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New Zealand Draft Patent Law Rewritten After Microsoft Meeting

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the spreading-goodwill-and-benevolence dept.

Patents 120

ciaran_o_riordan writes "After two private meetings with Microsoft and IBM, New Zealand's proposed new patent legislation has been changed by 'replacing an exclusion in clause 15(3A) (which relates to computer programs) with new clause 10A. Rather than excluding a computer program from being a patentable invention, new clause 10A clarifies that a computer program is not an invention for the purposes of the Bill.' The difference is that the new 10A clause contains the 'as such' loophole — the wording that is used by the European Patent Office to grant software patents. This is the same Patents Bill launched in 2009."

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New M$ outsourcing to Kiwiland? (4, Funny)

sabri (584428) | about 2 years ago | (#41159439)

Now let's wait and see whether or not M$ will outsource part of their workforce to Kiwiland to thank the politicians for their great cooperation...

Re:New M$ outsourcing to Kiwiland? (2, Insightful)

BSAtHome (455370) | about 2 years ago | (#41159477)

Surely, part of the lawyer workforce will be outsourced to squeeze the kiwis (it is like pressing lemons, just more sweet). Wasn't that the point of the meeting?

Re:New M$ outsourcing to Kiwiland? (1, Troll)

linatux (63153) | about 2 years ago | (#41159591)

Probably just got a $5 discount off our govt licence agreement.

Re:New M$ outsourcing to Kiwiland? (1)

grcumb (781340) | about 2 years ago | (#41161593)

Now let's wait and see whether or not M$ will outsource part of their workforce to Kiwiland to thank the politicians for their great cooperation...

Kiwiland? ...is that near Hobitton?

Who to thank (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41159455)

I believe EU Commissioner Bolkestein coined the term. Bolkestein is gone, the damage is done.

Good! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41159517)

Less government regulation. Companies, not governments, develop the technology. THEY OWN IT! They should be able to profit off of it. Only socialist/fascists disagree with this like Hussein Obama and his cronies. Not allowing strong and well enforced patent laws is equal to a government taking of property. Government OUT!

Romney/Ryan 2102!!!!!

Vote out the anti-business NAZI-MARXISTS!

Re:Good! (5, Informative)

Githaron (2462596) | about 2 years ago | (#41160023)

Actually, patents and copyright are a form of government regulation.

Re:Good! (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | about 2 years ago | (#41163401)

Yep. Just like trademarks and property rights.

Re:Good! (3, Informative)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | about 2 years ago | (#41160325)

I honestly can't tell if you're kidding or not. Poe's Law strikes again.

Re:Good! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41160703)

Typical Obamanaut response. Fact! Obama hates business. Fact! No business will hire with a business-hater-in-chief in charge. Fact! The economy will BOOM without government meddling and interference. Fact! Unregulated markets are the signpost of American success and they've never gotten us lost before. The sign says so. Fact! Romney and Ryan understand the power of unregulated markets and trickle-down economics and how that brand of non-interventionous government built this country into the success it is for 100s of years!!!!

I'm sure the hater-in-chief appreciates you towing the line. The master would approve.

Romney/Ryan and RANDism 2012!!!!

Re:Good! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41161993)

FACT! You are a genuine retard!

Re:Good! (2)

dan828 (753380) | about 2 years ago | (#41160855)

To be any more obvious he'd have to slap you with a wet fish with "bad satire" written on it in permanent marker.

Re:Good! (1, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | about 2 years ago | (#41162835)

No. If it's satire, it's very good satire, because it's nearly indistinguishable from many comments I've seen on /. and elsewhere that I'm quite sure were entirely sincere.

Re:Good! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41160681)

Great! No government means no law. No law means that I can kill you! Not that I care about the law anyway...

Meetings, hey? (3, Insightful)

Everything Else Was (786676) | about 2 years ago | (#41159557)

Sounds like the kind of 'private meetings' where large sums of money change hands.

Re:Meetings, hey? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41159671)

No money, as such, changes hands.

Re:Meetings, hey? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41160103)

No money, as such, changes hands.

Quite right. The cash is stuffed into the lingerie of the "entertainment" by the corporate representatives and thoughtfully escorted to the "stuffed mattress bank" of each of the political representatives in attendance. Therefore, no money, as such, changes hands. My cynicism knows no bounds much like a geometric progression.

Re:Meetings, hey? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41161621)

No money, as such, changes hands.

I saw what you did there.

Re:Meetings, hey? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41161905)

Sounds like the kind of 'private meetings' where large sums of money change hands.

Believe it or not, not in NZ. Corruption exists but is extremely uncommon.

