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Sept 24 Is World Day Against Software Patents 155

Posted by samzenpus
from the come-together dept.
zoobab writes "Veteran European anti-software patent campaigners have launched the World Day against Software Patents. They say, 'The issue of software patents is a global one, and several governments and patent offices around the world continue to grant software & business method patents on a daily basis; they are pushing for legal codification of the practice, such as currently in New Zealand and India. We declare the 24 September as the World Day Against Software Patents, in commemoration of the European Parliament First Reading in 2003 with amendments stopping the harmful patenting of software, guaranteeing that software programmers and businesses can safely benefit from the fruits of their work under copyright law.'"
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Sept 24 Is World Day Against Software Patents

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  • What to do (Score:3, Informative)

    by PainMeds (1301879) on Wednesday September 24, 2008 @07:59AM (#25133931)
    From TFA:

    What to do?

    1. Please sign or comment on our Draft Petition
    2. Write to your Patent Office, Senators and Deputies
    3. ...
    4. Don't Profit!
    • Re:What to do (Score:5, Insightful)

      by HungryHobo (1314109) on Wednesday September 24, 2008 @08:05AM (#25133969)

      unless you're the owner of a small software company which is having problems because you can sit down and write something useful you thought up yourself, sell it as your product and then get sued for infringing a patent held by some company which does nothing but patent vague ideas and sue people.

      • Re:What to do (Score:4, Insightful)

        by electrictroy (912290) on Wednesday September 24, 2008 @09:07AM (#25134587)

        I'm okay patents & copyrights, but there should be a time limit.

        7 years or maybe 14 years, but that's it. Plenty of time to make a profit & recoup the costs of the invention. If a company can't make money during 14 years time, then that company doesn't deserve the patent; it should go public domain.

        • What is the deal with all these base-7 solutions?

          When I was a kid, I had a friend who only had 7 fingers, but his hands were deformed. Is that the case with you "14 year limit" guys too?

          • I'd be more okay with Software Patents, if they were limited to five years myself. As it is, 20 is way too long for software.
            • Hell, 7 is too long for software. What software besides the crap that comes out of Redmond isn't painfully obsolete in 7 years? (Games don't count. They can be concurrently fun and obsolete).

              I guess there's the firmware for the consoles, but I'm sure that's protected elsewhere under copyright/DMCA, since they want to keep it secret.

          • "7" is codified in many, many laws. And now it's become a kind of default.

        • by Tweenk (1274968)

          I'm not okay with patents on software. Most importantly, software patents contain no source code. Reproducing something based on the patent is impossible - you have to do the work that the "inventor" did all over again. Additionally, proprietary software effectively remains a trade secret forever, because the source code most often is never disclosed. Therefore, software patents are in fact patents on trade secrets. In any other field this would be considered absurd and counterproductive, but seemingly not

          • Yup, software is protected by patents, trade secrets, and copyright. I'm against software patents in general, but if they must exist then the submission should include a working implementation with (documented) source code placed into the public domain. You shouldn't be able to get protection from copyrights and patents for the same thing.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      http://stopsoftwarepatents.org/petition [stopsoftwarepatents.org]
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by mraway (1321283)
      I won't support these until the world offers me free bread.
  • Nice job, editors (Score:2, Insightful)

    by $RANDOMLUSER (804576)
    Thanks for the advance heads-up, so we could you know, like ORGANIZE something. Instead of doing something, anything about it, let's just bitch about it on /. the day it happens. Thanks, good job.
  • by Yetihehe (971185) on Wednesday September 24, 2008 @08:04AM (#25133967)
    We should also have official Day of Linux Desktop.
  • by daveime (1253762)

    I'm sorry, but I already own the patent for "World Day Against [Miscellaneous Topic]".

    Therefore you must send me 1 million bucks so I don't sue your ass.

  • by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Wednesday September 24, 2008 @08:07AM (#25133987)

    If you are a programmer, you probably come up with a myriad of ideas that are already patented by someone else. This is because your circle of knowledge encompasses programming and there are certain patterns and solutions that seem to emerge in the course of development.

    Is it not also true for other circles of knowledge as well? There are only a few gun designs, but there are many types of guns. Same with refrigerators, pens, book bindings, and shopping carts. If you are an expert in any of those circles of knowledge, then any new patented invention will seem obvious and trivial.

    So are we to throw out all patents because anyone who is an expert would consider a new invention to be trivial and obvious? Is "non-obvious" really a good measure of patentability?

