RE: Judge rules in favor of Eolas
Not a hobbyhorse, just a legitimate and well-informed opinion that comes down to we got ourselves into this mess and shouldn't be surprised if the old systems are creaking under the weight of our own relentless industriousness. What is really wanted is transparency for patent filings but if we insist on rewriting terms and claiming invention where pre-existing terms were precise for existing inventions, then let the bad times roll. The software industry must face up to the fact that it is feeding the wolf and the wolf circles and marks grounds where the feeding is good. 1. Patents: The PTO is struggling, yes. The EOLAS case is a judge who's ruling is a follow on from that struggle. The judge said he thought this was a bad case but has to rule based on the law, not his opinions. 2. Copyrights: Rights management is only getting harder and our industry is quickly creating and fielding technical solutions which actually may make the problem worse. http://www.firstmonday.dk/issues/issue8_11/may/ It's a typical Chinese finger puzzle; to get out of it, both sides have to push toward each other as has been shown by systems such as iTunes. Our Drag Drop and Go systems accelerate the problems. They increase the market for the code or the art but also increase the ease and frequency of theft, and that seems to make DRM the only way out, so it comes down to picking a DRM system that matches our own policy and will or means to enforce it. The Canadians seem to be making some progress on copyrights at least by taxing the sales of products such as MP3 players and creating a money pool to reward the content creators. How well that would go over in the US is anyone's guess (not well, I suspect) but worldwide, it isn't a solution so we are back to technical means, ie, DRM. I don't disagree that software patents are bad things. They are. So is the continual obsfuscation of invention by software engineers and standards wonks. If I am making your point for you, then good; we agree. len -----Original Message----- From: Frank [mailto:frank@t...] Sent: Friday, January 16, 2004 1:29 PM To: Bullard, Claude L (Len) Cc: xml-dev@l... Subject: RE: Judge rules in favor of Eolas On Fri, 2004-01-16 at 13:34, Bullard, Claude L (Len) wrote: > I didn't say wholesale infringement. I said, ignoring > it altogether. I know you did. That's your current hobbyhorse, ridden in probably 25% of your posts. A few years ago your hobbyhorse was 'enclosure of the commons'. Patenting software is just such an enclosure. Why are you surprised that the folks who used that commons from 1946 till 1995 or so are resisting the bailiffs? If you're not surprised, you're being disingenuous. > It's ludicrous to shift all the blame > to the PTO when a judge is ruling. You asked and I quoted and answered a general question about the patent system. You don't get to jump back to the specific case just because you don't like my answer. > Now, is it the case > that the patents are hard to evaluate? Sure. If one > isn't an expert with thirty or forty years experience, > it is tough to read documents in which the same thing > has been expressed fifty different ways because not > only are the researchers unaware of each other, each > company or 'inventor' keeps making up terms and > applying them to their own work as if it were novel. > Hard or not, that is what the PTO is supposed to do. Whether they work for the citizens/taxpayers or for the inventors, they are supposed to make a reliable determination of whether or not something is a novel invention. If this has become too hard to be reasonably done, then it's time to consider returning the art and science of computer programming to the commons. [FWIW, I initially supported the idea of software patents. However the current situation is, to me, clearly worse than no patents at all. The public is paying, but the money is going to lawyers, not inventors, and potential inventors are much more afraid of being sued than they ever were of being stolen from.] > Quick Test: > > o What are inline links and what were they > called before that? > > o Is <a href="" an innovation as some seem > to claim from time to time? > > o Who is Truly Donnovan and why should a > patent examiner care? > > o Are stylesheets for markup a web innovation, > and if not, who first applied them to the > hypermedia field? > > What went around has come around. You're making my point for me. Frank
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