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   Re: [xml-dev] Another Microsoft XML patent

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  • To: Michael Kay <mike@saxonica.com>
  • Subject: Re: [xml-dev] Another Microsoft XML patent
  • From: "M. David Peterson" <m.david.x2x2x@gmail.com>
  • Date: Mon, 6 Jun 2005 07:47:52 -0600
  • Cc: Stefan Tilkov <stefan.tilkov@innoq.com>, Michael Champion <michaelc.champion@gmail.com>, xml-dev@lists.xml.org
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  • Reply-to: "M. David Peterson" <m.david.x2x2x@gmail.com>


Here's why I feel good about making a statement like this.

1 - We (all on this list, for the most part) are all software
developers and more specifically of the XML variety, a definite
minority of a minority.
2 - Taken outside of the entire software development genre and into
the day to day life of an average person on this planet (I guess I can
only speak from the experience within the borders of the US, something
I realize can be a problem when making general statements like
this...) and it is easy for them to understand the need for patents. 
So ask them if they have a problem with software patents and they'll
more times than not state "why should I?"

What I find interesting is that you can't just state that its because
we're writing code and not working with physical objects and its
because of this that our world is different.  The literature world,
while not dealing with patents per se', are definitely dealing with
copyrights and plagiarism.  Ask an author if it bothers him/her when
people take abstracts from one of their pieces without giving proper
reference or asking permission and you most certainly will have an
understanding that people, in general, feel ownership in their ideas
no matter how general they might seem to you and me.

Since Paul Graham wrote and released "Hackers and Painters" its quite
often now that you hear this comparison being made.  But ask a painter
if he/she minds if you take an exact copy of his/her painting with the
promise that you will return any and all changes you make to it back
to the artist community and you'll more than likely get a look of
bewilderment and wonder as to whether you've had the mercury added
back into your mixtures of paints.  And yet its not supposed to sound
or seem strange to the Hackers side of the above title.

We (hackers) definitely see the world different than the rest of the
world see's the world.

On 6/6/05, Michael Kay <mike@saxonica.com> wrote:
> > It is a definite minority who believe that all software
> > patents are bad.
> I didn't notice a referendum on the issue.
> Michael Kay
> http://www.saxonica.com/


M. David Peterson


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