Author Topic: Thread for discussion of forbidding of software patents.........  (Read 14115 times)

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Offline mikey

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Re: Thread for discussion of forbidding of software patents.........
« Reply #30 on: November 25, 2006, 01:23:17 AM »
I came into this thread without any real opinions about the patenting of softwares as opposed to other types of work product. However, the ranting through two different threads intrigued me. I asked for explanation and reasoning for the strong opinions and the purpose of this second thread. I also asked if anyone with these strong opinions had viable solutions. I've also asked how someone should protect themselves against thieves should your wishes be fullfilled. So far, all I've seen is sarcasm;
Quote
PS: I haven't marked sarcasm explicitly, but since most of you are native speakers you'll surely find it

Perhaps I didn't express myself well and you took offense to my questions. I don't know. If so, then I appologize. I wish you well, Assarbad, but I have no doubt about the impression folks unfortunate enough to be reading this will have. If this cause of yours is anything other than trying to rationalize thievery, as it now sounds to me, then I hope that there are others who can speak for that cause in a much better light.
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Offline Assarbad

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Re: Thread for discussion of forbidding of software patents.........
« Reply #31 on: November 25, 2006, 01:55:08 AM »
The roads in America are NOT paved with gold.  The wealth is in the hands of the few, as is the power.  Granted, most of our poor are better off than the starving in 3rd world countries.
I am sorry if this impression was created by my previous post. I am well aware that the "gap" is getting bigger everywhere - and not at last because of patents.
Since I follow the daily press as well as other media I am also aware of the poverty in your country and it doesn't make things any better. Poor is poor always in relation to the living standards of the environment, so we don't have to blandish the poverty on the US by relating it to the poverty elsewhere.

Although I was born in this country and have lived in the same area all my life, I would suggest that you are a bit off with regard to the regurgitation from Hollywood.  The year 2000 is much to generous as to the quality of films emanating from there.
:lol:

As to patents, well, I've been in that discussion already and will bow out because we will just continue to butt heads on that issue.  :)
Well, frankly speaking I wouldn't mind to hear especially from you - someone working with patents (although maybe not software patents in particular) - some comments to the points I raised. I am open-minded enough to change my opinion if someone convinces me. Everyone is changing opinion every moment of his/her conscious life, although some choose to pretend to be 100% conservative. But the only argument that I've heard so far is related to revenues and this is a non-argument to me. At least "revenue" is not part of my ethical vocabulary - yet ethics are the standard I use to evaluate topics like "the patent system". So either we finish the discussion in dissent, which is just fine with me, or someone picks up the actual arguments of either side. I am fully okay if someone kicks around my arguments because that is what a discussion is (and should be) about. If I missed one point not related to revenue on the pro-patent side, please point me to it.

Oh, and since I forgot this before. The "patents kill" refers to the fact that the poor cannot afford the medicine to survive. Survival of the fittestrichest? :(

So far, all I've seen is sarcasm
Look again. There have been serious questions and serious arguments of which you took up not even one. And since sarcasm is a rhethoric way of expression you should probably ask what the intention of its use was/is. If you like I can colorize the parts of my post for you so you can distinguish the parts that are sarcastic from those that are ironic and from those that are meant as written ... either as PM or here.

Perhaps I didn't express myself well and you took offense to my questions.
Given the fact that I am the non-native speaker here it is more likely that I did not express myself well.

I wish you well, Assarbad, but I have no doubt about the impression folks unfortunate enough to be reading this will have.
That's the problem with (first) impressions. But I think I have spine enough to post under my real name, so I will stand future criticism of this opinion that I currently have. Also, I am sure many will not even bother to read this thread to its end either ...

BTW: I am open to attempts to convince me of your point of view. I may not fully adapt it, although I might, but you should give it a try ;)

If this cause of yours is anything other than trying to rationalize thievery, as it now sounds to me, then I hope that there are others who can speak for that cause in a much better light.
Well I hope so, since I could not make myself understood. And your extension of my ideas does not have my appreciation, indeed. In particular, my reaction would have been a different one had you picked up at least one of the non-sarcastic arguments/questions from my post and commented on it. But you chose to reply in a - to my impression - cynical way. Thus I chose to reply to you the same way, because I found your reply to be too "ad-hominem" for my taste ...

If you read through this thread and most other threads in which I am/was involved - not only in this forum - you'll find that I quote my discussion partners thoroughly and that I am very responsive - usually not picking just one single point of a previous post but going through them one by one. There is one exception to this: if I have to repeat myself over and over again. It's a matter of respect towards the discussion partner(s) for me.

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Offline Profixer

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Re: Thread for discussion of forbidding of software patents.........
« Reply #32 on: November 25, 2006, 06:39:14 AM »
I think the interpretation of Olivers views as simply being anarchic and thieving is completely wrong, either by misreading his posts or simply misunderstanding between the posters.

