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Software Patents Stopped in India 300

piyushranjan writes "Indian parliament deleted the section from the patents bill regrading the software patents as left parties prevailed over the Government on the issue. This may be a major victory for free software foundation(fsf) which has been lobbying hard against the bill."
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Software Patents Stopped in India

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  • Not only the FSF (Score:4, Interesting)

    by carlmenezes ( 204187 ) on Thursday April 21, 2005 @02:03AM (#12300266) Homepage
    But also our president has openly suggested to our schools, universities, defence and government organizations to switch to open source. He's one president I really admire. A very learned and very humble man.
  • More jobs to go (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 21, 2005 @02:04AM (#12300269)
    Can companies move their bussiness their to avoid patents in the own country?
  • I want to move! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 21, 2005 @02:06AM (#12300280)
    I've spoken with government official in my country (New Zealand) about software patents and they just don't care! They just fold to the big companys.

    I want to move to India! I love Indian food and culture already, and now they get to be free of software patents! Not fair.

    When will governments in the western world start doing what the people want, and not what only the rich and powerful want!
  • by loveguru ( 833262 ) on Thursday April 21, 2005 @02:09AM (#12300297)
    Hi Well,atleast in this sense,India is far better than EU.We got it done without much hassles. :))) ....... And spare some time to go thru [] piyush chaapis........
  • by xiaomonkey ( 872442 ) on Thursday April 21, 2005 @02:12AM (#12300317)
    If software patents aren't legal in India, would a company over there be able to fearlessly provide web services/applications that infringe on US patents?

    e.g. could a company over there build a search engine using Google's patented page rank algorithm with out having to pay an licensing fee?

    If so, it would seem that India would be an ideal place for most such companies, as they can operate over there with out fear of patent litigation. Also, hopefully something like this would put pressure on the US to reform our current system in order for local companies to be more competitive.
  • by Fossilet ( 735452 ) <> on Thursday April 21, 2005 @02:15AM (#12300330) Homepage
    Where open source software are not threatened by patent laws. Right?
  • Fantastic! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by LarsWestergren ( 9033 ) on Thursday April 21, 2005 @02:44AM (#12300463) Homepage Journal
    Great news, I needed a bit cheering up. Just yesterday I read that Ericsson [] has started to threaten the Swedish government that research and development will be moved out of Europe to countries that "respect software patents" (the spokesman mentions Japan and the US).

  • by xiando ( 770382 ) on Thursday April 21, 2005 @02:44AM (#12300464) Homepage Journal
    The users of the software will still have the same problems regardless of where in the world the download page for the software is located. The Russia/MP3 issues comes to mind: the sites who sell music for giveaway prices from .ru are perfectly legal, but the users who buy from such sites are breaking local laws (there is really no difference for US users if they download from peer to peer networks or such sites, and the same applies to software programs).
  • by ImaLamer ( 260199 ) <john.lamar @ g m> on Thursday April 21, 2005 @03:02AM (#12300524) Homepage Journal
    You actually have a good point though.

    What India has over the United States is that they not only have our technical jobs but they also have no legal restrictions on taking any technology learned during that "cultural" exchange.

    Technology is what keeps a superpower on top. The Masons knew it, that is why they exist(ed). (Technological) Secrets make a nation thrive and the fact that the United States and Europe will restrict software developers with draconian laws makes our chances nill. If we continue to lead the way in innovations they will be copied at will overseas making *only* our citizens the ones to pay the price for intellectual property. Where will that leave us?

    Our patents won't mean a thing when India and China make up most of the computer/internet users and developers. I'm afraid that we will be trying to play fair while others won't - reminds me of the game show "Friend or Foe", everyone must agree or everyone loses. I'm drunk, but look more into China and Russia's copying of CDMA technology to learn more about how we can lose...
  • by shaitand ( 626655 ) on Thursday April 21, 2005 @03:40AM (#12300628) Journal
    Yes but usage is not really under the juristiction of copyright, distribution does. So long as your copy was legally distributed (and it is) there is nothing illegal about using it in ways that do not fall under the jurisdiction of the limited privs granted by copyright law to content providers.

