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EU Parliament to Vote on New Patent Rules

michael posted more than 11 years ago | from the patent-foolishness dept.

Patents 252

peter_sd writes "The Register has an article discussing the implications to the open source community and small software businesses of the new software patent law to be voted on tomorrow by the EU parliament. According to the article, it is very likely the new patent law will be accepted despite its grave consequences."

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FP! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6327661)

FIRST POST!

PETITION FOR THE REMOVAL OF MICHAEL (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6327662)

from the editorial staff at Slashdot! Do your part today and make Slashdot a great website again!

Re:PETITION FOR THE REMOVAL OF MICHAEL (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6327715)

Michael can take his lover-boy Timothy with him when he goes.

Bye-Bye Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6327669)

"...the new patent laws would effectively make the use of Linux within the EU a crime..."

I guess all of you America-bashing socialists will have to stop complaining about Clinton's DMCA now.

Re:Bye-Bye Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6327697)

Kindly post the offending sentencd goatse

What we need... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6327674)

People to get software patents and license them ONLY for use in GPL'd software. It would be similar to making copyright into copyleft.

Re:What we need... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6327732)

You mean we should now PAY to have some overkill copyright protection ? The cost of a patent in Europe is somewhere around 5000, no independant developer can afford this kind of registration.

creative commons (4, Insightful)

poptones (653660) | more than 11 years ago | (#6327754)

It's called creative commons. If more people would register new work here then there could exist a database of prior art such that it would become increasingly hard to defend patents in court.

There's little, however, that can be done (in today's corporatist environment) to prevent the granting of idiotic patents. That pretty much means there's nothing to be done about companies "buying markets" unless (or until) there exists an organization that would have an economic interest in defending against such practices.

No, in theory that could be the creative commons itself - i.e. acting as an IP defense fund in the interest of registrants and using the income from settlements and judgements to fund more actions. The problem there is, of course, that if it actually became successful at this then it's quite easy to see how people would then become critical of the org itself, bitching that it was an organization of judicial elite exploiting "free knowledge" to line it's own pockets. Whether or not there was any validity to thius would, of course, depending on the leadership of the organization. But it is a start, and there does exist a good bit of potential there - both for good, and for abuse.

Re:What we need... (4, Insightful)

arth1 (260657) | more than 11 years ago | (#6327758)

The only way to prevent an obvious patent only submitted for future litigation purposes is to beat the lawyers to it.

What we need is a good site for registering "prior art". Where peoplee in the open source communities (and everyone else with an interest) can submit their ideas along with proof of a working implementation to prevent patents to be applied.

It would double as an open idea bazaar, where people can submit and draw from ideas of others.

Anyone think this could work?

Regards,
--
*Art

Re:What we need... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6327864)

We need a pool of prior art, but even more than that we need a pool of defensive patents.

IP holders can use their patents to countersue when a claim is made against them. This immediately puts open developers at a disadvantage... even if there's prior art to defend against previously-developed ideas[1], there is no way to defend against obvious ideas that have been patented.

[1] Even though "ideas" were ostensibly once non-patentable, that's obviously not the case anymore.

You won't win. (4, Insightful)

twitter (104583) | more than 11 years ago | (#6327932)

What we need is a good site for registering "prior art". Where peoplee in the open source communities (and everyone else with an interest) can submit their ideas along with proof of a working implementation to prevent patents to be applied.

The current SCO/IBM trials should be a stark warning for how well this will work. You will have lost with the first patent you fail to get. Your enemies will be taking your money to pay their lawyers to steal more or your ideas. That is what SCO is doing, now isn't it? It's not like they developed anything, ever. Is this what you want? In the end, you will be no better than your enemies or you will not exist.

Self preservation is not an ideological argument. If the EU does this, large US companies will crush EU software developers, free software will die and all EU governments will end up running M$. These beurcrats need to do a typical M$ install and push that "I submit" button a few times. There's no two ways about it, dipshits like Bezos will flood their system with junk just like they do the US system. This EU deal with the devil will leave the EU burnt.

Re:What we need... (1)

Arandir (19206) | more than 11 years ago | (#6327964)

Then you couldn't use the patents in such Free Software as Apache, XFree86, Python, much of KDE, etc. And if the patent laywers were anal enough, they wouldn't let it be used in in the Linux kernel either, because with its exception it's no longer 100% pure GPL.

Where are we free to develop? (1)

bsharitt (580506) | more than 11 years ago | (#6327678)

So where can we go to unencumbered by software patents?

