Linked by Christian Schaller on Tue 19th Apr 2005 18:26 UTC
Legal We today face the risk of software patents being approved in the EU because not enough parliamentary members will be showing up to vote. Due to this it is important for those of us who oppose software patents to make sure EU parliament members see the damage software patents cause, so they realize it is important to be there to vote providing the needed absolute majority. But sending out a clear message is also important for the process of patent reform in the US and other places who have fallen into the trap of introducing them.
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A note to Miles Stevenson's remarks
by clausi on Wed 20th Apr 2005 07:48 UTC

While you are obviously a skilled writer, too, and althought I agree that there is no "public" as some kind of unified entity, please note some rights should be granted to everybody.

This is, as far as I know, one of the basic ideas about the constitution of the United States of America: for example, the right that everybody should be treated equal by the law, and protected from the power of the state.

Thus, to be granted to right to have access to knowledge, and to use the knowledge independently of your personal circumstances, is in the individual interest of everybody.

Since software patents are about granting a restricted monopoly about an, in your own words, "actual design, process, or idea", this is a serious conflict with everybody's basic interests to use existing public knowledge, and improve his or her own wealth by doing so.

Additionally, the term "public" is justified for all situations where individuals are unable to coordinate their individual actions against a threat to all of them because its in the individual intrests of everybody not to act.

This, for example, holds for all kinds of government oppression, and as far as I know this is also one of the basic ideas of the constitution.

Thus, I'd like to urge anyone reading Mr. Stevenson's remarks not to fall into the trap of thinking that all problems can be solved by granting rights to individuals. His arguments about software patents are certainly such a trap.