On Sun, Jul 11, 2004 at 01:21:12PM +0100, Richard Eibrand wrote:
> Thank you for your e-mail which I received sometime ago. Obviously,
> I am not an expert in this field and I would need some greater
> detail from you expressed in layman's terms. Please feel free to
> make such information available to me by e-mail or by direct contact.
> I would be happy to take the matter up if circumstances have changed
> or require this to be done.
the concept of a patent is to give inventors a short-term monopoly to
recoup their research and development efforts.
even in america, software patents are relatively new. the software
industry grew at a healthy clip pefore software patents were common.
and most major innovations in the software industry have not been
patented - email, the web browser, the spreadsheet, the word processor,
the internet and most of the tools used to build them.
none of those are patented.
therefore, the most compelling argument against software patents is that
they are not required. a small number of companies would like them
in order to dampen competition - after all, that's what a monopoly is
designed to do. however history has shown that in the software industry,
that monopoly is not required for steady pace of invention and innovation.
patents are a useful tool in other industries. and the software
industry has already benefitted greatly for other areas of government -
from the arpa funding that led to the internet, to government research
grants and all the way to copyright laws. that government involvement
was useful, beneficial and even handed - from sole developers all the
way to major corporations.
software patents cross the line from beneficial to harmful. from fair
to biased. from policies that enlarge the industry to a policy that
would contract it.
american citizen? register to vote: ~ florida voters - make sure you
https://register.votenet.com/LWV/ ~ haven't been struck from the
live overseas? look here: ~ voting lists. check for your name
http://www.tellanamericantovote.com/ ~ here: http://tinyurl.com/2hbuj
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