[Ilugc] Some good news.....
steve at lonetwin.net
Mon Jun 28 12:33:57 IST 2010
On 06/27/2010 10:52 AM, Kenneth Gonsalves wrote:
> On Saturday 26 June 2010 21:16:13 you wrote:
>> Supposed you are a garage mechanic who spends years developing a new and
>> efficient carburetor. This is a fairly tedious time consuming and costly
>> affair for individuals. However, if you invent this new carburetor, you
>> apply for a patent by disclosing the manner in which the carburetor
>> functions so that on the one hand people understand how your carburetor
>> works and can build on top of it and on the other hand those big companies
>> who have the resources to can't just copy the design and mass produce the
>> carburetor on their conveyor belts.
> there are always two schools of thought regarding patents - one that they
> encourage innovation and the other that they discourage innovation. There are
> enough arguments on both sides to convince anyone. What I find strange is the
> view that patents are bad in some fields - software, medicine and good in other
What's so strange about it ? I find at least two sites dedicated to the fight
against software patents suggesting the same (albeit as a passing reference):
http://www.nosoftwarepatents.com/en/m/basics/whatis.html (the last 2 points)
http://stopsoftwarepatents.org/myth (4th myth)
One should not generalize rules arbitrarily across non-associated domains, even
if they appear to be similar on the surface. For instance, moving in the other
direction, ie: from some external field to software -- it does not make any
sense to apply the rules for broadcasting and publication to online media
although that doesn't stop our Indian 'cyber police' from trying to do so.
> But the point is how does innovation come about. When one says linus wrote
> linux - actually what he did was modify minix and release it as linux. When
> RMS wrote gcc - he took an existing compiler and modified it. So it is when a
> guy in Coimbatore made a submersible pump - he took an existing pump and
> modified it. Yes, there have been inventions that are totally from scratch and
> totally revolutionary and not built on work done by some one before (I cannot
> off hand remember one - but there must be any number) - so the concept that one
> has to pay royalty or get permission (or maybe even be denied permission) to
> use pre existing work ...
Well, I don't know about the coimbatore guy's submersible pump but I am willing
to bet if he hasn't patented his invention neither with anyone else.
Now, that i think about it, this issue is quite similar to the GPL/BSD debate.
Sharing of someone's creations, IMHO, should happen under the terms decided by
the creator. With GPL this implies that if you want to build on top of the
creator's work you recognize her, and offer the 'built-on' creation under the
same terms as offered to you. You, if I am not mistaken, believe in the BSD
philosophy that work should be open without restrictions, right ?
Anyways, returning back to patents, lest anyone thinks I am mixing up things,
that digression in the paragraph above only goes to prove that patents are not
necessary for protecting (or not) the rights of the creator of software.
Copyright is sufficient.
As far as other non-software creations are concerned, that might not be the case.
random spiel: http://lonetwin.net/
what i'm stumbling into: http://lonetwin.stumbleupon.com/
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