    • by IBBoard (1128019) on Wednesday September 24, 2008 @08:16AM (#25134081) Homepage

      So are we to throw out all patents because anyone who is an expert would consider a new invention to be trivial and obvious? Is "non-obvious" really a good measure of patentability?

      Is "being the first to file on anything" a good measure of patentability? That's the other alternative to a measure of "non-obviousness".

      As for trivial and obvious, there are things you can patent that aren't trivial or obvious. They may seem like a logical step after the fact, but if no-one else has made that step then it isn't that obvious. If, however, hundreds upon thousands of software developers have had the idea of linking data objects in to a list in multiple directions for easy access then patenting it [slashdot.org] is patenting the obvious.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by BadAnalogyGuy (945258)

        if no-one else has made that step then it isn't that obvious

        And assuming that the entirety of patents would contain all "steps" that have been made that can be patented, a step that has not yet been patented would be non-obvious, right?

        • by russotto (537200)

          And assuming that the entirety of patents would contain all "steps" that have been made that can be patented, a step that has not yet been patented would be non-obvious, right?

          No. Merely novel. There's three requirements for patentability. Usefulness, novelty, and non-obviousness. If a "step" hasn't been done before, it's novel. But it may not be non-obvious. The step of doing "X" on the internet, when "X" has already been done somewhere else, comes immediately to mind. Or, the step of doing "X" on a

          • by pjt33 (739471)
            Your sarcasm detector appears to be broken.
            • by russotto (537200)

              Your sarcasm detector appears to be broken.

              Sorry, I have to disable it when it comes to patents, because so many people (most of them, oddly, patent examiners and patent lawyers) seem to believe such absurd things.

              • by pjt33 (739471)
                If you enable it then you'll spot that there is indeed an absurd claim, but that it's made by IBBoard. BadAnalogyGuy was merely highlighting it.
            • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

              by Barsteward (969998)
              Your sarcasm detector appears to be broken.

              i've got a patent on the sarcasm detector so he'll owe me if he uses it

      • by pjt33 (739471)

        They may seem like a logical step after the fact, but if no-one else has made that step then it isn't that obvious.

        It may be that it isn't obvious, or it may be that it's the obvious solution to a problem no-one has previously wanted to solve.

      • by Wildclaw (15718)

        but if no-one else has made that step then it isn't that obvious.

        The problem with that argument is that what happens in reality is that inventions happens when the time is right and the prerequisites (everything from manufacturing process to societal views) are filled. At that time it is very likely that the exact same or similar invention happens in more than one locations.

        There are very few inventions that are actually unique to warrant the need for patents. The little time gain (one or maybe a few years) that a patent could gain is offset by the cost of the two decade

    • Every now and then I see some piece of code which uses methods which I can honestly say I would never have thought of, really novel ideas. Those should be patentable but there's so much trivial shit that is only original to the extent that the patent examiner can't recognise it through the obfuscated drivel and legal challenges are far too expensive for the little guy. In such a situation riting a piece of software is akin to playing hopscotch through a minefield.

      • by penix1 (722987) on Wednesday September 24, 2008 @08:42AM (#25134333) Homepage

        Every now and then I see some piece of code which uses methods which I can honestly say I would never have thought of, really novel ideas. Those should be patentable...

        No they shouldn't. Copyright exists on that code and that is more than enough "protection". Why should that code be protected by both patents and copyright? If you are going to issue a patent then you should not receive a copyright on it.

        • by Randym (25779)
          Copyright exists on that code and that is more than enough "protection".

          1) A copyright protects information that simply lies on a page and "does" nothing.

          2) A patent protects machines by protecting the information that tells how to build them.

          3) Software is an information machine: software does not simply 'lie on a page'. Software "does" something.

          4) Therefore, "patents" are the proper way to protect software, not copyright.

          If you are going to issue a patent then you should not receive a copyrigh

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Arterion (941661)

            The code does nothing but sit.

            The hardware does stuff. No one has ever taken issue with hardware patents, I don't think.

            • by Randym (25779)
              The code does nothing but sit.The hardware does stuff.

              Exactly backwards. The *hardware* sits until *animated by the software*. Without the software *making the hardware work*, the hardware is nothing but a bunch of metal.

              And you missed my point: software itself *is* a machine: virtual, true -- but it *does* stuff: it operates on input -- making decisions -- and produces output.

              Look at it like this: hardware == automobile; software == human choices and decisions. Hardware does nothing until activa

              • by Arterion (941661)

                You have it right. The software is just an idea.

