GPL vs OSL: Are software patents evil?

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sinewav
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GPL vs OSL: Are software patents evil?

Post by sinewav »

Are software patents evil? I feel like they are. Can someone convince me otherwise?

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Re: GPL vs OSL: Are software patents evil?

Post by Phytotron »

Article I, Section 8(8) of the U.S. Constitution wrote:The Congress shall have Power ... To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries

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Re: GPL vs OSL: Are software patents evil?

Post by Word »

Patents aren't evil but the things you want to protect could be :)

The only exception would be stage names. The best example for that is the German 'comedian' Atze (he's stupid) who has tried all to hide his real name from the public. But you can still find it on wikipedia thanks to the German patent office where he protected his stage name, using his real one. :lol:

So if you ever want to do something like that, think twice ;)

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sinewav
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Re: GPL vs OSL: Are software patents evil?

Post by sinewav »

WTF. Word, I'm specifically talking about software patents and the differences between the GPL and OSL licenses. I thought it was obvious I was looking for feedback from people who deal with this sort of stuff, but I guess I was wrong. Feel free to contribute after you're written some software and investigated this...

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Re: GPL vs OSL: Are software patents evil?

Post by chrisd »

Software patents are totally evil!!!!!! We should all vote for the pirate party to make sure they get totally abolished!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Re: GPL vs OSL: Are software patents evil?

Post by Lucifer »

Phytotron wrote:
Article I, Section 8(8) of the U.S. Constitution wrote:The Congress shall have Power ... To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries
Software patents in particular do not promote the progress of science and useful arts. They are used in anticompetitive strategies to prevent people from developing similar algorithms/techniques/whatever.

You see, the idea behind patents is that *I* have solved a particular problem in a particular way. So I patent the technology developed. Now, YOU have the same problem, but you can't afford to license my technology. So you come up with a different way to solve the same problem. You patent your technology. In 25 years time (or 15, I forget), our patents will expire, and society as a whole will have two competing technologies that solve the same problem.

Software patents have been quite different. Microsoft lost the fight over patenting a GUI because there was too much "prior art". They still tried. The mp3 guys (I forgot their name) were notoriously evil with their patent, suing everyone under the sun, including people who tried to develop competing streaming music compression techniques.

In the end they lost, sure.

But that's not the real concern. It's not the people who lose their anticompetitive fights that matter, it's people like IBM and Microsoft that see a small company developing something innovative, dig out some patent they must be infringing, and sue the pants off of them. The small company can't fight, so settles, and tries to get bought out, typically. The useful competing technology they were developing? Gone. Shelved and/or destroyed completely.

Add to it that software can also be protected by copyright laws, and you have a very interesting situation. In fact, that idea has bled into the rest of the technology field. But it used to be that you couldn't copyright your designs, and to get a patent, you were required to submit the designs with the patent application. Software, on the other hand, can be copyrighted, and you are not required to submit the actual code with your patent application. So you get the patent, AND you don't have to share the technology.

There is no progress in useful arts and sciences when you can keep your designs under lock and key and sue anybody who looks at them.

Therefore, software patents are evil. They completely circumvent the intention of patents, and society gains nothing but a bunch of lawsuits and a "technology tax" for stuff people want to use.
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Re: GPL vs OSL: Are software patents evil?

Post by sinewav »

Lucifer wrote:Therefore, software patents are evil.
And this is why I'm interested in Lawrence Rosen's OPL 3.0, which has a clause that terminates the license in the event of a patent lawsuit. It's an interesting statement to make about where you stand regarding software patents. The main criticism I've heard about it though is the OSL does nothing to address the problems with software patents and probably just adds to the craziness. But for someone like, me adopting the LGPL or the OSL is really just philosophizing. No one is going to incorporate my stupid little program* into a larger, proprietary work.

I think I'll hold off posting any code until I finish with another tool I'm working on. This programming nonsense is kind of fun and I want to keep chugging away and not worry about "sharing" until I'm satisfied with "creating."



* sine's stupid program?

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Re: GPL vs OSL: Are software patents evil?

Post by kyle »

sinewav wrote:* sine's stupid program?
No there is dave's stupid accountant, so shouldn't it be sine's stupid wave/music?
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Re: GPL vs OSL: Are software patents evil?

Post by sinewav »

kyle wrote:
sinewav wrote:* sine's stupid program?
No there is dave's stupid accountant, so shouldn't it be sine's stupid wave/music?
Nice. I knew I could count on you. :)

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Re: GPL vs OSL: Are software patents evil?

Post by ericmathew »

Well i would say only those software that are useful and creative should be patented. For example, every working programmer understands that the way to solve the problem of "doubling each number in an array" would be to write a loop, iterate over each item, and double each item by multiplying it by two. Therefore a patent using that method would not be valid.
If you do not make your idea patent then the businesses you do people will not take it seriously and without the patent your idea is just that an idea.Visit this website.

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Re: GPL vs OSL: Are software patents evil?

Post by delinquent »

"Hey I made a bowl!"

"**** you, I made a bowl too!"

"That's my bowl!"

"No it isn't, who saw you make it?"

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