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LordoftheMonkeys
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29 Jul 2010, 12:21 am

I want to raise awareness of an issue that is very important to me, a trend that will stifle innovation and creativity in favor of greed if things are not changed:

http://patentabsurdity.com/watch.html


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Chronos
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29 Jul 2010, 2:13 am

LordoftheMonkeys wrote:
I want to raise awareness of an issue that is very important to me, a trend that will stifle innovation and creativity in favor of greed if things are not changed:

http://patentabsurdity.com/watch.html


I didn't watch the video, but the debate over patents is nothing new. It can actually be fairly difficult to determine whether a patent infringement exists or not. A patent search can fail to turn up something and many patent infringements go unnoticed for a good many years. There are those who file patents and never develop a product. Instead, they wait for someone else to develop the product, market it, file a patent, and then contest the patent and offer to license it to the company for a fee. This enables the patent holder to make money without doing much of anything, and the company to continue to make money on something they don't own the patent to.

Sometimes, the only sure way to know if you have a right to the patent is if you're awarded it and are never sued.

There are patents that are also tossed out. You may want to read about the enola bean patent.

I'm actually far more concerned about gene patents. As things currently are, a company can patent your genes and these gene patents allow them to be the only company or institution that can deal with those genes as far as testing and treatment for things the gene might cause goes.

Theoretically, someone can patent YOUR genome. Monsanto owns the patent to many types of plants and farmers often have to pay royalties to them to grow these plants. If these patented plants cross breed with plants in the next field, or turn up in some field miles away, that farmer is often forced to pay royalties to the patent holding company.



n4mwd
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29 Jul 2010, 5:54 am

ditto. We do need reasonable algorithm patents to encourage creativity, but they need to be limited to no more than 5 years. Yet, there are plenty of unreasonable ones out there that stifle technological growth because they are usually the best or only way of doing something. Try making an MP3 or MP4 w/H.264 file without violating a few of them. A lot of times, the patent owners just look the other way for free software, but not always.



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29 Jul 2010, 10:28 am

n4mwd wrote:
ditto. We do need reasonable algorithm patents to encourage creativity, but they need to be limited to no more than 5 years. Yet, there are plenty of unreasonable ones out there that stifle technological growth because they are usually the best or only way of doing something. Try making an MP3 or MP4 w/H.264 file without violating a few of them. A lot of times, the patent owners just look the other way for free software, but not always.



Free vs Open source are two different things. A patent does not grant you exclusive rights to do whatever you want, it grants you the exclusive rights to make money on something. Open source (Free as in "speech") can be commercial, or have commercial support. Free software is free (Free as in "free beer") and since it is not sold for any commercial purposes, patent law don't have much to say in that case.

US should really harmonise patent law with Europe. We are NEVER going to accept software patents since they are f*****g stupid and inhibits innovation and competition = anti free market.

The only ones that make a profit on software patents are lawyers. Software companies just spend and spend, just to be able to fight back with a patent of their own if they are accused of infringing.

US Business patents went away because they were f*****g stupid and were in the way, i expect Software patents to go the same way.


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Jono
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29 Jul 2010, 3:21 pm

n4mwd wrote:
ditto. We do need reasonable algorithm patents to encourage creativity, but they need to be limited to no more than 5 years. Yet, there are plenty of unreasonable ones out there that stifle technological growth because they are usually the best or only way of doing something. Try making an MP3 or MP4 w/H.264 file without violating a few of them. A lot of times, the patent owners just look the other way for free software, but not always.


Algorithms should not be patentable full stop. They aren't inventions, they are just maths. Software is already perfectly protected under copyright so there is no need for software patents.



LordoftheMonkeys
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29 Jul 2010, 6:40 pm

Jono wrote:
n4mwd wrote:
ditto. We do need reasonable algorithm patents to encourage creativity, but they need to be limited to no more than 5 years. Yet, there are plenty of unreasonable ones out there that stifle technological growth because they are usually the best or only way of doing something. Try making an MP3 or MP4 w/H.264 file without violating a few of them. A lot of times, the patent owners just look the other way for free software, but not always.


Algorithms should not be patentable full stop. They aren't inventions, they are just maths. Software is already perfectly protected under copyright so there is no need for software patents.


I agree. An idea should not be patentable, only a product. The way I see it, patent infringement in software should follow the same criteria as plagiarism of writing, that is, it should only be illegal if it's an exact copy, like a cut-and-paste. I think the concept of fair use should be adapted to software patents as well; people should be allowed to use bits and pieces of each other's software, but not allowed to copy the whole thing and resell it as theirs.