    Do not mistake the terms in EULAs for laws. Copyright does not grant the content provider the right to the restrictions they require in EULAs, that is why they need you to sign them over in a contract. For it to be a legal contract they must give you something of value in turn (purchasing gave you the right to use the material however you please without a contract), Microsoft gives you $5 worth of data loss protection IF you can successfully sue them for it. Aren't they swell?
  • "Stopped"? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by The New Andy ( 873493 ) on Thursday April 21, 2005 @03:54AM (#12300671) Homepage Journal
    I haven't RTFA (it was longer than my attention span), so assuming the headline is correct (big assumption), then it would seem that there are currently some people in India who currently hold software patents.

    If this is the case, then do these patentsnow have no value? Were they compensated? Or are they ceasing to grant new software patents but old ones are still enforcable?

  • by natrius ( 642724 ) * <> on Thursday April 21, 2005 @04:19AM (#12300752) Homepage
    Growing yes, innovating hardly.

    For now. They don't have to innovate to be successful at this point, because business is flowing in. That will stop as the standard of living in India raises accordingly. When this happens, you'll have lots of smart, capable programmers who know how things are done, and will be able to build upon others' ideas to make new ones. I don't think the cultural differences people often cite are significant enough to stop smart people from doing great things.

    Of course, the companies that start to innovate will be the ones with a lot of money in the first place, and if my grasp of political theory serves me well, those companies will have bought legislators by then to get the software patents they'll want to restrict competition. Ain't democracy grand? I hope they prove me wrong.
  • by Wolfbone ( 668810 ) on Thursday April 21, 2005 @04:25AM (#12300765)
    One of the great ironies of the current patent scope expansion (and copyright extension) wars is that the proponents of ever stronger and broader Government protection invariably portray themselves as capitalists and free marketeers. This further irony of having to rely on the support of traditional Communists to counter the enormous political pressure towards an Orwellian style oligarchical collectivism (corporate Communism) is almost too much to bear.
  • by travler ( 88311 ) on Thursday April 21, 2005 @04:49AM (#12300827)

    This article backs up the notion that we should be exporting, rather than giving our IT industry to India and then paying to import all the software we would have been importing.

    No it doesn't. It says that in the special case that a country can produce a good more economically than its competition both that country and the market it is importing into will benefit. However if a country such as the US can't produce a good economically it will be bad both for the country forced to import the good and for the country that is exporting (basically everyone pays higher prices for a lower-quality good). So if we can produce the good cheaper we should export it and if we can't we should import it and spend our time and resources making things that we can make cheaper/better than anyone else (which won't be software because in our country it is more expensive to do so because of things like software patents).

    You also forgot to mention how "free" software does anything but reduce the amount a given country can export and reduce the number of options in the market place as businesses go under trying to compete with $0.

    'free' and open software does make competition for comercial software. There is nothing in the laws of nature however that state that software production must be a comercial and proprietary only enterprise. If that mode of production can't compete successfully then it should cease and the people involved in that industry should find work doing something that actually pays money if they desire money. Also I take exception to your comment about open source 'reducing the number of options'. More competition always increases the number of options almost by definition. So while there may be fewer commercial software packages they will be replaced with more 'free' ones.

    'free' sunlight is competition for outdoor lighting manufacturers yet no one I know of is calling for us to build a giant dome over the US so that we can protect the outdoor lighting manufacturers from 'free' competition.

    Your evidence really says we should be restricting free software and exporting more of our own software to the rest of the world.

    And how can we export software if the cost of producing it due to software patent issues is much higher than anywhere else? Are you proposing that we somehow force the rest of the world to recognize any silly patent system we devise? What would stop them from doing the same to us?