Re:Where are we free to develop? (4, Interesting)

JoeBuck (7947) | more than 11 years ago | (#6327689)

In particular, the Debian non-us site might have to moved to a country that is not in the European Union (so they can continue to distribute multimedia apps that infringe software patents).

Where are we free to develop?-Self-inflicted. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6327703)

"So where can we go to unencumbered by software patents?"

Wherever man isn't.

Re:Where are we free to develop? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6327723)

you mean where are you free to steal other peoples ideas, code, etc and not face any punishment? or did i misunderstand you.

Excuse me, kind sir.... (-1)

News For Turds (580751) | more than 11 years ago | (#6327727)

Please put my balls in your mouth.

Re:Where are we free to develop? (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 11 years ago | (#6327936)

Development is not what patent law hinders. It's use.

Ready! Aim! Patent! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6327684)

"According to the article, it is very likely the new patent law will be accepted despite its grave consequences."

For whom? The passer, or the passee?

We (probably) lost this round (4, Insightful)

Martin Kallisti (652377) | more than 11 years ago | (#6327686)

It is really a pity that they did not listen more to the companies against software patents, user groups, petitions, and people like Smets-Solanes (who wrote a very interesting paper on the subject). The end result will likely be a smaller number of actors on the market, due to higher information costs, the need of negotiating cross-licensing with other actors and other stupid, unproductive patent related invention-stifling activities. There is no such thing as a law that can not be revoked, though, so keep on fighting.

That's because we were incompetent (4, Insightful)

devphil (51341) | more than 11 years ago | (#6327832)


As the Register article points out, one of the reasons we're going to lose is that we didn't even try to convince them. We shouted, we hurled abuse, we held huge meetings and didn't invite the other side, but we didn't actually contact them with an explanation of why the proposed change was bad. ("Open letters" don't do shit, no matter how well-written they are.)

or not seeing the obvious solutions.. (2, Interesting)

zogger (617870) | more than 11 years ago | (#6327938)

yes, they said wining and dining and flattering were the approved methods, which is another way of saying bribing and scmoozing and conning.

It's all tied together, these and so many other apparently illogical actions on the part of many current governments...

There's a solution, but it involves a more... umm... pro active response on the part of millions of people, all acting in concert with each other, across the EU..and the US....

We will have a few superpowers in name, all run by a handful of multinational corporations.

Hey look! A derivative work, probably violates some law! And I don't care!

ya code sixteen hours

and waddaya get

another day older and deeper in debt...

St. Linus doncha call me

cause I can't g-o-o-o-o-o...

I owe my soul to de company sto...

Say What? (1, Interesting)

tds67 (670584) | more than 11 years ago | (#6327687)

And this will probably mean a shift of power from small software companies and the open source community to large multi-national corporations.

A shift? As if "large multi-national corporations" haven't always had the upper hand anyway?

If Free software is outlawed... (5, Funny)

chill (34294) | more than 11 years ago | (#6327693)

...only outlaws will have Free software.

Vote postponed, time to get organised (5, Informative)

ciaran_o_riordan (662132) | more than 11 years ago | (#6327694)

Great News
The vote has been postponed until September 1st.
All info at:
http://swpat.ffii.org/news/03/plen0626/index.en.ht ml [ffii.org]

This means we must have their attention.

Please contact your national FreeSoftware or digital-freedom group to organise an Adopt-an-MEP campaign. If the vote did take place tomorrow, we would lose but with the help of a few concerned citizens, we will win.

Ciaran O'Riordan

Re:Vote postponed, time to get organised (3, Insightful)

Klaruz (734) | more than 11 years ago | (#6327749)

I saw something the other day about an MP (that's what they're called, right?) who said he'd never seen such and outpouring of support from the people against a law (or EU direction, sorry, I'm not 100% on EU politics) ever. Almost nobody was for it.

I think the article went on to say that despite it being against the people's wishes, it was going to pass. It's what the US wants, and it's what the corps want. It doesn't matter what the people think.

Does anybody have a link to that article?

Re:Vote postponed, time to get organised (1)

tds67 (670584) | more than 11 years ago | (#6327751)

The Joker said in the first Batman movie, "Where does he get those wonderful toys?"

I say to you, sir, "Where does he get those wonderful links?"

Re:Vote postponed, time to get organised (4, Insightful)

sn00ker (172521) | more than 11 years ago | (#6327806)

This is indeed good news.
However, for it to actually make the slightest bit of difference the points raised in the parent article must be noted.