Re:Meetings, hey? (2)

fredprado (2569351) | about 2 years ago | (#41162193)

The fact that corporate lobbyists managed to change the legislation says otherwise...

Re:Meetings, hey? (1)

bloodhawk (813939) | about 2 years ago | (#41162511)

While I may not agree with the change, the fact that corporate lobbyists can get legislation changed is not an issue or a sign of corruption. Anyone that can present a legitimate and convincing set of logical reasons that the government can agree with should be able to get such changes enacted whether they are citizens or corporations. No idea what happened behind closed doors here so can't really comment whether legitimate logic was presented from IBM and MS.

Re:Meetings, hey? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41163435)

it is not the arguing, it is the fact that private entities may obtain closed door meetings where the arguments, convincing or not, are unheard from the population that the government ought to represent.

Re:Meetings, hey? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41163615)

if the set of reasons is so logical, there should be no resistance to making it public, yet somehow it's always done behind closed doors and those 'logical' reasons are never made public

So democracy is out then? (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | about 2 years ago | (#41163945)

What does logic have to do with a democracy? If the voters vote to have to sky painted pink by a majority of 1, then so be it. THAT IS DEMOCRACY, THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE. Not just the will of logical people. THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE. ABSOLUTE AND WITHOUT RESERVATION.

And yes, Godwin be damned, this means that if the majority votes for the gas chambers to be opened, you are an enemy of democracy for refusing to do so. Only a fool believes democracy to be a guarantee of freedom, liberty or human rights.

Re:Meetings, hey? (2, Insightful)

Antonovich (1354565) | about 2 years ago | (#41162621)

Not really. Kiwis are not corrupt, just naïve and often a bit stupid. It's too small and too far away to maintain a critical mass of intellect. The people that stay (I didn't) are easily impressed by megacorps like Microsoft and IBM and these "experts" are usually believed. These guys work for MIcrosoft! That's what a computer is, right? They must be soooo brainy, we'd better do what they say! I may be painting it a bit darker than it really is - they aren't nearly as stupid as most anglo-saxons but that's not very difficult either...

Gosh (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | about 2 years ago | (#41163951)

Kiwis are not corrupt, just naïve and often a bit stupid. It's too small and too far away to maintain a critical mass of intellect.

So is my penis! It looks like a small hairy flightless bird too.

Re:Meetings, hey? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41164573)

Speak for yourself - I've stayed, but I'ms ure as hell not impressed by megacorps like Microsoft and IBM. My brother, on the other hand, sucks at the cock of Bill Gates and the local sport team... and he left for Australia for a few years.

Re:Meetings, hey? (1)

MrBigInThePants (624986) | about 2 years ago | (#41162027)

No, no. Far more sinister.

It is where money changes government policy and laws....

The old hands never change....

Re:Meetings, hey? (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | about 2 years ago | (#41164281)

Maybe it's because no one else bothers to meet him and tell him that it's a stupid idea. Instead they just sit on the internet whining.

YOU FAIL It (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41159659)

This is why regulations rarely work. (5, Insightful)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#41159815)

The idea is sound in principle (government regulates corporations to keep them from being abusive). But in practice the government usually lets the corporations *write* the regulations so they regs end-up being favorable to corporations and/or allows them immunity when they abuse their power.

This revised patent law is one example. Another example is the recent U.S. Whistleblower regulation that requires employees who observe illegal activities to tell their boss (and then they get fired). So basically the corporations write the law to protect themselves from prosecution. This regulation was passed by a Democrat Congress and Democrat president.

Re:This is why regulations rarely work. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41160071)

I do think Republicans would just make the problem worse. Instead of creating fake regulation, they just make people feel inferior for not being rich AND are more violent. If Romney wins, we will be more likely to go to war with Iran: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2180168/Mitt-Romney-threaten-war-Iran-trip-Israel-tries-restore-foreign-policy-credentials-gaffe-prone-London-visit.html

Re:This is why regulations rarely work. (1, Insightful)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 2 years ago | (#41160431)

You're a tool. There is no difference between the Democrat and Republican parties. Keep falling for this horseshit idea that one of the parties is "Evil" and the other is "Good" and you'll just keep perpetuating the same old fucking nonsense that's been going on for 100 years now. Obama invaded MORE countries than Bush did for fucks sake. He ordered the assassination of a US citizen without trial. He ordered the death of Bin Laden after he was already in custody. They executed the guy in front of his family then dumped him in the ocean. Democrats and Republicans work together toward the same goal: POWER

Re:This is why regulations rarely work. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41161567)

GP didn't seem to be saying one party is "good" and the other "evil", so much as one is bad and the other is even worse.