    Basically you seem to be missing the big point of the article. I will restate it to make it clear:

    The benefit to both producers and consumers greatly outweighs any negative impacts from trade.

    Unless you want to argue that the above point is false then I see no validity in your argument.

  • by whitespacedout ( 696269 ) on Thursday April 21, 2005 @05:32AM (#12300924) Journal
    Something I can add to the tales of what an all-round good guy he is:

    The ORBIS flying eye hospital came to Delhi a few weeks ago and he dropped in to see it (here's a picture of him on the plane []). He did the required politcal duty as required. But he also asked intelligent questions about the set-up and figured out there was a bottleneck in comms (the aim of the flying eye hospital is to spread knowledge about eye treatments, but they could only arrange for local broadcast of the videos of the surgeries). The President said he'd try and do something about it.

    Shortly afterwards - blam! - we had a satelite uplink so that the surgery teaching sessions were broadcast via satelite to hospitals all over India.

    Just think about it - Kalam could have done nothing and no-one would have begrudged him it. But he actually went beyond the polite chit chat, did some figuring out, and then went out his way to actually ease things in a way which make most political leaders seem like whiny midgets. No wonder he is one of the most-loved people in India, and no wonder people think he honours the office of president, rather than the other way round.

  • Re:More jobs to go (Score:5, Interesting)

    by archeopterix ( 594938 ) * on Thursday April 21, 2005 @05:35AM (#12300929) Journal
    No. An American company selling in India is not subject to software patents in respect of the products sold in India because India has no software patents. An Indian company selling in America is subject to software patents in respect of the products sold in America because America does have software patents.
    That's true, but what happens if I move my application servers to India, process my data there using all the patented techniques I need and then send it back to US?
  • by EzInKy ( 115248 ) on Thursday April 21, 2005 @05:40AM (#12300940)
    Way to go folks, let the communists with that wonderfully successful system of the past, adopt the FSF. Ah well, the communists are going to be taking every tech job in the western world into India and China anyway, so I guess its good that they can rob and steal our intellectual property as well.

    So I guess you wouldn't even consider the possibility that our various IP laws themselves are hampering our ability to compete?
  • by ramblin billy ( 856838 ) <> on Thursday April 21, 2005 @06:12AM (#12301007)

    Public education in America was never intended to be for the 'public good'. It has always been intended to provide an educated labor pool.It has always been intended to maintain the status quo and socialize children's behavior to insure a stable work force. They don't teach you to think in public schools - they teach you to behave and accept their version of reality. Which I guess now is that evolution is a theory with about the same chance of validity as devine creation. They even have stickers in the textbooks for proof. There is a reason school teachers and policeman are so low on the pay scale. You get what you pay for.

    billy - who worked hard to slip through the cracks
  • Re:Not only the FSF (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Gopal.V ( 532678 ) on Thursday April 21, 2005 @07:35AM (#12301230) Homepage Journal
    He's one president I really admire. A very learned and very humble man.

    It's really sad that he holds no real power in India, unless there's an out & out war (in which case he commands the army, navy and air force). Nehru made the president a rubber stamp, which is why intellectuals like Adbul Kalam ended up in that seat.

    I have a feeling that he'd do much better just to go back to Nuclear research. This feels so much like Newton being in the house of commons. But yeah, he's capable of using what little power he has to beat down *commision* vendors for government.
  • Re:Uh-Oh (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Halo1 ( 136547 ) on Thursday April 21, 2005 @08:21AM (#12301456)
    That's the way to maintain the status quo and protect only American interests.
    Which incidentally is exactly what the USPTO admits to be the goal of its Pursuit of Substantive Patent Law Harmonization [] action plan. Of course,
    The details of this action paper are by their nature sensitive and confidential, and therefore not appropriate for publication.
    "Hey look, we have a secret plan to pursue harmonisation in order to protect our own interests! So don't worry, just sign those "free trade" agreements and introduce the same patent system as we have..."

"An open mind has but one disadvantage: it collects dirt." -- a saying at RPI