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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How exactly does such a system foster innovation?

It doesn't. And even people like the ones defending the system here know that, deep down.

The problem is that there are a lot of people who have identified themselves with one company or the other. If such a company is a heavy proponent of software patents (Microsoftapple is the one we talk about the most here), then these people can do two things: stop identifying themselves with said company, or defend software patents. Since their identification with the company contributes more to their self-concept than their dislike of the patent system... Well, the path os least resistance.

If you ever want to see Festinger's cognitive dissonance theory at work, you just have to look around you (and yourself, of course). Daring Fireball's John Gruber is a pretty good poster child for this theory also. For instance, only a few weeks ago he was complaining loudly about New York photographer Jay Maisel who got $32500 out of someone using one of his photos. Maisel was a dick, according to Gruber.

Right at the same time, the web was a'blaze with Apple's legal threats against small open source projects using the App Store name. It was all over the web. Not a peep on DA.

This is cognitive dissonance, and it's probably the best predictor of human behaviour ever. If you ever think - why would people do something this stupid? Why are they being disingenuous? - it's probably this.

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