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What if?

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User offline. Last seen 14 years 48 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 2005-03-23

What if the EU had a software patent where it were allowed to use other peoples patented software if the software it is implemented in is licensed under the GNU software license?

Then the big companies wil get paid for innovation and at the same time free software wil be able to coexist with the rest of the software industry

monserrat's picture
User offline. Last seen 10 years 8 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 2004-11-11
Re: What if?

It reminds me the "Patent-Left" idea we've already discussed in Libervis, but I'm not sure about what you meant... Could you explain better what you mean?


User offline. Last seen 11 years 31 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 2004-08-23
Re: What if?

I think the idea is that software patents will exist, but authors and users of GPL'ed software can not be sued for patent infringements in that software.

This opens a whole new can of worms, because then the BSD people will also want this protection, and on the other side microsoft with its "shared" source, and authors of closed source freeware, etc... The problem is that there is no direct conflict between the concepts "GPL" and "software patents". In theory they can coexist (but who wants software that uses only ideas for which the patents have expired).

Still, the idea is usable, when implemented in a different way. All we need is to get some of the big patent owners to share their "mutually assured destruction umbrella" with open source projects. Of course it's better not to have to rely on the mercy of, say, IBM, by not having software patents at all.

Last thing: are software patents needed at all? Will innovation be faster with or without them? I don't have the examples ready, but I remember things about boosts in innovation after the expiration of a patent. Would those patented things have been invented at all if there were no patents? I think so, but we cannot turn back time to try it.

memenode's picture
User offline. Last seen 10 weeks 5 days ago. Offline
Joined: 2004-07-12
Re: What if?

I'm convinced that innovation would still happen if they were no patents of any kind at all, probably even faster.

But software patents, not that i am convinced about them being apsurd. I believe a little 4 year old child who hasn't lost it's common sense yet would know that it's simply bad. If the world would really operate by the common sense, then we wouldn't even need to post any arguments defending our anti-software-patents views because it would simply be seen as apsurd, wrong, impossible even... and yet it's happening..

Oh.. my rant mode..

Anyway, as for the whole patent-left idea, i believe that it really would be good if we'd have a way of protecting the Free Software world from patents with something like that, as a last resort. However, this, for already mentioned reasons is a tough objective.

I just hope we still wouldn't be forced on taking those measures.. or hmm.. maybe we already are..


Daniel Memenode signature

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