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Re: [xml-dev] Cutting special deals for open source developers -- noway!

Len I know how much money it costs to invent new art in software, that's my
business. I also know that it's possible to recoup your investment and make
a profit, but you have to keep moving and keep the customers satisfied.
Further I believe software is speech, and protected in the US by the First
Amendment. I don't have time to exhaustively look at existing software
patents, I am a software developer, not a lawyer. In a world with patents on
software ideas, only lawyers will be able to write software. I'll opt out at
that point, with no disrespect to lawyers, I just don't want to be or become
one. Thanks. Dave

----- Original Message -----
From: "Bullard, Claude L (Len)" <clbullar@ingr.com>
To: "Dave Winer" <dave@userland.com>; <xml-dev@lists.xml.org>
Cc: <w3c-ac-forum@w3.org>
Sent: Friday, October 12, 2001 2:36 PM
Subject: RE: [xml-dev] Cutting special deals for open source developers --
no way!

> One might start by exhaustively looking that existing
> software patents and determining which if any are justifiable.
> One should try to ascertain when a patent is warranted and
> not dismiss them all out of hand given that this may also
> be a barrier to innovation.  Patents are revenue source
> for small companies as well as large, for universities,
> and for individuals.  For example, MIT will fight you
> because they also have a lucrative patent pool and recently
> have filed suit against Sony et al.
> Then arguments can be made on precedent and example rather
> than only on principle.  That will be a long haul and in
> the mean time that paralysis on the specification process
> that Joshua Allen has mentioned will continue.
> I totally agree: fair for one should be fair for all.
> len
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Dave Winer [mailto:dave@userland.com]
> Sent: Friday, October 12, 2001 4:20 PM
> To: xml-dev@lists.xml.org
> Cc: w3c-ac-forum@w3.org
> Subject: [xml-dev] Cutting special deals for open source developers --
> no way!
> The myth that there are big companies and open source developers and
> inbetween has been a constant problem for commercial developers who
> in open standards and think that software patents are unethical and act
> accordingly. I've seen this myth perpetrated over and over by well-meaning
> people, but it's dangerous and unfair.
> I read this news item in eWeek [1], with a statement from the patent WG
> chair, Daniel Weitzner, saying that there they will consider an exception
> for open source developers. As a commercial and open source developer,
> highlights the impossibility of having the W3C work with patents at all.
> open source is to be granted some kind of exception, then that exception
> must also apply to independent commercial developers, especially those who
> invent non-patented new art that others may freely use in their software.
> This has long been UserLand's policy, to create new techniques, designs,
> algorithms, protocols and formats, in a manner so that anyone can build
> software on them. We believe this is the only ethical way to create
> software. To prevent others from using our techniques would be akin to a
> book author inventing a new plot and then preventing other authors from
> using it. No such protection is possible because it would be (in the US)
> illegal limit on free speech. We believe that the same protection applies
> software developers because software is a creative act that is very
> to writing.
> It's time to get a grip on how our industry works, how much exchange of
> ideas there is between our products, and get comfortable with all
> developers, using whatever economic system they choose, participating in
> market on equal footing with all other developers. Patents have no place
> open software development processes. It's very unfortunate that USPTO
> believes otherwise, I think the W3C, to true to  the spirit of its
> must work tirelelessly to convince the USPTO that its policy on patents
> can't work, and if that fails, take the matter to court. Under no
> circumstances should special deals be cut for groups that unfairly limit
> opportunties for others.
> Dave Winer, CEO
> UserLand Software
> [1] http://www.eweek.com/article/0,3658,s%253D1884%2526a%253D16297,00.asp
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