[ILUG] Re: ILUG sends s/w patents briefing document to Irish MEPs
kiniry at acm.org
Sun Mar 20 17:21:15 GMT 2005
Hi Paul, Colm, David, et al,
I'm very happy to see such high-quality discussions on ILUG.
Also, thank you very much Paul for taking that well-lobbed bait so well.
We are like Laurel and Hardy with our timing.
--On 20 March, 2005 13:58:43 +0000 Paul Jakma <paul at clubi.ie> wrote:
> Do we want an exemption of software from patents on principle, or out of
> pragmatism (ie, dont extend the scope of a broken system until the system
> is fixed)?
> I think its important to distinguish between the two types of arguments,
> because the latter arguments could potentially still sway even someone
> who is otherwise pro-patent. Indeed, one can quote the CxO's and legal
> counsel of at least several big corporations who are generally pro-patent
> as part of these arguments (the same big corporations who have offered
> opinion to the EU in the drafting of this directive, no doubt).
> The former class of argument is likely to run into brick walls of
> entrenched positions, regardless of merit. Further, one can do no more
> than draw a very fuzzy line, I suspect.
I am (obviously) of the latter type. Being a pragmatist, socialist,
entrepreneur, it is very difficult to be anything else.
I find that arguing with those against patents in principle, as pointed out
by excellent follow-up posts by David and Paul, is usually for naught.
I also prefer to discuss patents with people who have actually *read* more
than a couple of them end-to-end. I would guess that the median number of
patents read by ILUG list members is zero. Unfortunately, this is not at
all an unusual situation, even in very well-informed forums like this one.
P.S. I never flame or even get particularly upset or heated. Living for
years in CA and NL seems to do that to most people. :)
Joseph R. Kiniry
Dept. of Computer Science, University College Dublin
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