Re:This is why regulations rarely work. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41162725)

He ordered the death of Bin Laden after he was already in custody. They executed the guy in front of his family then dumped him in the ocean.

Can we get a fact check here?

Re:This is why regulations rarely work. (1)

gtall (79522) | about 2 years ago | (#41163795)

If you are talking about Anwar al-Aulaqi as being the assassinated U.S. citizen, this was the man who renounced his U.S. citizenship and decided to mount an internet and media campaign to have Americans killed. Death was too good for him.

Gee, what where they supposed to do for Osama, read him his Miranda rights? He wasn't a U.S. citizen, called for the death of Americans, took credit for 9/11. So yes, the U.S. executed him in front of his family and dumped him at sea. And that was way less than he deserved.

Re:This is why regulations rarely work. (2, Funny)

erroneus (253617) | about 2 years ago | (#41163321)

But we're all Christians! We don't kill! God said so! What am I missing here?

Re:This is why regulations rarely work. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41160627)

But in practice the government usually lets the corporations *write* the regulations so they regs end-up being favorable to corporations and/or allows them immunity when they abuse their power.

The flip side of the coin was neatly summarized by George Bernard Shaw: "People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it." It is Micro$oft, Google, Apple, IBM, etc. that are the leaders in delivering the computing technology people want, not some random IT people whose greatest achivement in life is getting modded to +5 on /. Why would successful corporations not get a strong influence in what would help them be more successful in delivering what people want? It's as libertarian as you could ever wish for.

Let me rewrite the above:

But in practice Linus Torvalds usually lets the core kernel devs *create* the kernel architecture so the design ends-up being favorable to developers and/or allows them immunity when they make design decisions that the community might not like.

Re:This is why regulations rarely work. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41161761)

Let me rewrite the above:

But in practice Linus Torvalds usually lets the core kernel devs *create* the kernel architecture so the design ends-up being favorable to developers and/or allows them immunity when they make design decisions that the community might not like.

False equivalence. The analogy breaks down because Torvalds doesn't force developer compliance & participation in Linux kernel development. Contrast: you can't "opt-out" of government regulation as a regulated entity.

Regulatory capture is real, debilitating, and perhaps reason enough by itself to have a cynical view of government intervention in general. In the context of these incompetently-developed, perverse incentive-creating, ironic outcome-causing government regulations, the term "shit midas" [urbandictionary.com] seems apt.

Re:This is why regulations rarely work. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41161943)

It's as libertarian as you could ever wish for.

Can't speak for the OP, but I certainly don't wish for libertarian anything.

Your Torvalds analogy is extremely broken. Check your premises, you're comparing two very unlike things. One is a legislative matter that pertains to technology companies. The other is a technological matter that deals with implementation.

The argument over whether software patents should exist has nothing to do with libertarianism or socialism or your Henry Reardens and Howard Roarks. It's a question of whether mathematics should be patentable. Perhaps I should submit my patent on differential equations so I can go to a certain Texas court and sue any company that happens to have engineers on their payroll. All I have to do is add, "on a computer" and Newton's irrelevant.

Re:This is why regulations rarely work. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41163873)

regulatory capture is as libertarian as you could wish for? you must have a very different concept in mind then I do when you hear the word libertarian!

Re:This is why regulations rarely work. (1)

hairyfish (1653411) | about 2 years ago | (#41163285)

Really? Really? "This is why regulations rarely work"? Any fool that actually believes this Libertian bullshit needs to go spend sometime in Mogadishu. Regulations work my friend, it is no accident that the countries with the most rules and highest taxes are also the least corrupt, are the safest and have the highest quality of life*. Regulations are what are keeping you alive right now. As for TFA, of course the govt consult with business, that's who pays the fucking bills and keeps the country running. it would be pretty ridiculous to create new laws that suffocated your economy. I'm not sure what Dr Evil scenario you are imaging happened in this meeting, but in my experience, real life doesn't work like that. * Note the US does not make these lists for a reason, so please do not extrapolate your bizarro US system onto anywhere else.

Re:This is why regulations rarely work. (1)

mpe (36238) | about 2 years ago | (#41163839)

The idea is sound in principle (government regulates corporations to keep them from being abusive). But in practice the government usually lets the corporations *write* the regulations so they regs end-up being favorable to corporations and/or allows them immunity when they abuse their power.

Even worst here is allowing foreign corporations to do this.

Keep on diggin', boys! (2)

pla (258480) | about 2 years ago | (#41159839)

Let it pass. Let them all get their wildest wet dreams encoded in the laws of the world.

And then... Let them sue each other into oblivion, a la Apple v. Samsung.

