[ILUG] Patent issues
colm at stdlib.net
Mon May 31 23:20:33 IST 2004
On Mon, May 31, 2004 at 10:22:06PM +0100, John Gay wrote:
> ATM, The Irish Government is of the oppinion that the only people against
> software patents are 'long-haired, radical, Linux fanatics' that think all
> software should be free.
They're largely correct in that. That's the real problem.
> We need to let our MEP's know that it's not just Linux people who are opposed
> to software patents. We need small and medium sized software companies to
> write to the ministers and explain how software patents will prevent them
> from innovating in the software industry.
So why are you wasting your time mailing ILUG? Try IBEC, IMI, ISME and
> We need the large software companies to explain how they use software patents
> to block such innovations from the smaller sector.
Why would they want to do that?
> They need to be told the same story about mp3 compression which is so
> identical to the gif story that I'm amazed no-one saw it coming? Again, how
> many man-hours were spent creating ogg-vorbis rather than improving mp3?
I would avoid mentioning MP3 if my ultimate aim was to convince
legislators of something. Also, a European company benefited from the
MP3 restrictions, so it loses some of the self-interest argument.
> Most importanly, this needs to come from non-linux people.
And the L in ILUG stands for ... , seriously, the ammount of pointless
rhetoric hitting this list about this issue is getting ridiculous.
> The arguements the government needs to hear is that software patents
> threaten the ability of software companies to make money. They
> threaten the inovations of software companies and waste time when such
> patents must be carefully stepped around, and still the patent holders
> come after them. Even if they don't violate the patent, most small
> companies would be forced to close rather than enter a lengthy legal
Absolutely correct :)
> So, this is a plea, to anyone involved in a small to medium sized software
> company, especially companies that have no connection with Linux, BSD or
> OSS/FSF to write to their respective representitives in Europe explaining the
> real threat that software patents pose to them.
Seriously, about that L!
> freedom of expression, or any libitarian ideals. Such references will be
> automatically put under the 'Freedom fanatics' umbrella and dismissed.
> These letters should explain that copyright is the right way to protect
> software companies products from theft and piracy. With copyrights,
> individual products are protected, but other companies are allowed to
> continue to innovate and build on the works of others to produce better
> products and create the competition that keeps companies producing better
> products at competitive prices for everyone.
This will get nowhere, emails like this will get you nowhere. You'll
have to meet them in person, sit down with them and make the argument in
person. You'll prbably even have to draft the letter in association with
them and do a lot of pleading with them that it's worthwhile. Especially
since a lot of the industry is supported by government grants.
> And lastly, they should remind them that with Elections in a few weeks, that
> their chances for re-election depend on their stand against software patents
> in Europe.
Eh, not a chance. There's maybe 100 votes, nationally, on the issue and
that's being very generous. Unemployment in the indegenous software
industry on the other hand will cost them votes, but not for years.
Colm MacCárthaigh Public Key: colm+pgp at stdlib.net
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