Many people feel that patents help them pay the bills and put bread on the table... and I am sure this is correct... to a certain point...  but I promise you, this method of sustaining business will reach a tipping point... the point where people have got very good at litigation but forgotton how to develop. I do not know the extent of the patent warfield in the US (from an inside point-of-view), but if people really feel this way Mikey, that patents are a major reason they get paid, and something is not done about it, then within a certain amount of time, corporations will turn to their patent portfolios and say "how can we sue them?" instead of saying to their devs "how can we out-compete them?". This basically has two very very big problems... nothing is innovated, but even worse the company / company's employees do not improve their knowledge through lack of "training and diversification"... innovaters simply become another part of the assembly line, and fade into obscurity...


I remember (well I dont, I am too young), but I know from history that US used to make amazing stuff.... in the 40,50,60's...   what happened? America was was pouring out some amazing products... innovation at its best..... and the rest of the world was buy buy buying....  now you rarely hear of anything....  could this be due to the change in attitudes I have been talking about? US cars.... dont even get me started..... in the 50's, 60's WOW!! these were works of art!!... These days... it feels like Ford just slap them together with paper glue... now I am not drawing a connection directly to software patents here, or to patents in general... my point is that the "mindset" of american industry has changed from what it was 50 years ago... there is WAY too much emphasis now on cutting costs, slapping it together and getting it out there ASAP... also elimination of ANY competition...  a healthy industry is a healthy balance of competition (keeping everyone on their toes), innovation (new markets, new technologies, improvements on existing technologies) Also... I dont want to see some pro-US rant post shouted back at me about this... I am not claiming to know everything about US industry, but I am making an statement based on empirical observation... and that is that you never seem to hear about any new amazing product from the US in the european news anymore... and many of the european car "experts", and yes... I do watch alot of car programs... basically give US cars crappy reviews, and look back with affection at 50's and 60's when US cars really were cars

Anyway... I have to go to breakfast now... I am out travelling so I may not be able to response to a reply very quickly...
My sarcasm knows no bounds

Offline mikey

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Re: Thread for discussion of forbidding of software patents.........
« Reply #33 on: November 25, 2006, 03:42:25 PM »
Hey Profixer,

I don't want to misunderstand anyone here so I ask; Are you trying to say that the world is running out of new ideas/concepts?  That is what I get from your post.

I certainly hope not because there are new patents filed in droves these days. I personally hold several patents...a couple of which actually generate revenue for my household. While I never marketed a product myself, I have sold the ideas to those who could implement them. If I hadn't used the patent system, my ideas could just as easily have been stolen.

One of my favorite success stories is about Bruce Johnson who invented the Breathe Right nasel strips. If he hadn't gotten a patent before submitting his idea to the company who bought his idea(CNS), he could have been ripped off.

Following this line of thinking, are there no new innovations being offered in software? Has the world already run out of new technologies in software development? After all that has gone on in this last decade, that is a very depressing thought. However, it is an idea that I don't share.

I'm still trying to figure out why you folk think it is alright to use/steal someone else's work without paying a royalty.

Perhaps this is just one of those things where customs clash. You guys keep talking about American ways as if there is something terribly wrong with the premises to which we live by. Well, I admit that corruption exists throughout all the systems in place. But as a whole, I believe Americans believe it to be wrong to make a living by marketing someone else's work without paying him for it.

So far, I haven't heard one word that even gives me pause to consider any other train of thought other than the ones I've already expressed here.

Is MS wrong? Are they just fraudulently making claim to patents? Possibly...maybe even probably. But is that a reason to throw out the entire system?...or is it a reason to reevaluate and possibly make changes in the system?

Well, I believe I now have my opinion pretty well in hand. I believe that anarchy and thievery is not the answer. I believe that stealing other's work to profiteer is immoral.

Anyway, I appreciate you guys trying to make your case here but I'm afraid it just isn't my cup of tea.

C Ya



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Offline Coldmoon

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Re: Thread for discussion of forbidding of software patents.........
« Reply #34 on: November 25, 2006, 05:02:25 PM »
I may have been a bit forceful in my approach to my previous reply, but it has achieved its intended goal by getting this discussion back on-topic for which IFO am grateful because, contrary to what you may believe, I am sympathetic to some of the real arguments made up to this point.

What??? Yes, I am actually on-board with changing the system, but totally reject throwing it out with the wash water. This means that serious attention has to be drawn towards those aspects that MUST be changed, then to those that SHOULD be changed, and finally towards those we WISH to change. The first part is the most essential part of the formula to achieve real and lasting change here.

The number one issue IMHO concerns the use of litigation as a means of revenue generation which has been touched on several times. We know what is happening on a world view as all you need to do is to spend a few minutes every day reading the business news sections on your favorite publication or website. To nail this down, at least with how distorted the practice has become here in the US, I would draw your attention to a new advertising series I am seeing lately while watching SAT TV here in NC. Believe it or not, there are now ads being shown from certain types of “Lawyers” (same types that chase ambulances and try to sue when your coffee is too hot…) that ask “Do you believe your patent has been infringed? Well contact us and we will get you the money you deserve!”