                Look at it like this: hardware == automobile; software == human choices and decisions.

                Right, and which one of your analogies gets a patent (hint: automobile)? Which one gets a copyright (hint: human ideas/decisions)? I think you'll find you just stated my position.

                • Look at it like this: hardware == automobile; software == human choices and decisions.

                  Right, and which one of your analogies gets a patent (hint: automobile)? Which one gets a copyright (hint: human ideas/decisions)? I think you'll find you just stated my position.

                  ---

                  It's the *manual in the glove compartment* that is under copyright: *those* are the instructions on how to drive and maintain the car. As I mentioned in my first post, I have no problem with information that *just sits on a page* being copyrighted. But you can't copyright a human being: the *actualizor* of the instructions.

      • by Ploum (632141) on Wednesday September 24, 2008 @08:57AM (#25134481) Homepage

        But anyway, even if you can honnestly say you would never have thought of that, there are thousand of people who will have. Because they face the same problem and basically have the same culture/background/education.

        The problem is even more subtle because, yeah, we are against "bad" patents but not against "good" patents (think "non-software"). But this is a bit stupid because any software method can be implemented in hardware. You invented a new lightbuld ? Fine, but if you never really make it, you only did a simulation on your computer as a proof of concept, is your lightbulb software or hardware ?

        In fact, the "software" patent case is only the tip of the iceberg. With software patent, it is obvious that something is wrong. And then, we have the wrong conclusion that "software is not patentable".

        This is not the case at all. The whole "first-to-get-its-paper-in-the-patent-office-win" process is wrong. All patents made a completely wrong assumption : if you do something as described in a patent, you are infringing this patent. This has nothing to do with software or not software.

        And it is very simple to fix : enforce that anyone attacking someone else for patent infrigement should bring the proof that this someone else could not have done what he had done without reading the patent/reverse engineer your product/spy your documents. Just do that and you will discover that software patents are perfectly acceptable. It would means that you would not be able anymore to infringe a patent without even knowing that someone else patented it before. How can EvilCompany attacks you and bring the proof that you copied the ObviousMethod by looking at their product when everybody can think about ObviousMethod. Also, it still leave patent very useful for non-obvious thing (like drug industry, advanced design, ...).

        Unfortunatly, I'm observing that companies do not even see what they are doing with patent. They are all trying to patent whatever can be patented. I see with my own eyes that the money spend just to read other patents is huge. Patenting need to be outsourced and cost a lot more money than anything else but is seen as the only way to make money in the future.
        Having a good idea : from one day to a few weeks
        Implementing a prototype of this idea : from 6 months to 1 year
        Patenting the idea : 1 year of non full time work for the inventor but also for 2-3 people and for an outsourcing company

        Unfortunatly, patent is also a visible output. Management often cannot understand something else from their R&D department. The department must produce X patents each year.

        And because they always lived like that, you cannot even try to tell them you disagree. It's too deep in the culture, like a religion.

        • You forgot that many take advantage of both patents and trade secrets.
          How many of the patents filed could really be used to build a working example of the product? That's the goal yet companies will patent a vague description to make it hard for others to copy even using the patent material after it has expired.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by bzipitidoo (647217)

          The monopoly part is one of the big problems with patents. The patent holder gets to dictate every use of the patented material. And the default is "no" because that might hypothetically cost the inventors some of the just rewards of their work. You can't just use patented ideas first and compensate later, to do a proper job of it you have to seek out and beg for a "yes" upfront. This does not advance the useful arts and sciences.

          Can't contact the patent holders? Can't even find them? Patent holders

    • by $RANDOMLUSER (804576) on Wednesday September 24, 2008 @08:20AM (#25134129)
      I love your bad analogies.

      The difference is, guns, refrigerators, pens, book bindings, and shopping carts were all invented (and the patents ran out) long before corporations bribed their way into writing all the IP legislation so that patents/copyrights last (for all practical purposes) forever. Second, a patent is meant to apply to a device, even something so small as a new piece added to an old, existing device ("adding this flange prevents the breakage that has plagued previous designs"). Since software is, by definition, the expression of an idea, it shouldn't get patent protection. Since Shakespeare wrote Romeo and Juliet, does that mean that all other versions of boy-meets-girl, boy-falls-in-love-with-girl, things-end-badly should be precluded from being produced?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Explodicle (818405)
        Disclaimer: IAAME (I am a mechanical engineer)

        The difference is, guns, refrigerators, pens, book bindings, and shopping carts were all invented (and the patents ran out) long before corporations bribed their way into writing all the IP legislation so that patents/copyrights last (for all practical purposes) forever.

