Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 3rd Apr 2013 13:00 UTC
Legal Joel Spolsky is ramping up the fight against patent trolls, the scourge of small companies and startups trying to advance technology in new and interesting ways. Sadly, while Spolsky is right on the money on everything, and even though the fight has to start somewhere, I think he - and others - are doing the industry a huge disservice by focussing entirely on pure patent trolls, without actually addressing the other side of the coin: medium and large business engaging in the same patent troll behaviour.
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Rigged game
by bolomkxxviii on Wed 3rd Apr 2013 14:39 UTC
bolomkxxviii
Member since:
2006-05-19

Big business bought off the government so the rules of the game would favor big business. Targeting big business by itself will not fix the problem. Getting big money out of politics will. When politicians actually have an incentive to work for the people instead of big business things will change and not a moment sooner.

Edited 2013-04-03 14:39 UTC

Reply Score: 11

RE: Rigged game
by Yamin on Thu 4th Apr 2013 20:06 in reply to "Rigged game"
Yamin Member since:
2006-01-10

If money/being bought was the main problem in politics, it would have been solved long ago.

The biggest problem is who are 'the people'.
People like to think if the government could learn to take care of 'the people' then we'd be treated better.

In reality, there is no such things as 'the people'. We all have different wants and needs and the government is just benefiting and taking from different groups at a time.

Just how would the government do better at patent laws if it wasn't being 'bought by big business'.

Getting rid of patents? how about the millions of people employed at such companies... are they not part of 'the people'. How would they react to something that decreases their job stability and company performance?

How about investors and pensions funds? Do they not help 'the people' as well. They need money so the rich can get richer and regular people can have a retirement? Some patent trolls are public companies.. and many large companies provide decent stable investments.

And how the lawyers? Are they not part of 'the people to'. They also need money... and I'm sure they can also go on a great moral tirade about the righteousness of intellectual property. Heck, I once watched a show on TVO - the agenda (Canada's non profit like PBS) and in response to questions competitiveness, intellectual property was mentioned as a big part of it. We need to protect our intellectual property so we can sustain profitability... so other countries can't just 'steal' our technology. Wait, now we're talking international free-trade.

And how about all the developers and engineers who just want a decent stable career. They're not one of the lucky ones working for a startup potentially sitting on a goldmine. They want a job like the other 95% of society... just in their field. Don't they count as part of the people too? And a big company with a stable patent portfolio to 'extort' their position helps them do that.

And yes, how about all the innovators just wanting to advance technology? This peculiar group would probably want to get rid of patents... but how many of these people are there compared to the rest of the groups above?

You're probably right that the game is rigged. The problem is that it's not rigged because big business bought the government... it's rigged because we the people are our own diverse special interest.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Rigged game
by Alfman on Thu 4th Apr 2013 21:19 in reply to "RE: Rigged game"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Yamin,

Well, to be fair we're not opposed to all protections, however I think you'll find most software developers will prefer copyright over patents because it doesn't block anybody's path the way patents do.

The reason is simple, copyright infringement cases are open and shut. if you implement your own code, your not guilty. With patents we can infringe regardless of whether the work is our own, which is why we hate them.

Reply Parent Score: 3