This is more than enough to convince me (not that I already did not have a jilted view to begin with) that the US legal system has finally gone skipping down the lane whistling madly while slapping at imaginary flies… So now the question becomes one of whether it is actually the patent system itself or the legal system in general that is more broken?

After spending more than a year (total time) over the last three years in Europe (Sweden specifically), I find their legal systems and procedures more satisfying and appropriate in many ways; especially where frivolous litigation is concerned and would be the first one cheering to see the US adopt these models. I also believe strongly that the changes that are a “MUST HAVE” will need to be applied to the general legal system first, for there to be corrections in sub-categories like Patent Law. You may dissent with this view, but you can not ignore the fact that this discussion really covers more ground than simply looking at Patent issues specifically… The decision you face now is where your efforts would be most effective in moving your agenda forward most efficiently…
Coldmoon over dark water...

Offline Eric the Red

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Re: Thread for discussion of forbidding of software patents.........
« Reply #35 on: November 25, 2006, 09:26:55 PM »
I humbly submit that Patent Law is a force for good, surely if the drug company cannot protect their idea then they won't spend millions in research and the development of the next wonder drug. Perhaps the question is not so much about Patents but about Copyright - how long should it be before others can use that idea without having to obtain a licence to do so?

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Offline Assarbad

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Re: Thread for discussion of forbidding of software patents.........
« Reply #36 on: November 25, 2006, 10:56:22 PM »
I humbly submit that Patent Law is a force for good, surely if the drug company cannot protect their idea then they won't spend millions in research and the development of the next wonder drug.
IMO that is only partially true. Of course companies research on drugs which creates costs, but they prefer those drugs which promise the biggest profit/shareholder value/you name it. So "p1llz for ur pen1s", as the lovely spam messages in my mailbox put it, will be far more attractive than other drugs.

And while these corporations reportedly resort to people from developing countries as test subjects (also beyond voluntary participation of the subjects!), they would not give these drugs away for a reasonable price in the very same countries. Also the attitude of the US government after the anthrax letters showed that patents are valid only as long as they don't violate their interests (namely the drug of a international corporation that had some "antidot"). However, to be fair other states such as some South American and African also invalidated patents to copy drugs of big corporations that refused to provide a reasonably cheap alternative. We are using the resources from all around the world and we still have the same attitude that existed during the age of colonisation. It is us (1st world) living at the expense of them (2nd and 3rd world)! Yes, we are exploiting them.

This is why I referred to ethics and moral before. These companies have a responsibility. And this (social/economical/...) responsibility has been neglected for quite a while already by the global corporations - and I do not only refer to pharma industry here. Hey, it is the so-called first world that still dominates everything if it comes to "Intellectual Property" and we neglect only a few billion other inhabitants of this planet by the attitude to enforce our jurisdictions in environments that are totally different. The WIPO congress shows this very well ... it's time to share. The clash of civilizations will not be between religions but between rich and poor - and I doubt one of them will discriminate between opponents and proponents of patents, intellectual property or other things we argue about now ...

Perhaps the question is not so much about Patents but about Copyright - how long should it be before others can use that idea without having to obtain a licence to do so?
Not sure, but don't you have to get licenses for patented things only? Of course I can only resort to the information I have from public sources and my best knowledge is about the German system. According to it we have something that is similar to the copyright called "Urheberrecht" which is automatically "granted" to any work you do (within certain categories). For example if you are author of a book this will guarantee that plagiarism is basically ruled out or can be punished.

So this means for example that a German author (or other persons to whom the jurisdiction applies) of Open Source software could - and I have seen this happening in a medium sized project - revoke his source and refer to the German "Urheberrecht".

But well, to come back to software patents. Aren't it the big US corporations that are lobbying for software patents and waiting with barrowstruckloads full of patent application outside of the European patent office? Have you noticed that even big European software companies are against software patents? Let alone the thousands of small ones?

Now, where did I put my asbestos pants?
You won't need them.
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Offline Assarbad

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Offline Assarbad

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Re: Thread for discussion of forbidding of software patents.........
« Reply #38 on: December 12, 2006, 06:06:16 PM »
More interesting reading related to the nature of patents (in addition to my post from 2006-11-26): wealth and poverty.

Pioneering Study Shows Richest Two Percent Own Half World Wealth. Still not time to share ... not even knowledge or "intellectual property"? :blink:
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Offline Corrine

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Re: Thread for discussion of forbidding of software patents.........
« Reply #39 on: December 17, 2006, 12:00:12 AM »
Just for you, Oliver:  Google Patents


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Offline Assarbad

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Re: Thread for discussion of forbidding of software patents.........
« Reply #40 on: December 17, 2006, 03:07:08 PM »
Just for you, Oliver:  Google Patents
Hi Corrine, thanks!

I know. They've set that up lately, but using a real (US) patent number it worked already way before (of course you'd have to know the number which made it somewhat senseless if you wanted to search for topics). Someone claimed already 1 or 2 years back Google would have the better patent search than the US patent office ... and that was without this new facility, yet :lol:
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