And then... Let them realize that We The People really don't give a fuck about their rules. Digital media killed the old media monopolies (they just haven't fallen over yet); A few more generations of RapReps will kill what remains. The robber barons finally lost; Le Roi est morte, vive le Roi!

Re:Keep on diggin', boys! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41159865)

Speaking of wet dreams... might be time to get some fresh air.

Re:Keep on diggin', boys! (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about 2 years ago | (#41160347)

A few more generations of RapReps will kill what remains.

Ominous Voice-Over: You wouldn't steal a car, so why would you steal a movie?
Me: If I could download a car, I probably would!

Re:Keep on diggin', boys! (1)

englishstudent (1638477) | about 2 years ago | (#41160667)

You probably already can. Just download the 3D printer template and off you go!

Re:Keep on diggin', boys! (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 2 years ago | (#41162109)

Ominous Voice-Over: You wouldn't seed a torrent of a movie, so why would you seed a torrent of a car template?

Re:Keep on diggin', boys! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41160721)

Anarchy preceded civilization and anarchy is the logical conclusion of it. When scarcity ceases to have meaning and we are all invulnerable post-humans, what purpose will laws serve?

Re:Keep on diggin', boys! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41163513)

When scarcity ceases to have meaning and we are all invulnerable post-humans, what purpose will laws serve?

I have some bad news for you ...

Re:Keep on diggin', boys! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41160993)

Le Roi est morte, vive le Roi!

Perhaps you were being ironic. "The King is dead; long live the King" means that the moment the king dies, another takes his place, so that we are never faced with the horror of being free from rule for even a second. So yes the downpressors might collapse in a heap of ash and dust, and we may be free of them perhaps for a moment until new ones come along with Fresh new ideas about how to squeeze the vise to extract more money from people. Is the moment worth waiting through all the "And then..."s?

In the meanwhile, while we wait out the workings of the barons, I guess at least we can pretend that they're not really being all that effective at keeping people down, and we can tell ourselves that everybody has equality, freedom, and a fair shot at life.

Wrong use of "Le Roi est mort. Vive le Roi!" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41162911)

You don't know what "Le Roi est mort. Vive le Roi!" means. It makes no sense in the context you used it in.

Re:Keep on diggin', boys! (1)

JockTroll (996521) | about 2 years ago | (#41162999)

Digital media killed the old media monopolies (they just haven't fallen over yet)

Oh really? They're still there and they're calling the shots. It's Google that has to filter search results to comply to media monopolies' wishes, not the other way round, despite the massive amounts of money Google has at its disposal. The political influence of Big Media is simply too great. If we want them gone, action must be taken before Internet becomes InterMarketNet(TM).

Le Roi est morte, vive le Roi!

Loserboy nerd, learn your French: "morte" is the feminine declination, as in "La Reine est morte". You have to drop the final "e" to decline it to the masculine, so "Le Roi est mort". Je chie sur ta figure, connard.

So who does the government represent? (5, Interesting)

karit (681682) | about 2 years ago | (#41160061)

It seems that the NZ government is meant to represent the voters wishes, but it does seem to do what the US and Multinationals want. The Office of the United States Trade Representative said clause excluding software from patent-ability "departed from patent eligibility standards in other developed economies" (http://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/digital-living/7570288/Govt-accused-of-Patent-Bills-betrayal), umm so can't one country take the lead and see a problem, address it and move on to a better place?

Re:So who does the government represent? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41160183)

The current NZ govt is very business friendly - the Prime Minister is a former banker/currency trader. They have changed laws using urgent processes to strip worker rights to satisfy Hollywood. This is just the most recent example of selling out to big foreign corporate interests.

Re:So who does the government represent? (2)

BlakJak-ZL1VMF (256320) | about 2 years ago | (#41160279)

^^ What he said.
Those who voted in the National Government chose to elect a party that is well known for its position supporting business (over the individual).

There's reports that around 1 Million NZ'rs (out of ~4.4M) didn't vote in the last election. There's still a chance to have an affect on the outcomes if enough of the apathetic step up and make their voices heard. Unfortunately for laws such as this, many folks don't see it as affecting them, and will remain oblivious...

Yes i'm cynical about it. :(

Re:So who does the government represent? (2, Insightful)

Kittenman (971447) | about 2 years ago | (#41160913)

^^ What he said. Those who voted in the National Government chose to elect a party that is well known for its position supporting business (over the individual).

There's reports that around 1 Million NZ'rs (out of ~4.4M) didn't vote in the last election. There's still a chance to have an affect on the outcomes if enough of the apathetic step up and make their voices heard. Unfortunately for laws such as this, many folks don't see it as affecting them, and will remain oblivious...