Abusing the MEPs is not a good use of time. Neither is trying to sway them using the David-and-Goliath argument.
In a perfect world, RMS would keep his mouth shut. The man does far more damage to the cause than he does good. If someone's willing to lock him in a sound-proof room 'til after the vote, it might be a good idea.
Given that Finland is an EU member, and Linus is a Finn (assuming he hasn't become a US citizen), he would be a very good person to get to speak to MEPs. As a constituent, he has a legitimate voice. As a highly visible, respected figure within the community that will be most affected by this law change, his opinions will carry weight. He is also known as something of a moderate (contrast his relatively muted statements with the vitriol of RMS, for example), and politicians are more likely to listen to moderates than extremists unless the extremist position is amenable to their own.

Re:Vote postponed, time to get organised (4, Insightful)

ciaran_o_riordan (662132) | more than 11 years ago | (#6327893)

I very strongly dissagree.

Knocking RMS is quite popular among armchair generals but he is an inspiration to the people getting real work done on software freedom issues.

His software patents speech makes the issues very easy to understand:
http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~mgk25/stallm an-patents.ht ml

He has also brought the issues to the mass media through an article he and Nick Hill wrote for The Guardian (UK newspaper):
http://www.guardian.co.uk/Print/0,385 8,4683640,00. html

RMS has mobilized large numbers of people in the EU to fight this directive. Without his work, I and many others would not be working on this issue at all.

Ciaran O'Riordan

Re:Vote postponed, time to get organised (2, Interesting)

sn00ker (172521) | more than 11 years ago | (#6327962)

Fine, he's good at mobilising the troops. There's no doubt about that. However, when he speaks to the politicians he takes aim squarely at both feet with heavy artillery.
Motivating the geeks is important, nay essential. But motivating the geeks isn't enough. One must sway the MEPs, and RMS's petulant, vitriolic attacks on IP are not the way to go about it.

Help from the other side of the pond? (2)

jbn-o (555068) | more than 11 years ago | (#6327875)

Ciaran O'Riordan, what can Americans do to help?

First Patent!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6327696)

int i = 0; //EU Software Patent #00000000001

Pay Me Suckas!!!

Re:First Patent!!! (2, Funny)

tds67 (670584) | more than 11 years ago | (#6327762)

int i = 0; //EU Software Patent #00000000001

int j = 0; //EU Software Patent #00000000002

Stay away from my letter.

Re:First Patent!!! (0)

tds67 (670584) | more than 11 years ago | (#6327777)

int i = 0; //EU Software Patent #00000000001

Okay, I've changed my mind...I'll license it from you.

int j = i; //Licensed from EU Software Patent #00000000001

Re:First Patent!!! (1)

BigRedFish (676427) | more than 11 years ago | (#6327951)

Dear posters:

I am writing to inform you that your posts in the reply chain entitled 'First Patent!!!' and its derivitave replies are in violation of FishSoft's patent regarding statement termination (patent #000000000.1-alpha).

Please be aware that the use of the semicolon (;) character for the termination of statements in a programming language is the registered intellectual property of FishSoft. You are hereby ordered to cease and desisit use of the semicolon character as a line terminator in your postings, source code, and derivative works.

Our counsel at the law firm of Vinnie and Guido will be contacting you shortly to discuss protec^D^D^D^D^D^D^D^D^Dlicensing fees.

Good for them (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6327706)

After listening to you assholes whine about how there "shouldn't be such a thing as intellectual property", the last thing I'd be inclined to do is give you retards even a single inch.

God knows you'd take a foot, and before long you'll end up sleeping on my couch because you can't afford to pay rent. Fucking commies.

Re:Good for them (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6327738)

Had you been reading your homework, you would probably have managed to divulge that intellectual property and patents are two fundamentally different things. IP is to hinder people from making duplicates of a creator's work. Patents are for stimulating invention within industries through awarding inventors a time limited "unfair" advantage. The reason people are against patents in the software industry is because they believe that it will instead lower the rate of invention, and also obstruct fair competition. Flange basket.

Re:Good for them (2, Insightful)

BigBadBri (595126) | more than 11 years ago | (#6327765)

Oh, dear.

Sorry if we upset your little picture of the world, but the biggest argument against software patents isn't that we're not allowed to sleep on your couch or to steal your ideas.

If you're clever enough to come up with a new business process (as opposed to manufacturing processes, which patenting was invented for), then you have the right (until your competitors analyse the situation and fight you for market share) to grab as much land as you can.

