On Sun, 20 Mar 2005, David Golden wrote:
> And that independent mere _use_ could be restricted too, of course,
> depending on the nation in question (e.g. afaik in nordic
> jurisdictions, patent infringement can only apply even in principle
> to commercial use, while that sort of restriction would still
> cripple free software and force it back to hobbyist development, it
> couldn't kill it outright)
>> Copyright OTOH only applies for distribution (a point GPL people do
> often make, so I'm embarrassed to have not stressed that
I had dropped out of the thread - i dont really have more to say :).
However, that copyright and patents have completely different effects
just reinforces the fact they are utterly different and
unrelated concepts. You had earlier argued (and are still elaborating
on afaict), this point of yours:
"Patenting software pretty directly undermines such copyrights,
unless I guess one were to hold that books and artworks should be
patented or something (which some people do...)"
And it's still wrong. They're utterly different things.
- The existence of (or lack of) a patent has no bearing on the status
of copyright, regardless of who holds the copyright and the patent
- Copyright has no bearing on patents
- If you hold a patent on method X, and I implement method X in some
software, your patent doesn't affect my copyright.
If I distribute my software, I may need to licence your patent, or I
may just infringe on your patent and have to pay you damages if ever
you find out, or I could just wait for your patent to expire. In all
cases my copyright is still valid, your patent has no bearing because
patents and copyrights are completely distinct.
If you mean that at a high very level that patents could undermine
copyright because a patent could prevent a copyright holder from
distributing a work they created, well yes. But that's a facet of
the *patent*, distributing public domain software which implements a
patented method would *also* infringe, so similarly patents undermine
the public domain. And iirc, patents grant monopoly over *use*, so it
would prevent even the copyright holder themselves from using their
own software (technicall).
So generalise from "undermines copyright, public domain, etc.." to
"undermines the free use of ideas" - which is exactly what patents
are all about.
There is simply nothing special about how patents undermine
"copyright" as they undermine everything. Stop trying to make out as
if interaction with copyright is somehow special. It's not.
Paul Jakma paul at clubi.iepaul at jakma.org Key ID: 64A2FF6A
If a can of Alpo costs 38 cents, would it cost $2.50 in Dog Dollars?
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