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   Re: [xml-dev] Re: Patents on XML software, file formats, schemas, vocabu

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  • To: xml-dev@lists.xml.org
  • Subject: Re: [xml-dev] Re: Patents on XML software, file formats, schemas, vocabularies
  • From: Tatu Saloranta <cowtowncoder@yahoo.com>
  • Date: Wed, 19 Jul 2006 17:54:13 -0700 (PDT)
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--- adasal <adam.saltiel@gmail.com> wrote:

> applications, this looks like software to me. What
> is more to the
> point, do you really think that the above such
> applications shouldn't
> be allowed?

Although this was addressed to Ken, I would say "hell
no". Why should they? Copyrights already protect
computer software itself -- why should the underlying
ideas be monopolizable as well? One call look at
lackluster development in some CS fields, like fractal
and wavelet compression, to see "benefits" of
patentability, and to consider what possible benefit
would there be in EU changing the rules. It's quite
clear to me that the biggest companies (Nokia et al)
see it as an opportunity to get some more leverage
against smaller and nimber competitors; but for public
at large (who, after all, is supposed to benefit from
patents -- it was originally designed as quid pro quo
between public and inventors, not, as some thing, as
inventor welfare system) there's little if anything to

> I am very enthusiastic about open source and my
> livelihood depends on
> it. Make no mistake, I depend on the collective
> effort and brilliance
> of other people, moreover I can see time and again
> that large software
> monopolies serve no one apart from those who own
> them. But I do think
> that fair effort deserves fair reward. I don't know
> how to distinguish
> when a software patent should be granted and when it
> shouldn't, but it

I would think that there's not much need for such
distinction if the rule is that computer programs and
algorithms were not to be patentable (or business
processes, ie. "selling sausage ON THE INTERNET").

> is about this point I think the discussion should be
> focused, not
> trying to convince people that s/w patents are no
> more when, so far as
> i can see, that is just not the case.

It's worth noting though that just because someone is
trying to apply for a patent (possibly due to
patentability being seemingly possible, as it were,
earlier) doesn't mean they might not get denied.

-+ Tatu +-

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