Patents are intended to protect inventions - as a mathematician, I can prove (beyond all reasonable doubt) that all computer programs follow from all others, therefore all are obvious. Patents are therefore not applicable to software.

Re:Good for them (4, Interesting)

BigBadBri (595126) | more than 11 years ago | (#6327837)

Sorry - forgot the proof.

1. All computers are Turing-complete. They may be mapped to the natural numbers.
2. From Godel's Theorem, all true theorems in a mathematical system are derivable via an obvious procedure from the axioms of the system.

3. Turing machines are equivalent to the mathematical system describing natural numbers.

4. All computers are therefore mappable to the set of natural numbers, and all processes performable by a particular computer are therefore mapped to a pair of natural numbers.

From the above, all computers, and all programs that terminate, can be mapped to the natural numbers.

A simple enumeration (though it may take some time) would therefore cover all software.

All software is obvious. QED.

Re:Good for them (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 11 years ago | (#6327957)

Patents are intended to protect inventions

The problem with your proof is that the premise is wrong. Patents protect implementations, not inventions, discoveries, etc.

LZW per se is not patentable. LZW using a computer to compress images is.

Petition (4, Informative)

zmooc (33175) | more than 11 years ago | (#6327717)

If you don't like this - which you should:P, please sign this petition [eurolinux.org] .

I hope they don't pass the rules (3, Insightful)

Azadre (632442) | more than 11 years ago | (#6327721)

If this passes, it could slow or even halt the development of the open source community. SCO and Microsoft could claim an open source OS like SuSE stole something from their OSes. We'd like to make the defendent pay all the court costs and we'd like to sue them for their use of the MS logo. - A prosucutor in a Berlin Court

Re:I hope they don't pass the rules (3, Interesting)

poptones (653660) | more than 11 years ago | (#6327879)

If this passes, it could slow or even halt the development of the open source community.

You mena the way closing napster shut down all that file trading and development of new file trading apps?

SCO and Microsoft could claim an open source OS like SuSE stole something from their OSes

Whoopdeefucking doo. How is that going to stop open source development? How is that going to prevent organizations from using software they can get anywhere on the internet?

If anything, this absurdly extreme scenario you've constructed would be good for worldwide competition, since it's dead certain countries like China and Ukraine would become even MORE wary of signing onto the (extremist) WTO model of "IP enforcement." The only possible responses to this would then be either to adopt more sensical rules or abdandon all hopes of exploiting license agreements across increasingly large chunks of the globe. Ideally it would even cause a complete collapse of the Berne convention, although that's probably far too grand a dream.

The Register Proves again: apathy sucks (5, Interesting)

Travoltus (110240) | more than 11 years ago | (#6327722)

The Register said (at http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/4/31472.html) :
It is politicians who make the law, and it is politicians who need to be persuaded if the law is to move in the direction that you desire it to. But while they are a peculiar and varied breed, there are three things you can be fairly certain will not hold much sway with them:

1. Ideological argument. Politicians are nothing if not pragmatic. Their very survival is based on seeing which way the wind is blowing and adjusting accordingly

2. Little-man defence. Politicians will not risk upsetting rich and powerful people and companies unless there is a principle at stake: that principle being that the government ultimately decides. Therefore arguing a point on the basis that it will restrict or impair a powerful body is counterproductive

3. Criticism. Politicians do not respond well to criticism. In fact, the more they get, the more stubborn they become. Flattery is the surest route to their heart, and this means making them feel important. Wining and dining, listening, applauding their insight and then putting your point across

1) That means profits over politics. The Open Source movement should have found some weapon to blackmail politicians into not allowing these new patent law changes to pass. For instance: "If you pass these laws these particular (thousands of) businesses will flee Europe and go elsewhere and take hundreds of thousands of jobs with them."

2) Tyranny of the few is still as true now as it has ever been. Hello, feudalism! Er, welcome back. Er, feudalism never really left!

3) Long live sycophantry!

We need less 'irony'ism and apathy, and more hard core fanaticism in this society.

But we need something more than just a plea. (3, Interesting)

jbn-o (555068) | more than 11 years ago | (#6327823)

The Open Source movement should have found some weapon to blackmail politicians into not allowing these new patent law changes to pass. For instance: "If you pass these laws these particular (thousands of) businesses will flee Europe and go elsewhere and take hundreds of thousands of jobs with them."

This is more a reply to the Register than to Travoltus' post, but did it occur to Kieren McCarthy that blackmailing politicians into action is not the kind of government most people want and that we are trying to exhibit the kind of considered action we want to see more of in our government? I would not consider doing one's homework and presenting a complete case "blackmailing", so perhaps that wasn't the best language for the author to pick.