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29 Jul 2010, 7:08 pm

Something akin to copyright definitely makes a lot more sense than patents in software, at least with the current structure of patent law in the US.

Simple solution though: only use GPL stuff! :wink:


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Jookia
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29 Jul 2010, 7:12 pm

Ichinin wrote:
Open source (Free as in "speech") can be commercial, or have commercial support. Free software is free (Free as in "free beer")


Open source is what it is, open source. You can put any rules to the source code you want.
Free software is free as in free speech. Look it up on Wikipedia, you're thinking of freeware.

Anyway, patents are holding computing back. For instance, we don't have HTML5 video yet because there are no reasonable video codecs out there that wouldn't collect royalties. h264 is bad.



n4mwd
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29 Jul 2010, 8:37 pm

Yeah, you guys are right. I don't know what I was thinking.

Software patents -> bad.



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29 Jul 2010, 8:51 pm

Jookia wrote:
Anyway, patents are holding computing back. For instance, we don't have HTML5 video yet because there are no reasonable video codecs out there that wouldn't collect royalties. h264 is bad.

WebM and Theora? And we do have HTML5 video through h.264. Even though it's patented, they agreed not to charge royalties for some prearranged period of time, so several browsers went ahead and implemented it.


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Seanmw
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29 Jul 2010, 9:08 pm

Chronos wrote:
LordoftheMonkeys wrote:
I want to raise awareness of an issue that is very important to me, a trend that will stifle innovation and creativity in favor of greed if things are not changed:

http://patentabsurdity.com/watch.html


I didn't watch the video, but the debate over patents is nothing new. It can actually be fairly difficult to determine whether a patent infringement exists or not. A patent search can fail to turn up something and many patent infringements go unnoticed for a good many years. There are those who file patents and never develop a product. Instead, they wait for someone else to develop the product, market it, file a patent, and then contest the patent and offer to license it to the company for a fee. This enables the patent holder to make money without doing much of anything, and the company to continue to make money on something they don't own the patent to.

Sometimes, the only sure way to know if you have a right to the patent is if you're awarded it and are never sued.

There are patents that are also tossed out. You may want to read about the enola bean patent.

I'm actually far more concerned about gene patents. As things currently are, a company can patent your genes and these gene patents allow them to be the only company or institution that can deal with those genes as far as testing and treatment for things the gene might cause goes.

Theoretically, someone can patent YOUR genome. Monsanto owns the patent to many types of plants and farmers often have to pay royalties to them to grow these plants. If these patented plants cross breed with plants in the next field, or turn up in some field miles away, that farmer is often forced to pay royalties to the patent holding company.
i think patenting living things is completely absurd :lol: . Whoever allowed that to happen should be slapped. If someone patented my genome i'm sure there must be a reasonable way to contest that on the basis that i didn't sign it over and it's fundamentally MINE. I'd view someone patenting my genome as a form of THEFT :P


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30 Jul 2010, 8:41 am

Jookia wrote:
Ichinin wrote:
Open source (Free as in "speech") can be commercial, or have commercial support. Free software is free (Free as in "free beer")


Open source is what it is, open source. You can put any rules to the source code you want.
Free software is free as in free speech. Look it up on Wikipedia, you're thinking of freeware.



I dont think, i know.

The whole point of the OSS world is to keep source open and readable by anyone, a trait that comes from the ol' Unix world where everything came in (proprietary but readable) source had to be built with cc and make. It has nothing to do with free software when it comes to price.

Even the "Free (Speech) vs "Free (beer)" is an old Open Source slogan, i think even. But then again, you were not even 5 years old when those words were coined so i forgive you.


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Jono
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30 Jul 2010, 2:59 pm

Ichinin wrote:
Jookia wrote:
Ichinin wrote:
Open source (Free as in "speech") can be commercial, or have commercial support. Free software is free (Free as in "free beer")


Open source is what it is, open source. You can put any rules to the source code you want.
Free software is free as in free speech. Look it up on Wikipedia, you're thinking of freeware.



I dont think, i know.

The whole point of the OSS world is to keep source open and readable by anyone, a trait that comes from the ol' Unix world where everything came in (proprietary but readable) source had to be built with cc and make. It has nothing to do with free software when it comes to price.

Even the "Free (Speech) vs "Free (beer)" is an old Open Source slogan, i think even. But then again, you were not even 5 years old when those words were coined so i forgive you.


The term "open source software" has only been around since the '90`s. Before that it was always called "free software". But the fact that it was called "free software" had nothing at all to do with price, Richard Stallman said the term "free" in "free software" was referring to freedom and that's where the "Free Speech" vs "Free Beer" slogan comes from. Software that is free in the sense of being zero price (free beer) is called freeware.