Yes i'm cynical about it. :(

I'm one of the 1 million who didn't vote in NZ. I don't believe any of the parties reflect my personal views. I'm not apathetic, I'm disenchanted.

And before someone rants on about the need to take part in the democratic process, this isn't a democracy. This is an elective oligarchy. The last democracy in the world was about 300 BCE, in Athens.

Re:So who does the government represent? (1)

symbolset (646467) | about 2 years ago | (#41161431)

They've already bought every side with a reasonable chance at power anyway. Politicians are very inexpensive.

Re:So who does the government represent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41161783)

You get what you don't vote for. Choke on it.

Re:So who does the government represent? (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | about 2 years ago | (#41161923)

You get what you don't vote for. Choke on it.

You never get the chance to vote on what you want. The game is rigged, there are no choices.

Re:So who does the government represent? (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 2 years ago | (#41162243)

I'm not apathetic, I'm disenchanted.

VortexCortex enters from the west.
VortexCortex says:
Heh, I can fix that.
VortexCortex Casts Basement Dweller's Rage (Lv4) on Kittenman.
Kittenman gains status effect: Ineffectual Comment (score +4)

>_




Re:So who does the government represent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41162463)

I'm not apathetic, I'm disenchanted.

I'm disenfranchised instead.

Re:So who does the government represent? (1)

NewtonsLaw (409638) | about 2 years ago | (#41162773)

I'm in the same boat -- didn't vote because I felt that none of them were worthy of my endorsement.

Choosing the "least bad" is not the same as choosing "the best".

I really can't believe we're still using a political system designed hundreds of years before the internet was invented -- when, thanks to modern technology, we could create a system that introduced the checks and balances essential to real democracy.

Never one to criticize without offering a better solution, I came up with this political system which I call Recoverable Proxy [aardvark.co.nz] .

It ensures that the people can always have the last word -- but only when necessary. On a day-to-day basis, the political system remains unchanged, except for the fact that the people can stop a wayward government (ie: most of them) from usurping their right to democracy.

Re:So who does the government represent? (1)

pantaril (1624521) | about 2 years ago | (#41164031)

I'm one of the 1 million who didn't vote in NZ. I don't believe any of the parties reflect my personal views. I'm not apathetic, I'm disenchanted.

There will never be a party which accurately reflects all of your personal views. You should vote for the party which is most compatible with your views. If you don't vote, you support the party which wins the elections (e.g. you support this business oriented party).

Re:So who does the government represent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41162905)

Um.... so out of that "4.4 million", which sounds a bit high given that we only hit 4M a few years back, how many are under 18? non-citizens?

Re:So who does the government represent? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41160501)

Sadly, yes. Once upon a time, we had a NZ Goverment that would simply say to the USA and multinational organisations that they can Go Elsewhere.

NZ said, "No Nuclear Vessels". The USA said "we can't stand for that. You'll be sorry." And they cancelled ANZUS. And NZ ... did not actually care. This much have infurated the USA Dept of State, a small little pacfiic island nation actually having the tenacity to ignore the mighty and powerful USA.

But, this was years ago. Now, the current goverment is very USA friendly.

(Where is David Lange when you need him? Sigh.)

Re:So who does the government represent? (2)

linatux (63153) | about 2 years ago | (#41161601)

Pretty sure he's dead

Re:So who does the government represent? (0)

gtall (79522) | about 2 years ago | (#41163825)

Are you out of your mind? The U.S. government couldn't give a rat's ass about NZ and canceled the treaty because y'all said you didn't want the U.S. military umbrella. After that, most of the U.S. government couldn't find NZ on the map, out of sight, out of mind. Get over yourself.

Re:So who does the government represent? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41163955)

The US certainly ACTED like it cared.

NZ didn't say it wanted the US military umbrella, NZ said it didn't want Nuclear powered ships in its waters.

The US is still applying different treatment to NZ than it's other allies as a result of the ANZUS row, so it appears that the US still does care.

But whatever, don't let facts bother your dick measuring competition.

Re:So who does the government represent? (1)

TummyX (84871) | about 2 years ago | (#41164803)

NZ had the bulls to do that because we knew that the US would come to our rescue treaty or not.

Re:So who does the government represent? (2)

peppepz (1311345) | about 2 years ago | (#41162359)

I almost can see a pattern there, as it's the same thing that's happening in Italy. Multiple bankers at the government, stripping the workers' rights, selling public heritage to speculators and passing laws that are killing the country's economy even more.

Re:So who does the government represent? (1)

linatux (63153) | about 2 years ago | (#41160597)

Baaa!