I have some experience working on political campaigns (two local: one Congressional, one for local city council) and I'm active in my community on a number of other issues, so I'm aware of McCarthy's argument and how to wage it. And it would be valuable to do the research to be able to make that argument. But I think this is one of the weaknesses of the free software and open source movements--we don't mobilize our varied talents well.

Does anyone reading this have the skill needed to address the jobs concern? Or know of anyone who can help? We need help now.

I'm quite familiar with Stallman's excellent speech on the matter of software patents and how it adversely affects free software development. Part of that speech encourages us to consider that patents for one area of endeavor doesn't mean all areas of endeavor should have patents. Has this point been made clear to legislators? Has it been supported with examples of areas where patents would be a big problem (two hypothetical examples off the top of my head: legal argument strategies and surgical techniques--either of which could both lead to people losing their lives due to waiting for the patent holder to choose to represent or operate on them)?

Re:But we need something more than just a plea. (1)

Travoltus (110240) | more than 11 years ago | (#6327907)

It was me who put in the blackmailing part (the stupid site messed up my Blockquote tags so the two sets of quotes look all enmeshed! Damn!!)

Our governments need to listen to principles more than what is 'pragmatic' (i.e. "profitable for the powers that be"). But then again we also need to re-think our ethics which give all the concern to the people on top at the expense of everyone on the bottom who support the ones up on top.

Re:But we need something more than just a plea. (0)

frankmanowar (583879) | more than 11 years ago | (#6327990)

But then again we also need to re-think our ethics which give all the concern to the people on top at the expense of everyone on the bottom who support the ones up on top.

Every time we cast a vote, we basically declare that we are leaving it up to them. And every time we pay are taxes we are consenting to their decisions.

I like Thoreau's comparison of voting to gamming: we are declaring feebly to other men how we would like things to be, but we are not actually doing anything about it.

Re:The Register Proves again: apathy sucks (2, Insightful)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 11 years ago | (#6327928)

"We need less 'irony'ism and apathy, and more hard core fanaticism in this society."

Um... hello? "Ironic" and "apathetic" people don't vote. It's the "hard core fanatics" who are die-hard party loyalists that keep these people in office to begin with.

What we need is less of either of these kinds of people and more truly informed and concerned voters.

Spreading FUD (3, Insightful)

Branka96 (628759) | more than 11 years ago | (#6327724)

We have software patents in the US and have had it for many years. I'm not aware of any case where Microsoft or any other big company is trying to shutdown an Open Source project using patent laws. The claim that "with patent law allowed, the floodgates would be opened and Linux distributors swamped and bankrupted by court claims - with Microsoft leading the charge." is baseless.

Re:Spreading FUD (2, Interesting)

greppling (601175) | more than 11 years ago | (#6327760)

The problem starts much earlier than with a law suit shutting down a project. Just the impression that a project might get into troubles with IP issues can severely hinder its acceptance in the business world.

The Linux kernel mailing list had long flamewars over patents for realtime Linux due to this. And, IIRC, in one of the MS memos posted by ESR they stated that possible trouble with patents was the most successful message to deter managers from steering towards FS/OSS.

Re:Spreading FUD (0)

Java no not that jav (639460) | more than 11 years ago | (#6327770)

one word SCO?
STFU

Except that it's not FUD (3, Insightful)

pslam (97660) | more than 11 years ago | (#6327782)

We have software patents in the US and have had it for many years. I'm not aware of any case where Microsoft or any other big company is trying to shutdown an Open Source project using patent laws.

It is, dare I say, ironic that Microsoft hasn't engaged in that activity, but there are plenty of other big companies that have and still are trying to shut down open source projects using patent laws. I'm not even going to bother quoting any, there's so many instances.

The claim that "with patent law allowed, the floodgates would be opened and Linux distributors swamped and bankrupted by court claims - with Microsoft leading the charge." is baseless.

You neatly chopped off the start of that quote, "The fear is that with patent law allowed...". They're not claiming anything, they're just giving a likely scenario. The aggressive anti-Linux retoric of the heads of Microsoft and their dubious involvement in the SCO vs Linux nonsense is enough to give weight to that outcome being likely.

living under a rock (2, Interesting)

73939133 (676561) | more than 11 years ago | (#6327803)

We have software patents in the US and have had it for many years.

For most of its history, the US software industry developed in the virtual absence of patents. Widespread use of software patents is largely a phenomenon of the late 1990s.

