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   Re: Software patent debate: we lose round one

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  • From: "Simon St.Laurent" <simonstl@simonstl.com>
  • To: xml-dev@xml.org
  • Date: Sun, 28 May 2000 21:25:04 -0400

At 08:37 PM 5/28/00 -0400, David Megginson wrote:
>Since the U.S. phenomenon of software patents have been a hot topic
>around here (for the record, I think they're ludicrous), I'd like to
>draw everyone's attention to a recent debate between Tim O'Reilly and
>Tod Dickinson, the director of the U.S. patent office:
>  http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/a/patents/2000/05/24/PizzoFiles.html
>I'm actually posting this as a cautionary tale, because Tim arrives
>unprepared and gets badly whumped in the debate (at least, it looks that
>way reading the transcript; it's probably even worse in the RealAudio
>version).  If we're going to carry on this debate in any meaningful way,
>we're going to have to come much better prepared, and this debate shows
>very clearly where we need to collect a lot of good, credible evidence
>to back up our claims.

It just reads like Tim showed up to debate a lawyer about the law without a
lawyer on his side.  That's always risky, even if you know what you're
talking about.

Unfortunately, I still can't get my brother interested in intellectual
property issues beyond Napster.  (And yes, I constantly debate him, a
lawyer, about legal issues to about the same results as Tim O'Reilly got,
though I'm rarely genuinely convinced he's right.)

Simon St.Laurent
XML Elements of Style / XML: A Primer, 2nd Ed.
Building XML Applications
Inside XML DTDs: Scientific and Technical
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