Re:So who does the government represent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41161097)

Totally. In our tiny, island nation at the bottom of the world, we've got lots of great things going for us, but economic advantage is not one of them. As a software company owner, I was delighted when we appeared to opt of of the software patent madness that is throttling the American software industry. It meant we could innovate, and sell our stuff if not to the US, then at least in our little part of the world.

Now it seems we've given up on that and become craven followers. Fuck it.

Re:So who does the government represent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41164657)

Perhaps it's time to ring your local National MP and and start on him (or her)? I'd start on Michael Woodlouse, but that guy's just a stupid fuck who can barely string a non-contradictory paragraph together.

Re:So who does the government represent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41162271)

"departed from patent eligibility standards in other developed economies"

translates to "We haven't found the price of NZ politicians yet."

#irc.trooltalk.com (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41160209)

and" 4elp us! [goat.cx]

What's wrong with software patents exactly? (2)

brillow (917507) | about 2 years ago | (#41160537)

I think most people who are against software patents are actually against stupid patents, "design" patents, and not against the idea that software could be an original invention that entitles its creator to protection.

Re:What's wrong with software patents exactly? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41160621)

One of the justifications of patents is a deal theory, whereby the inventor discloses the invention in return for a limited-time monopoly. However, in the case of software patents, the inventor discloses nothing, hides the source code, and keeps the binary protected by copyright. So the deal is completely one-sided. That is what's wrong with software patents.

Re:What's wrong with software patents exactly? (2)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about 2 years ago | (#41160697)

> However, in the case of software patents, the inventor discloses nothing, hides the source code, and keeps the binary protected by copyright. So the deal is completely one-sided. That is what's wrong with software patents.

If that were true, software patents could be invalidated by any competent patent lawyer because they simply do not satisfy the statutory requirement for disclosure of the best known means of practicing the invention.

However that isn't true. Patents are not copyrights. They don't cover the expression of the idea which would be the source code. They cover the implementation. So long as the patent describes the implementation of the idea sufficiently well for someone to be able to re-implement the idea the disclosure is adequate.

Re:What's wrong with software patents exactly? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41161595)

> However, in the case of software patents, the inventor discloses nothing, hides the source code, and keeps the binary protected by copyright. So the deal is completely one-sided. That is what's wrong with software patents.

If that were true, software patents could be invalidated by any competent patent lawyer because they simply do not satisfy the statutory requirement for disclosure of the best known means of practicing the invention.

Boy, wouldn't that be nice. Can I join you in your fantasy land?

One Click [espacenet.com]

I see no source code, data structures, implementation details.. All I see is a garbled executive "flow chart" and a dozen claims covering every interface imaginable. If you create a system that interprets the solitary sound of someone farting in your general direction as a sale, then you're infringing.

Re:What's wrong with software patents exactly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41160631)

My gut feeling is that you are trolling, but to give you the benefit of the doubt, and assume you've been living under a rock for the last two decades, here is your question turned into a google query: wrong software patents [google.com.au] . It returns a flood of well written pages in answer your question.

Re:What's wrong with software patents exactly? (4, Informative)

oakgrove (845019) | about 2 years ago | (#41160673)

My problem with practically every software patent I've ever heard is they are patents on "ideas" not implementations. So when something like pinch-zoom is patented it doesn't have anything to do with how they actually achieved multi-touch but just the idea of spreading fingers apart to zoom the text. It's like patenting "going fast" and then hitting anybody going over 30 mph with a cease and desist. It's ludicrous.

Re:What's wrong with software patents exactly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41160791)

Don't give the state troopers any ideas :)

Re:What's wrong with software patents exactly? (2)

mpe (36238) | about 2 years ago | (#41163925)

My problem with practically every software patent I've ever heard is they are patents on "ideas" not implementations.

You also have those of the form "Do X with a computer". Does it really make sense to consider using a general purpose machine to do something which is already well understood as any kind of "innovation"? (Especially if X was previously performed by a special purpose machine.)

Re:What's wrong with software patents exactly? (1)

fa2k (881632) | about 2 years ago | (#41164035)

The audio/video compression patents are quite technical and detailed. I have to admit, though, that it's very satisfying to live in a country without SW patents and just ignore them. Yeah "might be illegal, what ever", now play me some MP3s! I suspect that they aren't encouraging that much innovation anyway, as so many companies benefit from high quality video delivery in other ways than licensing fees.

Re:What's wrong with software patents exactly? (5, Insightful)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about 2 years ago | (#41160787)

I am against software patents because I think software patents all cover algorithms which are fundamentally unpatentable material.