I'm not aware of any case where Microsoft or any other big company is trying to shutdown an Open Source project using patent laws.

People usually don't even start open source software projects that might infringe software patents. If they do, they usually do so in nations where the patents don't apply, and as a consequence will have a hard time reaching critical mass in the US.

Software patents also have had a chilling effect on commercial development. And they are a drag on research, costing enormous amounts of money to obtain and having little commercial benefit.

As for Microsoft, they didn't use to have a patent portfolio. But, in the spirit of mutually-assured destruction, they have been catching up fast. Expect direct or indirect Microsoft claims against open source projects soon.

Re:Spreading FUD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6327836)

I'm not aware of any case where Microsoft or any other big company is trying to shutdown an Open Source project using patent laws.

The big company is called Unisys. The patent covered GIFs. Now you are aware of such a case.

Re:Spreading FUD (2, Interesting)

tds67 (670584) | more than 11 years ago | (#6327891)

The big company is called Unisys. The patent covered GIFs. Now you are aware of such a case.

Although I agree with your point, that patent expired on June 20, 2003. When it was active, it encouraged more innovation in the form of .PNG files. So perhaps there is a silver lining in the cloudiness of this issue--and that is that Open Source is tough enough to survive this should the worst happen.

Re:Spreading FUD (3, Interesting)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 11 years ago | (#6327852)

Try SCO.

SySVR4 is about to expire but has not yet. This explains their frantic lawsuit phase. Yes the lawsuit with IBM is about an internal agreement between SCO and IBM and not patent or copyright issues but it does give SCO power.

The whole reason why they are suing is because IBM had no choice but to license SySV from USL because they had a patent on it.

Linus himself maybe sued if this case is won or lost because Linux uses SySV. Linus also stated he does not believe in patents which makes a damming case agaisnt him since SCO lawyers can use it as proof of a corporate espianage conspiracy. Unlike the current SCO case which is mostly hogwash a patent lawsuit and injunction to end Linux is certainly favorable.

Anway my point is if software patents did not exist we would not have this mess. They are a threat and yes bussinesses like Unisys do sue for damages when they are abused. SCO is no execption.

I also remember a very old slashdot article which showed 5 patent violations just at slashdot's website. I think the big one is using fonts to display information.

Re:Spreading FUD (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 11 years ago | (#6327918)

Try SCO.

From what I recall SCO doesn't own any UNIX patents - they are still property of Novell.

Re:Spreading FUD (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 11 years ago | (#6327929)

Nope SCO laywers proved that they did infact own the patents. Novell still has vested interest as stated in the contracts but the buyout specifically states that SCO has a right to protect the IP and has full power to do so. That includes all patent infringment cases.

Re:Spreading FUD (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 11 years ago | (#6327994)

Nope SCO laywers proved that they did infact own the patents.

Nope. SCO came up with an amendment to the contract showing they owned copyrights. They have not presented any evidence that they own any patents. SCO has not stated publically anywhere that Novell is incorrect in their claim that Novell owns the patents.

http://www.planetanalog.com/pressreleases/prnews wi re/80620the

specifically states that SCO has a right to protect the IP and has full power to do so

It doesn't matter what any contract says - if you don't own the patent you have no standing in a court of law to claim infringement. Period.

Nigger nigger nigger nigger coon! c40f03abf515eb94 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6327748)

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the problem of the civilized world (1)

Java no not that jav (639460) | more than 11 years ago | (#6327753)

it seems that if one of the 'big' (powerfull) countries decieds to tuffen laws on patents or copy rights all of the others folow suit no matter how terable these new laws are. for instance the u.s. used this justification the last time it extended copy right terms. not once do these polititions consider wheather it is in the best interests of the general public. this shit really pisses me off. :)
whats the point of a copyright that never ends?

Re:the problem of the civilized world (4, Interesting)

poptones (653660) | more than 11 years ago | (#6327919)

Ask the people of Poland. Warsaw has a rich legacy of creative and talented artisans filling its hotels and apartments, yet "the public domain" is owned by the government. Mexico is also considering adopting this model - that is, copyright has a limited term (in Mexico's case they are talking an entire century) and then, when it becomes "public domain" you may still have to negotiate a commerce contract with the government, because it now owns "public domain."

Sounds scary, huh? But consider this: if the government - that means all those politicians hungry for tax dollars - had to weigh on the one hand lengthening copyright terms and, on the other, lengthening the time until they could exploit this new tax revenue base, which way do you think they will vote?

