Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 25th Mar 2012 19:44 UTC
Legal "Last week a large, profitable company sued a small start-up business for patent infringement. As a non-legal person, I can only guess that this sort of thing must happen fairly often. I would also guess that the large companies, which have the means to hire crackerjack legal teams and drag cases out, must often win. And while I guess I feel bad for the small businesses, I've never really cared before now. Because this time, the stakes are high. This time, it's my daughter's voice on the line. Literally." Infuriating. Maybe these are the kinds of stories we need to get normal people to care enough to force lawmakers to change. Sadly, the big bags of money from Apple, Microsoft, and Oracle are probably far more important to them than this sad story.
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RE[2]: A 'normal person' speaks up
by Alfman on Mon 26th Mar 2012 01:39 UTC in reply to "RE: A 'normal person' speaks up"
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"I don't know how to jailbreak anything, and I don't know about patents, and I don't know about much of the tech world, but I'm willing to learn."

I am a little surprised that a non-technical audience would find their way here. Anyways, most software developers despise software patents. They're especially troubling for us because, unlike copyright infringement, we routinely violate patents in the course of doing our jobs. Patent laws are used to deprive us of the right to use our own implementations even when they were independently developed without knowledge of or benefit from the patent holder, which is usually the case. In other words, we are impeded from using our own intellectual abilities in solving problems.

At an abstract level, solving computing problems isn't much different from a driver finding an optimal route from point A to point B on a map. There may be a handful of logical routes, but you quickly reach a plateau where additional unique routes become terribly inefficient and even impossible. Luckily drivers are free to choose the most logical routes for them regardless of what other drivers choose, but software developers are artificially constrained by patent monopolies that act as virtual road blocks and toll booths.

For us, we were fine before software patents, and we'd just as quickly refuse them again, but the lawyers won't leave us alone until they've sucked the life out of us.

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