The farce that software patents must include an implementation component, that is a computer is transparently baloney. Computers are a general purpose computing device for which there are no known algorithmic limits. It is like saying that an algorithm is patentable because it can be executed on a general purpose mathematical universe. It is not a fundamental distinction.

Re:What's wrong with software patents exactly? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41161195)

Software is copyrighted, why does it need to be patented as well? How many redundant ways do we need to protect it?

The copyright protects against stealing. And is all the protection ideas need or should have. (and even that it is probably too much)

Patenting prevents others from doing the same thing a different way. EG: like allowing only Ford to make cars because he patented round wheels. Bad patent, well ALL software patents are BAD patents in the same vein.

Re:What's wrong with software patents exactly? (4, Insightful)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 2 years ago | (#41162415)

I'm against patents because everyone is simply working by the old unproven hypothesis that patents are beneficial to society. I'm a scientist, so Prove It! In order to prove whether patents are beneficial or not we must run the experiment: Abolish them and see what happens. We didn't always have software patents, or patents at all (Ugg isn't cited as the "inventor" of fire), so we have a data point that lends credence to the idea that we don't actually need the artificial scarcity that patents and copyright create. The fashion and automotive industries also lack copyright and design patents, yet remain innovative in design, which furthers my argument for abolishing patents. No one has conclusive proof that patents are beneficial to society. Additionally, things have changed so drastically since patents and copyright were created that we need to abolish them now more than ever to see if the dawning of the Information Age has made them obsolete ideas or not.

A writer can say: Nope, not going to write this book unless I'll get paid for doing it. A software engineer can say: Nope, not going to create software unless I get paid for doing it. A musician can say: Nope, I just need to get paid when I do work, like everyone else -- Hey, guess what? Musicians already do get most of their pay via working (concerts) and merchandise, not via selling artificially scarce copies. Software engineers already get paid to make software whether or not the patent lawyer comes around and asks them: "Did you create anything this month that might be patentable?" No software engineer is searching the patent database for solutions they can implement and license -- We all just do the job. In fact, I've been instructed on a few jobs to Never access the PTO database from the office -- Treble damages if you have prior knowledge. Technology companies only benefit by patents via weaponizing them, this hurts competition. Furthermore, If it's possible to accidently stumble across a patent, then it's damn obvious by definition.

So, This person is actually against ALL patents, including software patents. I find the idea that software can be an original invention to be ridiculous because the first time someone accidentally infringes a patent via "independent invention" they're prohibited from using it while someone else is allowed to use the idea. That means you're awarding the research of one inventor and Punishing all the other researchers that come across the idea later. Why do you think the FIRST person to think of something should be the ONLY person to benefit from their own work? Software patents are by and large OBVIOUS, otherwise we wouldn't be stumbling across them. The non obvious ones aren't needed since no one accidentally implements them. WE EXPLICITLY TRY NOT TO LOOK AT THEM! THE PATENTS ARE WORTHLESS!

Re:What's wrong with software patents exactly? (1)

pantaril (1624521) | about 2 years ago | (#41164111)

I think most people who are against software patents are actually against stupid patents, "design" patents, and not against the idea that software could be an original invention that entitles its creator to protection.

I don't think so. Most people i know, who are against software patents (including me), are actualy against the idea that you should be able to patent some piece of code for many years in a field which is developing so dynamicaly, that years of monopoly on some invetion will clearly hinder the technological progress.

Maori Dance (-1, Troll)

SwampChicken (1383905) | about 2 years ago | (#41161251)

...needs updating to... ...simply punching foreigners in the face.

Re:Maori Dance (1)

linatux (63153) | about 2 years ago | (#41161597)

Bad for tourism - only the Poms would keep coming.

New Zealand as Vince Gilligan and DFowley see it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41162037)

. . .

JOHN: Oh look, Mr. No Life speaks out! You take your vacations in the commissary, Gilligan!

VINCE: Screw you, Shiban. Last year, I went to New Zealand!

BEAT

FRANK: New what?

JOHN: Isn't that in Holland or some place?

KIM: You go to Holland, Vince? You got family there? It's nice. All those tulips and shit.

VINCE: Not Holland, New Zealand! It's a country!

KIM: Yeah, in Europe. What's your point?

VINCE: That's Zeeland, Geography King! Zeeland isn't a country!

ROB: You just said it was!

FRANK: It's no wonder this show is so inconsistent.

VINCE: New Zealand is a country in the South Pacific.

JOHN: You mean Fiji?

VINCE stares at JOHN.

VINCE: If I meant Fiji, why would I say New Zealand? That's like saying Aspen is Denver! What the hell is wrong with you? Now can you please shut up, I'm working on a story idea, here.