Ironically, the solution may very well begin with encouraging Mexico to adopt this model. At that point you can bet the Hollywood lobbyists will then be calling for a century of protection in the US "so we can keep up" - but if we (the people) then advance and lobby for the other side of this enforcement - that is, making sure the government has an economic incentive in preserving "the public domain" - then we could well begin to take back some of the territory lost to Disney and its ilk.

Re:the problem of the civilized world (0)

Java no not that jav (639460) | more than 11 years ago | (#6327943)

dude thats some scarry stuff... the end of free knowledge as we know it.

typical europe (-1)

ReLik (599554) | more than 11 years ago | (#6327757)

i`m british, and this is exactly what the eu is, a piece of shit.

we want, and need to get out NOW.

Attention trolls, we must unite! 89dc854da356e13b8 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6327761)

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Attention trolls, we must unite! 61ca24d2d6c58023d (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6327771)

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Re:Attention trolls, we must unite! 61ca24d2d6c580 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6327828)

Can you post a "html tag to text" version so we can copy and paste?

Attention trolls, we must unite! b0263bc40e0ff50f4 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6327784)

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Attention trolls, we must unite! 488c2841035bf8ce2 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6327788)

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Attention trolls, we must unite! afa3cfee593e32407 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6327789)

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Attention trolls, we must unite! 10e00f872b5f454f4 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6327791)

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Attention trolls, we must unite! 6c2119de0d8802aae (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6327792)

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Someday... (1)

jabbadabbadoo (599681) | more than 11 years ago | (#6327795)

...someone will patent a very general method for patenting and then put the patent in a box and throw away the key. Surely, this patent will be accepted by at least the US Patent Office, putting themselves out of business.

Attention trolls, we must unite! 46068977c54a03252 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6327796)

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Attention trolls, we must unite! 7868a68054cdb428f (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6327798)

Propaganda [foxnews.com] Lies [foxnews.com] Bullshit [foxnews.com] Fake News [foxnews.com] Vast Right Wing Conspiracy [foxnews.com] Yellow Journalism [foxnews.com]

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Attention trolls, we must unite! fb042e7a5b7716fd0 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6327800)

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Attention trolls, we must unite! 4270a2f34cd351ec2 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6327802)

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Attention trolls, we must unite! 4056cba83ccdca089 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6327804)

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Attention trolls, we must unite! d4628323c92ad9c2c (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6327805)

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Attention trolls, we must unite! b1105d1b80aa622af (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6327807)

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eca4ab852e3adfc863d6ebac95b612e6754b8fde508be747 48 bb02907c2409d93df416f5b8103355883cfd1517442cda7cb3 a78e987998c38428cb6b0dea72230fc632b0c1b7492ab059bc 63e9a445c4811407aefa83b235b4c10aab0a3c9542bd50f363 001990ee1fe5d798702b1d5b0dc64a4b9b4c8d205734751c15 5d528f9029e8997581c32cccf0f8a0057698812a305437dff3 8f3b83f52900567a91ed0a688ad7351b2e3cfec7ee3112206e 6be038fc8b030e75e831dec03a1111c41e04eb7ca1e3f6a1f0 d264e5206e3866886ef66b514a65b974dd0eeb41a0296300e3 0b9cf9da296549303715af6230a539

Attention trolls, we must unite! 91983ccf17b320097 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6327808)

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Attention trolls, we must unite! c0c0dbed43d262274 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6327809)

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1f9c08773630830addf44a35557d9ccde965af4bd5780161 f1 7d2bea7f7a2581

The EU is an unelected dictatorship (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6327810)

20 un-elected council members rule the EU. Its completely non-democratic. The EU sucks.

Re:The EU is an unelected dictatorship (0)

frankmanowar (583879) | more than 11 years ago | (#6327969)

I'm glad somebody else noticed that. As if the electoral process wasn't enough to take the steam out of democracy, the EU can ensure the selling of its very soul.

Can virii and software exploits be patented? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6327813)

I see them as a growth industry when software giants try to crush open source developers with bogus software patents.

