Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 14th Jul 2011 21:16 UTC
Legal I've been sitting on this item all day. Technically, it's about patents and the like, and even I understand I've been beating this dead horse so often it almost looks like it's alive. However, this is an interesting opinion piece by Craig Hockenberry, long-time employee at The Iconfactory, one of my favourite software development houses - these guys breath software and beautiful design, and employ one of my favourite artists, David Lanham. The gist of his story? Software patents are killing the independent developer scene.
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That's what patents do.
by wannabe geek on Fri 15th Jul 2011 09:19 UTC
wannabe geek
Member since:

Software patents are almost killing the software revolution, just like, arguably, hardware patents almost killed the industrial revolution since the 18th century.

For instance, steam engine innovation stalled until Watt's patents expired:

Prior to the start of Watt’s commercial production in 1776, there were 510 steam engines in the U.K., most using the inefficient Newcomen design. These engines generated about 5,000 horsepower. By 1800, when Watt's patents expired, there were still only 2,250 steam engines used in the U.K., of which only 449 were
the superior Boulton and Watt engines, the rest being old Newcomen engines. The total horsepower of these engines was 35,000 at best. In 1815, fifteen years after the expiration of the Watt patents, it is estimated that nearly 100,000 horsepower was installed
in the U.K., while by 1830 the horsepower coming from steam engines reached 160,000. The fuel efficiency of steam engines is not thought to have changed at all during the period of Watt’s patent; while between 1810 and 1835 it is estimated to have increased by a factor of five.

Source:"Against Intellectual Monopoly" ,Boldrin and Levine

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