[ILUG] Re: ILUG sends s/w patents briefing document to Irish MEPs
kiniry at acm.org
Sun Mar 20 11:51:48 GMT 2005
Hi David, Paul, and other ILUG folks,
First, a brief intro, since this is my First Post.
Hi. I'm Joe Kiniry.
I'm a Brand Spankin' New ILUG member/participant. Some of you already know
me as the newish trouble-making Lecturer in CS at UCD. Yes, I am American,
but got out of the US as quickly as I could after Bush won the first time.
I lived in The Netherlands the past few years, and now I live here in Good
'ol Dirty Dublin.
I am an old-school FOSS person, contributing my first code over 15 years
ago, and have been a hacker for about 25 years.
As a technologist, Computer Scientist, Mathematician, entrepreneur (five
companies), FOSS freak, and patent holder in the US, I hold what I am told
are "interesting-but-rational" views on these and similar issues.
More information on me is available via the URL in the sig. Now, on to
--On 20 March, 2005 2:54:20 +0000 David Golden <david.golden at unison.ie>
> On Friday 18 March 2005 13:18, David Golden wrote,
> in regard to comparing non-literal-copy copyright and patent:
>> But the major thing would be that with patents, even carefully
>> independent (re)development is restricted.
> Er. I somehow neglected to mention in that section, probably as it's a
> reason for my general dislike for all patents, part of the fundamaental
> nature of patents and I'd already ranted about that elsewhere:
> 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
On the other hand, to play Devil's Advocate, given the public nature of
patents and the fact that small changes in realization are cause (in the
current US system) for the execution of a new patent, one could argue that
software patents would *encourage* innovation, because FOSS developers
would be forced to innovate beyond the (fairly uninspiring) bounds of
existing and pending patents.
> Copyright OTOH only applies for distribution (a point GPL people do
> often make, so I'm embarrassed to have not stressed that
Joseph R. Kiniry
Dept. of Computer Science, University College Dublin
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