        Bullshit. New ideas for those products still come out to this day, and they are just as much squashed by patent law as software ideas. It bothers me to no end when programmers (or any other prof

      • by Wyck (254936)

        That's ridiculous. The American statute says that a "useful process" is patentable, where a process is a "process, act or method". Software is surely in that category of things. It's all about how you use a computer.

        I realize you said "it shouldn't get patent protection", all I'm saying is that it's pretty clear that it does. Whether it should or not is left for you to discuss with your government, and it would be democratic of you to participate in such discussions.

        And I am reluctant to accept the defi

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by samkass (174571)

        Copyrights last virtually forever. Patents last 10 years and can be extended 10 years. They're very different. A Copyright only covers the specific code as written, while patents cover novel and non-obvious ideas.

        I don't have any problem whatsoever with software patents, myself. I don't understand why some folks insist on painting such a strong wall between a mechanism implemented in a Turing machine versus one implemented with wood and metal. It's the idea that's novel and non-obvious, and the substra

    • by Coryoth (254751)

      So are we to throw out all patents because anyone who is an expert would consider a new invention to be trivial and obvious? Is "non-obvious" really a good measure of patentability?

      I would suggest non-obviousness is a decent measure. Consider that the goal of patents is advance arts and sciences by simultaneously rewarding those who come up with new advances and ensuring that thiose advances are publicly documented. There's not a lot of point if providing rewards to get people to publicly document advances that are obvious to anyone in the field. Nor is there much to gain by encouraging and rewarding obvious advances -- it will do far more to hold things back as people are forced to w

    • by LordLucless (582312) on Wednesday September 24, 2008 @08:40AM (#25134317)
      So are we to throw out all patents because anyone who is an expert would consider a new invention to be trivial and obvious?

      Frankly, yes. If an implentation is obvious, why would I be interested in paying for it? (Me being the public in general, and the method of payment being a time-limited monopoly on use of the concept).

      Patents should never be awarded for small, iterative improvements in design that are obvious to any person with knowledge of the field. Patents should be awarded for concepts that, if the patent-holder didn't come up with them, would conceivably never have been thought of.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      Is "non-obvious" really a good measure of patentability?

      Yes.

      Patents in gun designs or refrigerators or pens or book bindings are typically on novel things -- designs that improve functionality, appearance or both. These also relate to a tangible product. Patent examiners can easily see the novelty involved (are there other guns that do what that gun does or are there other refrigerators that have as polished a finish?). In software patents, it's not so easy.

      The problem with software patents is that software is not a tangible thing. It is also not manufactured

      • Ah, but you can create a program to "manufacture" another program. Dreamweaver and Frontpage are examples of programs that "manufacture" programs based on designer input. Certainly you should be able to patent the means of manufacture!

        And are programs really so intangible? They have a physical representation in magnetic bits on a physical hard disk, and they have a physical representation in electrical signals when loaded in memory. These physical representations are just too small for you to see, and their

        • And are programs really so intangible? They have a physical representation in magnetic bits on a physical hard disk, and they have a physical representation in electrical signals when loaded in memory. These physical representations are just too small for you to see, and their usage characteristics are far more important than their physical representation. But this is just arguing about trivialities

          Agreed on the trivialities part, but they do not have the same physical representation when stored on, say, optical discs as opposed to a physical hard disk. And they have yet another physical representation when sent across a wire or optical cable. In fact, every time software changes the media it resides on, it changes its physical representation. Like, say, a book. See what I mean? ;)

          Let's say you are an architect. Your individual schematics are protected by copyright, but not patentable because, as you have noted, the work is a creative work and has copyright to protect it. Then one day you have a flash of brilliance and design a support column that can bear 10 times the weight of current designs with only half the necessary material. That is a patentable idea, of course. Then you go and use your patented idea in your designs, and your customers are ecstatic and your competition is ground to dust (those who choose not to license your patent).

          Okay, but it's obvious you don't know many architects ... :)

          How is this any different from the software solution that provides a new way to do something that is faster, lighter, or more convenient than the currently known methods? Is it just because the "stuff" is ephemeral bits and not a solid marble column?

          The problem is that there are very few software solutions t

        • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          How is this any different from the software solution that provides a new way to do something that is faster, lighter, or more convenient than the currently known methods? Is it just because the "stuff" is ephemeral bits and not a solid marble column?

