On Fri, May 14, 2004 at 02:27:37PM +0100, kevin lyda wrote:
> On Fri, May 14, 2004 at 01:30:04PM +0100, Colm MacCarthaigh wrote:
> > Sure; but so are cameras, and in fact you can't even use software
> > without electronics. Is the patentability of electronics now a civil
> > liberties issue?
>> i can also patent paper, pens, book binding, desks, chairs and lamps.
>> can i therefore patent legal defenses?
No, thankfully - but there would be no constitutional reason why not
imo. Business methods are patentable in some jurisdictions and may
become patentable in Europe. It's more obvious to legislators how absurd
this is in these kind of realms than with software, something with which
they are not as familiar, but the problems are the self-same
- they just need to be made aware of it.
This is where I think the real argument lies - it's that Software
patents are impractical and destructive. It's that they are as insane as
allowing someone to patent the means of a legal defense. But I don't
think there is any fundamental constitutional or over-riding legal
reason why they both can't be patented - it's that the legislature needs
to realise exactly how absurd it is.
> more and more governments are outsourcing services to private
> corporations. patents and copyrights are tools they can use to block
> speech and actions that their governments can't.
Absolutely and exactly! I don't accept that any of this is unique to
software patents. THe arguments surrounding freedom of speech or
expression are all applicable to non-software patents. Now if people
want to be more anti-patent in general, fine, but that's a different war
- and it's a much much harder one to win, because the patent system is
If one presents an argument that can be applied to patents as a whole
rather than the incremental change, and they know that the existing
system is pretty rock-solid, they'll be able to dismiss the entire
argument - quite rightly.
Colm MacCárthaigh Public Key: colm+pgp at stdlib.net
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