where the
31 > Assignee is Microsoft or HP. Then think about the implications of the SCO
32 > lawsuit and what these companies can do if the courts don't reject SCO's
33 > argument. There is a major differnese between software patents and
34 > copyrights. Copyright=good. Software patent=bad.
36 The *system* you've got is bad. It is without any sense of balance. But
37 remember: it's your system, put in place by your government. And its the
38 citizens who put the government in place (well, it used to work that way once
39 ;)
41 Protection for IPR itself isn't a bad concept. It's been a key part of the
42 commerce-based way of life in the West since before 1449 AD. Stopping the
43 current software process patenting nonsense is good and worthy. But the need
44 *is* there, as well as the moral right, and this is where campaigners such as
45 yourself always fail to convince me.
47 Propose and demonstrate a creditable alternative legal framework for IPR
48 protection, and you'll have my vote.
50 But until then ...
52 Best regards,
53 Stu
54 --
55 Stuart Herbert stuart@g.o
56 Gentoo Developer
57 Beta packages for download
58 Come and meet me in March 2004
60 GnuGP key id# F9AFC57C available from
61 Key fingerprint = 31FB 50D4 1F88 E227 F319 C549 0C2F 80BA F9AF C57C
62 --


Subject Author
Re: [gentoo-dev] European Patentability rules Luke-Jr <luke-jr@g.o>
Re: [gentoo-dev] European Patentability rules Sven Vermeulen <swift@g.o>