FRANK: Yeah, well, whatever, it sounds like a groin infection to me.

VINCE: So what the hell would you know, Frank? It's a great place.

KIM: Can you speak Dutch? I never realized Gilligan was a Dutch name.

VINCE stares at KIM.

VINCE: Manners, why would I speak Dutch? I don't go to Holland. New Zealand is not Dutch. Neither is Gilligan.

JOHN: So, do you speak New Zealandic?

FRANK laughs.

FRANK: New Zealandic!

VINCE: They speak English, Shiban. Better than you. Can we have some quiet, now?

VINCE tries to plug his ears but soon gives up because he needs a free hand with which to write.

ROB: So, I guess, what, they have those missionaries and stuff there? Or else, where did they learn English?

VINCE: From fortune cookies! Where do you think they learned it? They went to school, for Christ's sake, unlike you.

ROB: Hey, I went to school.

FRANK: But what do they normally speak?

VINCE: English! Jesus! Will you all please just shut up?

KIM: Wow, Gilligan, calm down. I always thought the Dutch were placid people.

VINCE: New Zealand is not Dutch! It's almost part of Australia! Ever hear of a place called Australia? They speak English there, too.

FRANK: Pfft, right! Try understanding a fucking word they say! I've been to Australia. It was nothing like Crocodile Dundee.

JOHN: Oh yeah?

FRANK: Seriously, it was kind of like England, only with sunshine and freaky accents. FOX have a Lot there.

ROB: Warners do, too. My brother's been there. Hated it.

FRANK: This one time, I was in a restaurant in Sydney or somewhere, and an Australian woman at the next table asked the waiter for a "norf". Mel and I wondered what the fuck a "norf" was until the waiter came back. Do you know what it was?

KIM: What?

FRANK: A fucking "knife"!

ROB: Australians call them "norfs"?

FRANK: It's their accent. Fucking bizarre as shit, I tell ya.

VINCE: God, you guys are morons. Why can't I have my own show? Or at least just my own trailer.

KIM: Vince, you need to learn to chill, man. This stress is not healthy.

VINCE stares at KIM. Again.

FRANK: So what the hell is in this New Whatever place? It's a long way to go just to speak English with the natives.

VINCE: Forget it.

ROB: Aw, come on Vince, don't be like that. Is this place good, or what?

VINCE: It's a beautiful place. Totally wasted on schmucks like you.

FRANK: Is it like Tahiti?

VINCE: No! Jesus Christ. Well, okay, maybe some parts of it are. It's much bigger than Tahiti, I think. It's about the size of Colorado but only has about three million people or something. Mountains and snow and lakes and stuff. Some really nice beaches.

KIM: Sounds like Palm Springs.

ROB: There are no fucking beaches at Palm Springs! Christ, Manners.

KIM: So, I was half right. Sue me.

CHRIS CARTER arrives.

CHRIS: What are you guys doing?

JOHN: Working! Why aren't you?

CHRIS: Fuck yourself, Shiban! How far have you guys got with a story?

FRANK: Is this a riddle? I love riddles!

JOHN: Hey, yeah, a man walks into a bar and pulls out a story-

CHRIS: Yeah, great, funny as leprosy. Any ideas yet?

KIM: Nah. We've been trying, but Vince wouldn't stop interrupting us with his Dutch vacation stories.

VINCE: Hey, fuck you-

CHRIS: Jesus, Vince, we don't have time for clogs and windmills! Come up with something!

. . .

Ripped with apologies from Ode to a John Doe, by the great "DFowley."

Corruption (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41162593)

Shameful, and highly damaging to the reputation of New Zealand as a democracy.

EU has software patents? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41163451)

As far as I know, the EU currently does not have Software Patents. Has the 'such as' loophole be tried in court properly yet?

All in all, I'm not surprised we are getting it up the bumhole ...

Evil (2)

fa2k (881632) | about 2 years ago | (#41163789)

Nice to see that Microsoft hasn't given up on being evil, it seemed like they were letting Apple win for a while.

How it went down (4, Insightful)

Legion303 (97901) | about 2 years ago | (#41163971)

"Nice country you got here, New Zealand (*knocks framed picture off desk*). Oops, sorry about that. Accidents happen from time to time, if you catch my drift. Say, I hear you're drafting some new patent law. Why don't my boys here go over it with you to check for grammar and the like?"

Re:How it went down (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41165151)

With the current smarmy git it would have been more like;
"Hi john hows the wife ... yeah good bbq last weekend. listen we were talking at the office and we have a few sugestions"

Disclaimer I was layed of by the shit in one of his no layoff budget cuts. And I vote left.

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