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   RE: [xml-dev] US Patent 6,687,897

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If the open source marketplace and RF-specifications 
are driving the value of software to zero as has been claimed, 
other parts of the marketplace will respond with
means to keep or hold value, in this case, licensing.

The economic game is played for the long term, and that 
means spreading one's bets out across multiple 
events and players.  This behavior is predictable.

You are right that this isn't an America vs. 
everyone else game.  It is a marketplace game 
and many here are involved in creating the 
forces that drive it.  Be sharp about that.


From: Elliotte Rusty Harold [mailto:elharo@metalab.unc.edu]

Please don't paint this as a U.S. vs. the world issue. It isn't. 
There are many, many programmers here in the U.S. who are just as 
pissed off about this as you are.  There are also companies and 
programmers outside the U.S. who play this game as well, though for 
historical reasons the biggest players are still in the U.S.  This 
would be a non-issue in much of the world were it not for the 
compliance of local governments.*

The real conflict here is between corporations and individuals. (Even 
that is vastly too simplistic, but it's  a first stab at defining the 
problem.) IBM, Apple, Microsoft, Intergraph, Intel, Fujitsu, etc. can 
afford to play this game. We poor open source developers can't.

If this were really a conflict between countries (as opposed to 
between classes) then it would be simple enough for Australia, China, 
etc. to simply not provide any legal patent protection. If that's too 
radical a notion, then they could easily place more stringent 
requirements on originality before a patent was granted.

The failure to do this should be seen as a failure of the local 
government, not a failure of the United States. We're responsible for 
our own broken patent office, and indeed it's hurting us badly. 
However we are not responsible for Australia's broken patent office, 
or Japan's, or anyone else's. Non-U.S. patent systems are broken for 
the same reason the patent system in the U.S. is broken: the broken 
patent system does server some local interests to the detriment of 
other local interests.

Personally, my interests are served by a much weaker patent system, 
and I would cheer any country that chose to move in that direction. 
However, I do recognize that this a conflict of interest between 
different classes, and the class that is well-served by the current 
patent system is hardly unique to the United States, any more than 
the class to which I belong.


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