Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 28th Sep 2006 15:36 UTC, submitted by Moulinneuf
GNU, GPL, Open Source Friday Several kernel developers issued a position paper criticizing the GPLv3 drafts. That prompted Software Freedom Law Center chairman Eben Moglen to issue a 'renewed invitation' yesterday to kernel developers to participate in the GPLv3 process. Linus Torvalds responded to Moglen's statement by saying that his position on the license is clear and that he's "fed up" with the FSF.
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RE[3]: What is the problem again?
by Simba on Thu 28th Sep 2006 16:49 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: What is the problem again?"
Simba
Member since:
2005-10-08

"what are those risks? do you hold software patents?"

Yes, my company holds software patents. And before you jump on me for it, even Google holds software patents. The vast majority of companies that develop software hold software patents.

Edited 2006-09-28 16:51

Reply Parent Score: 0

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

No, they don't.

The vast majority of companies residing primarily in USA do. Even some danish software companies have patents in USA. This is necessary to protect themselves in USA. They don't need the protection outside USA, and they don't have patents outside USA.

One might wonder, why they need Government granted protection in USA, when companies thrive without them outside USA.

Reply Parent Score: 5

Simba Member since:
2005-10-08

"The vast majority of companies residing primarily in USA do. Even some danish software companies have patents in USA. This is necessary to protect themselves in USA."

The USA ia also the largest user of software in the world. So my point still stands. It is too risky for US companies, or companies who do business in the US, to use open source software that is licensed under GPL3, and GPL3 that will do serious damage to, and maybe kill open source in business.

Again, even the Linux kernel developers are saying this now. Not just me.

Edited 2006-09-28 17:09

Reply Parent Score: 1

Brendan Member since:
2005-11-16

"One might wonder, why they need Government granted protection in USA, when companies thrive without them outside USA."

I would assume that companies in the USA need patents to protect themselves from other companies in the USA.... ;-)

The general idea is to have a system where inventors get a chance to recover the cost of researching and developing their invention before competitors clone their work and get the same advantages in the market-place without paying for any of the research and development costs. The theory being that this improves the chance that inventors will be willing to invent, as spending money on research and development and getting nothing in return doesn't sound that attractive.

By itself this could be considered "good", if it weren't for the problems it causes.

The first problem is where 2 or more inventors independantly research and develop a similar thing (where the first inventor to get a patent gets the chance to completely screw the others, who have no way of recovering their research and development costs).

The next problem is that it becomes a complete nightmare to figure out if something has been patented or not, due to the huge number of patents that have been issued and the "legalese" they're written in (trying to guess if a court would interpret each patent in the same way you do). This leads to the next problem - the costs involved with protecting your "assets" (lawyers to try to avoid patent infringement, and the costs of defending yourself if claim/s are made), which makes "inventing" rather risky for small inventors or "unfunded" inventors who can't wear these costs (e.g. most open source projects).

Lastly, the USA patent office are morons and let obvious things become patented, which makes the problems above worse.

The end result is that while patents were meant to encourage invention, they actually have the opposite effect (especially for rapidly changing fields like software).

Reply Parent Score: 3

DittoBox Member since:
2005-07-08

And this makes software patents "ok" exactly how?

Reply Parent Score: 3