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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TechGeek
Member since:
2006-01-14

As a rebuttal to the argument that software patents drive innovation and creativity, lets think about how things have progressed since 1950. We started out with no patents and not even copyright on the code. It didn't matter as you probably couldn't run the software with out the hardware anyway. We had all kinds of growth and all kinds of different ideas.

Now fast forward to today. We have Microsoft in first with 90% share. They use their patents to bash Android instead of making a better product. We have Apple and the rest of the mobile market being sue happy. We have patent trolls. We have less choice and less innovation. Are we really better off with patents? I dont think so.

Reply Parent Score: 6

rhavyn Member since:
2005-07-06

Now fast forward to today. We have Microsoft in first with 90% share. They use their patents to bash Android instead of making a better product.


Another emotional, factually incorrect statement. First I'm pretty sure Microsoft doesn't have a 90% share in anything. Second, Microsoft is producing and continually improving a very well received (even by Thom) mobile operating system. Just because a company chooses to use the legal system doesn't mean they aren't producing and competing with a good product too.

We have Apple and the rest of the mobile market being sue happy. We have patent trolls. We have less choice and less innovation. Are we really better off with patents? I dont think so.


You think we have less choice and innovation in software than in the 50's? Do you think that maybe, just maybe, this is the kind of factually incorrect emotional kind of post that I was talking about?

Reply Parent Score: 0

TechGeek Member since:
2006-01-14

"Now fast forward to today. We have Microsoft in first with 90% share. They use their patents to bash Android instead of making a better product.


Another emotional, factually incorrect statement. First I'm pretty sure Microsoft doesn't have a 90% share in anything. Second, Microsoft is producing and continually improving a very well received (even by Thom) mobile operating system. Just because a company chooses to use the legal system doesn't mean they aren't producing and competing with a good product too.

We have Apple and the rest of the mobile market being sue happy. We have patent trolls. We have less choice and less innovation. Are we really better off with patents? I dont think so.


You think we have less choice and innovation in software than in the 50's? Do you think that maybe, just maybe, this is the kind of factually incorrect emotional kind of post that I was talking about?
"

Its pretty well known that Microsoft has a 90%+ share of the desktop market. Second, their WP7 OS is a flop. According to Gartner, Microsoft occupies less than 5% of the mobile market. So I would say that they are NOT competing by making a decent product.

I am not saying we have less choice. I am saying there was no explosion of innovation all of a sudden when software patents were suddenly allowed. We are still basing our OS's off of designs from the 60's and 70's when most of them weren't even copyrighted. So all this intellectual property protection obviously hasn't done anything good.

Reply Parent Score: 4

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

rhavyn,

"You think we have less choice and innovation in software than in the 50's? Do you think that maybe, just maybe, this is the kind of factually incorrect emotional kind of post that I was talking about?"

Beware, the following is an "emotional kind of post".


The 50s were obviously way to early to consider consumer gear. However I do think that innovation is in decline today compared to all previous decades in my lifetime.

There are too many leaches in the economy, from frivolous lawsuits, patent trolls, wallstreet, bank bailouts, political corruption, monopolies, education prices, and inflation, we are paralyzed. More and more of the economy is driven by cheap goods which gets built with offshore workers. Corporations consolidate into conglomerates and lay off scores of skilled workers. In the mean time largest MNCs can use complex loopholes to pay zero taxes. The small businesses, who are collectively the biggest employers, are left carrying the burden and cannot compete.

http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2008/08/13/study-tallies-corporations-n...

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/general-electric-paid-federal-taxes-...

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-callahan/googles-tax-avoidance-...


Big business influence on the US government is astounding. They've been the primary beneficiary of trillions of dollars in tax cuts and hand outs over the past decade. I suppose it may not matter to all of you, but I personally had to watch my tax dollars pay for these big business entitlements, who did nothing to deserve them.

No, this is not innovation, it's profiteering. I'd gladly take the 50s over today. This way, I might live to see man go to the moon instead of the dismantling of the space program.


Edit: Also, they probably could have used a good computer programmer like me. Today there are more of us than jobs.

Edited 2011-07-15 05:21 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 6

JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Just because a company chooses to use the legal system doesn't mean they aren't producing and competing with a good product too.


When they are forcing patent licenses to be applied globally, they are abusing the US system to force the patents in countries that don't have them. Abusing is not the same as using. And MS is abusing.

PS: They do have 90% share of desktop OS.

Reply Parent Score: 3