          Correct. Bits can be copied without cost; public institutions such as libraries will allow you access to the means of copying and storing bits absolutely free. Meanwhile, solid marble columns have a significant physical presence and a very high cost of copying.

          Earlier, you referred to bits as having physicality if one looked on a small enough scale; for legal purposes, magnetic fields are not physical entities, and anything that can be translated into a pattern of magnetic fields without losing value is s

    • the difference, of course, is that guns, refrigerators, pens, book bindings, and shopping carts are physical objects, that would require some capital to prototype and build. Patents are a good thing for those who would like to take an actual invention to production (patents should not be granted if you have no such intent, and can't create, or work with a company to create, a prototype). It protects their idea from being stolen by those with ridiculous amounts of capital, before they themselves can capita

  • by blcamp (211756) on Wednesday September 24, 2008 @08:07AM (#25133997) Homepage

    But I can't see this as any more useful than trying to get everyone to boycott gas stations for a day.

    Still, perhaps I can get a patent on this, before Jeff Bezos or some other bozo starts filling out those forms, yet again...

  • Awesome (Score:2, Funny)

    by JeremyBanks (1036532)
    It's also my birthday! Yay!
  • by kraemate (1065878) on Wednesday September 24, 2008 @08:08AM (#25134003)

    Rather than preventing a legislation from passing, why not attack the problem at the source: programmers and their corporations who file software patents?

    How do you convince a programmer that software patents are bad, when he stands to gain substantial reward for a patent from the organization he works for, or negative consequences because of refusing to file a patent?

    Why are _new_ software patents being filed in the first place?

    • by Arterion (941661)

      Because corporations want to have their cake and eat it, too. They want to pay the programmers a one-time flat rate, but own the patents of their creations so they they can rake in the profit forever after.

      At least the recording industry gives a royalty to artists and songwriters.

      In my opinion, it all needs to go away, and everything should become commission based. If it takes 1000 man hours to get a piece of software, then you pay that much for it. The end. If someone else can use that same piece of so

  • My support (Score:4, Funny)

    by Dan East (318230) on Wednesday September 24, 2008 @08:11AM (#25134021) Homepage Journal

    I am supporting this by not utilizing any patented items today. Well, except for this computer, its software, all the hardware and protocols between my computer and the Slashdot server, software running on the Slashdot server, the action of clicking a virtual button with a mouse to preview a information to be submitted to a server.

    Addendum: the clicking of a "Continue Editing" button to correct information that is to be submitted to a server after first previewing said information.

    Addendum: the clicking of a "Preview" button to preview newly edited information.

    Addendum: the clicking of a "Submit" button to send information to a server.

  • What? Are pancakes not good enough to get their own day as well?

  • I'll show my support by downloading music all day.

    • by drjoe1e6 (461358)

      I'll show my support by downloading music all day.

      No, that was the activity for Download Like a Pirate Day on the 19th...
      -Joe

  • Please go away. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MRe_nl (306212) on Wednesday September 24, 2008 @08:22AM (#25134145)

    My perspective on patents is simple: stop issuing patents.Patents should not exist.
    We're all standing on the shoulders of giants, so to speak. The current patent systems
    smack of arrogance and ignorance. Furthermore, I think that if such a system had exsisted 8000 years ago we'd still all be sitting in caves paying that one family that "invented" fire.

    • by Spad (470073)

      I think you mean "A method of generating light and heat via the friction-induced combustion of a flammable material"

    • by eagee (1308589)
      They're not all bad, some of them actually protect and encourage innovation. It just isn't software or business model patents that do so.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Theaetetus (590071)

      My perspective on patents is simple: stop issuing patents.Patents should not exist. We're all standing on the shoulders of giants, so to speak. The current patent systems smack of arrogance and ignorance. Furthermore, I think that if such a system had exsisted 8000 years ago we'd still all be sitting in caves paying that one family that "invented" fire.

      Not 8000 years, but patents have been around for 2000. The Romans had patents, and I don't think innovation has really dragged since then.

      Also, while software needs a good look, there are many good reasons for patents as an alternative to trade secrets. For one, it allows innovation by requiring public disclosure of the idea, and for two, it makes the idea pass into the public domain after a limited time. Neither of these apply to trade secrets, which is what we'd get if we abolish patents.

    • You completely miss the point of patents.

