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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Find the correct maxims and you see it
by Sledgedog on Wed 20th Apr 2005 14:42 UTC

This is not about communism (FLOSS and non-swpat crowd) against capitalism (swpat crowd), but free markets (non-swpat crowd) against schoolbook fascism (swpats).

I ask you to not report this as off-topic or abuse, because this has nothing to do with any street-fascism that uses violence to control opinions and thoughts, and so this is not name-calling if you get this correctly.

I find comparing the non-swpat crowd to communists abusive and misleading. Maybe I'm just returning favor, but I believe I'm bringing on a much more correct and important point of view.

FLOSS developers are not leeches. They are working hard from the common pool of knowledge (the elusive state-of-the-art) that - just like mathematics - cannot be owned. And they improve the pool as they go. Unless sw patens become law and the pool gets owned by force.

Patents are about stopping someone from doing work or achieving something. Free markets (non-swpat) are a marketplace where you cannot stop your competitor. You can do the trouble to design a good product, and seeing what it does, your competitor can do the same.

People talk about "the patent mafia" for a good reason. Patents are weapons, and patenting software will bring on endless turf wars. This makes the streets unsafe for everyone except the strongest players, thus completing the analogy.

To make the analogy even more complete, we have the gun pushers (lawyers and the patent office).

Now fascism is about the government and corporations together owning the population. Patents are about the strongest players together owning the industry. This is what has been clearly seen in the European discussion. Now it is all about using (political) force to bring on the desired outcome.

A very, very, very important point about patents. Those things were intended to be patentable that would have otherwise been trade secrets, thus being away from the public. Patents _were_ about giving a limited-time monopoly to the corporation in exchange for making the information public.

Most software patens have zero public benefit, and the "information" that the company "gives up" to gain the monopoly is often trivial and AFAIK, never unique or exceptional.