Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 7th Nov 2013 10:04 UTC, submitted by mbpark
Microsoft

Microsoft is generating $2 billion per year in revenue from Android patent royalties, says Nomura analyst Rick Sherlund in a new note on the company.

He estimates that the Android revenue has a 95% margin, so it's pretty much all profit.

This money, says Sherlund, helps Microsoft hide the fact that its mobile and Xbox groups are burning serious cash.

Microsoft has not written a single line of Android code, yet rakes in the profits through scummy software patents. Crime does pay.

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bnolsen
Member since:
2006-01-06

I would absolutely call software patents as they are used today both immoral AND unethical. It's just not illegal. And yes, this whole software patent crap stuff is just a symptom of bigger issues.

One of my philosophies of government is that policies should not discourage people and entities from doing what is right. In the case of the patent system regarding software and methods that policy currently incentivizes players to do what is immoral and unethical to crush any possible competition.

And yes, I am owner and developer for one of those software companies that uses applied physics, dynamic systems modelling and image processing and to solve problems. And yes, our technology does indirectly compete with some of these big players, including the "big three". We're still too small to get any bad attention.

Reply Parent Score: 7

acobar Member since:
2005-11-15

One of my philosophies of government is that policies should not discourage people and entities from doing what is right. In the case of the patent system regarding software and methods that policy currently incentivizes players to do what is immoral and unethical to crush any possible competition.

The problem with this kind of thinking is: who is going to decide what is moral or immoral, ethical or unethical? These are concepts that keep changing with time/place and that is precisely the reason we have laws Except for the very basic things, and frequently even with them, people keep disagreeing.

I, for one, would like to keep software only under copyright but with all power and money on disputes over it I, regrettably, don't see this coming.

Also, algorithms are math but unluckily software is not just it, as someone already rightly pointed, it is akin to engineering what means, it uses math + rational thinking to devise a good enough solution for a need and/or problem.

Reply Parent Score: 3

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I would absolutely call software patents as they are used today both immoral AND unethical. It's just not illegal. And yes, this whole software patent crap stuff is just a symptom of bigger issues.


Of course it is.

If you were to ask software patent proponents like Nelson if they were to support the idea of, say, John Grisham patenting the legal thriller, and demanding a 2% cut of every non-Grisham authored legal thriller, they would call said idea ridiculous.

Yet, they still support software patents. With such hypocrisy, idiocy comes natural.

Reply Parent Score: 1

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Thom Holwerda,

"If you were to ask software patent proponents like Nelson if they were to support the idea of, say, John Grisham patenting the legal thriller, and demanding a 2% cut of every non-Grisham authored legal thriller, they would call said idea ridiculous."

They're both equally ridiculous, however I think the average person has a better understanding of the literary process than the software process. Software development is voodoo to them. They might assume that the knowledge embodied in the USPTO is actually useful for typical developers who are looking for answers to software problems. Little do they realize how much of a waste of time we consider the patent system to be on technical grounds.

Reply Parent Score: 3

jockm Member since:
2012-12-22

I would absolutely call software patents as they are used today both immoral AND unethical


Please tell me what ethical guidelines were violated? Ethics as we generally understand them pertain to the correct behavior within the law or other strictures. Something can be ethical but immoral; which is what I am arguing.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Ethics as we generally understand them pertain to the correct behavior within the law or other strictures.


No. No. No. No. No.

Seriously. No.

Ethics has NOTHING to do with the law. Absolutely nothing. Ethics pertains to your innate sense of right and wrong, regardless of laws, regulations, religion, or related matters. You may personally find it ethical to follow the law - but that does not mean you can conflate law with ethics. The same applies to morality, by the way.

Conflating - or worse, equating - ethics with the law is very dangerous, because it leads to people blindly following the law without thinking for themselves whether a law is just or unjust. There are people with agendas - politicians, religious leaders - who would very much like the common folk equating ethics, morality, and law - but you should never get sucked into that.

Not ever.

In general, you must never forget that laws exist to serve people; not the other way around.

Edited 2013-11-07 23:27 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

acobar Member since:
2005-11-15

Actually ethics is usually accepted to be related to the group behavior or judging of what is appropriate and moral is more usually applied to individual judgment of what is wrong or right and both may not be related to legality.

Reply Parent Score: 3