      The purpose of patents is to ensure that inventions are published, and not lost simply because the inventor disappeared, failed to publish or actively kept it a secret. To give inventors an incentive to publish, they are granted a limited period of monopoly on that invention, in order to profit from it.

      That period is 20 years, not the 8000 years you seem to think it is.

      I agree that 20 years is far, far too long a period for software patents, and possibly for other

      • by Wildclaw (15718)

        The purpose of patents is to ensure that inventions are published, and not lost simply because the inventor disappeared,

        Yeah, right. We humans are in general quite good at reverse engineering.

        And keeping something a secret is quite difficult. Especially when more than one person is involved (which there pretty much always is nowadays). Finally, most inventions are just waiting to happen once the time is right. If one person doesn't do it, someone else will.

  • Arggg! (Score:2, Funny)

    by davidwr (791652)

    Just last week we had talk like a software pirate day.

    Oh wait, that was the other kind of pirate.

    Nevermind.

    • by elysiana (1152995)

      Arrrrrr, me torrents are driving me nuts!

      • If you want to stick torrents in your knickers, that's your business, pal. No need to share it with us. And no, we don't even want to KNOW what "driving" is a euphemism for.

  • i'm just wondering, have we still got a day left that doesn't celebrate or encourage or is against or .... something?
    i would really celebrate that day, it would be amazing that it exists, rather that the 10000 things that have some day dedicated to them (and probably a dozen other things on the same day, since the days are probably seriously outnumbered by the occasions that "need" their own day)

  • Give me royalties for all Software Patents day...
  • Announcements (Score:5, Informative)

    by iJusten (1198359) on Wednesday September 24, 2008 @08:52AM (#25134439)
    Why do these announcements always have to be made when the announced day is nearly over? It's 21:50 on 24th at Japan, and 15:40 at Eastern Europe (eg. Finland, where I'm at). My day is nearly over, closing the computer and leaving to home to do chores. I never hear of these "World Days" until I'm leaving work (at soonest, usually only on the following day).
    • That's because of the USCentric nature of Slashdot

      See also : World Series - a set of matches, played between teams in the USA and a very few surrounding countries, of a sport that the rest of the world has never heard of

    • by JustNiz (692889)

      Unless it was "world don't go to work day", I can't see how finding out in the afternoon about world days would make any actual difference.
       

    • by Trogre (513942)

      apt sig.

  • by n122vu (1126345) on Wednesday September 24, 2008 @09:50AM (#25135145)
    International Talk Like a Software Pirate Day....
  • Not only is it World Day Against Software Patents but it's National Punctuation Day (US); a day to remind us all that using a semicolon is not a surgical procedure.

    Also; please do NOT forget that September 24 (US); AKA 24 September (EUR); AKA Whatevermate (AUS); is International Polar Day; a day for us all to ...um...ah... think about ...ah... people in the ...um... polar regions ...

  • Weta workshop being the only major example of a software developer in New Zealand that I can think of (not being a Kiwi myself), I wonder what it is that they think on the matter?

    Getting influential players to forswear the Dark Side is probably the best move you can make.

    • by zoobab (201383)

      The Government of New Zealand is proposing a set of amendments to the national patent law, none of them clearly mentions the exclusions of software from the field of patentability. The Government claims that Free Trade Agreements and other international treaties requires software patents in New Zealand.

      http://stopsoftwarepatents.org/forum/t-91796/government-in-new-zealand-pushes-for-software-patents

      I would be you, I would contact immediately your Member of Parliament, and your Government to find out what is

      • Heh, I mailed Weta to ask them what their position is... as a non NZ-national, I think lobbying Kiwi politicos would be a bit much.

        I'd imagine that Weta would be grateful for the software foundation of their enormous 3200 processor render farm, but they also might have a few innovations they'd rather keep to themselves. I shall be interested to see what they say, if they respond. Maybe it'll kick up some dust.

  • Patents in general are a good thing to protect inventions. The big problem is that the definition of "invention" has been expanded to include just about anything. Many software patents cover things that should not be patentable because they are obvious or have plenty of "prior art" examples. Patents are even being used to cover gene sequences that have been around for hundreds of years, are are really discoveries and nothing close to being an invention. The main problem with software is that it is hard to
  • Finally! Now we'll have something to pass the time between World Car Free Day (Sept 22) and International Grab Hand Day (Sept 25).

  • Well gee, that information might have been a little more useful to me YESTERDAY!!!

Never say you know a man until you have divided an inheritance with him.

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