Attention trolls, we must unite! bf99ef9164ac828f4 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6327815)

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Scientology [xenu.net] Scientology [scientology-lies.com] Scientology [factnet.org] Scientology [scientology-kills.org] Scientology [whyaretheydead.net]

anusfeast [slashdotbot.com]

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Attention trolls, we must unite! 5ca8b60d120434a11 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6327835)

Propaganda [foxnews.com] Lies [foxnews.com] Bullshit [foxnews.com] Fake News [foxnews.com] Vast Right Wing Conspiracy [foxnews.com] Yellow Journalism [foxnews.com]

Scientology [xenu.net] Scientology [scientology-lies.com] Scientology [factnet.org] Scientology [scientology-kills.org] Scientology [whyaretheydead.net]

anusfeast [slashdotbot.com]

4fc75bcab475def464a6be24e947b14fb9c2922762f9c854 24 bacb05fdf2899bb255393829ec4b2b85559dc365351c1b9174 7b8002b99dd51d584db8e3b6ab3ea412963e013751a90654aa 344bc26efe8f62fe2aabd402d562821460d7d4c72bc7a12d32 8eca18f15d0752b9422fc06b6d15e30b4997679fea1c748d89 91a5377602980244b8793fb90d3bfb3bef1639fdb0e99c6171 89b6aeaedb3aac9199cb41c4601149dbd30948a810b8a78432 84a6a87ed8d5af6aeff8d859ffd50c5db0b9663aa14442cfbc 0e7cc6315818970b

Attention trolls, we must unite! 3f1cd3d5a530525df (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6327839)

Propaganda [foxnews.com] Lies [foxnews.com] Bullshit [foxnews.com] Fake News [foxnews.com] Vast Right Wing Conspiracy [foxnews.com] Yellow Journalism [foxnews.com]

Scientology [xenu.net] Scientology [scientology-lies.com] Scientology [factnet.org] Scientology [scientology-kills.org] Scientology [whyaretheydead.net]

anusfeast [slashdotbot.com]

3f7a1c4dcd344d17fc60cc40fdcf52a9d30b8fb43acb45b8 ff b80e6afd000785b8ab596fde54c47e4b01c9936389dcccedcc 363aeda7f5a49777a436f6029b007a4b67a56498caf8baae5c 2473e3ff02ce9658dc4560d4b6ac49748f5edf3fab7ebc6862 87f7afcdb4a2af8644b852b2ecf779950797b04af59fb80a6f 81aa2c2d307f125f783cef828b4d2c3cd1ee5569812e3f0448 6f27c1b6f6d2820e5c909a71856c84dab19ca9f753a4216cd2 d27faf67c63084cf8345243e912885f1a52a3c2fa6990ace09 492ffe927df15341bc589f975f5124b615ec978cdc39a66a41 63e013ac5312884f5970e06af8c99d9fd93cfddc3568482b5e b057efe06f16ddf844840f5720312501dda501be5e3a684c02 747b08547490f9fca80f2e5cf1

Attention trolls, we must unite! c7f4b9f70e00d94a9 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6327840)

Propaganda [foxnews.com] Lies [foxnews.com] Bullshit [foxnews.com] Fake News [foxnews.com] Vast Right Wing Conspiracy [foxnews.com] Yellow Journalism [foxnews.com]

Scientology [xenu.net] Scientology [scientology-lies.com] Scientology [factnet.org] Scientology [scientology-kills.org] Scientology [whyaretheydead.net]

anusfeast [slashdotbot.com]

30944a0207ed8eed35eba030fb6b91231d82e3e1aab5070e 53 7de3d55beac6341d9d4d9161877832dd62218307e8edfd

Attention trolls, we must unite! 49841d8df8c07eb18 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6327841)

Propaganda [foxnews.com] Lies [foxnews.com] Bullshit [foxnews.com] Fake News [foxnews.com] Vast Right Wing Conspiracy [foxnews.com] Yellow Journalism [foxnews.com]

Scientology [xenu.net] Scientology [scientology-lies.com] Scientology [factnet.org] Scientology [scientology-kills.org] Scientology [whyaretheydead.net]

anusfeast [slashdotbot.com]

b02c89251106e1fdd9d92744be9f94f276d77e63456ae930 49 d2bfe3e7356354d65862e5c9c83c81bb456b82791a198c2c98 1a459045e04319319e293c2b328796e79cebe01334a5ca7b81 3a55c609a8bb0975dd4c51e80f5a597fff07ba83bb95898200 48b36c3601d9c37444423452611b2b24a0447638dd3e8d82a0 a3c6c094b2da0fedccca119b1ae6ae30ccbceabbf3f4a09ad8 4b0adecd13c5275386db2ed9ed65624d5aa76331ad43780ccc ded5e9df2856562cedb1c8b1b9f0343a47a000405abd2de943 0b0ed3b7231ec1b69e6e78634c0cf8aa27feaac430fe5883d1 2d5b4f8795483907457f1f7aabffcb3fa14ed7b5855de1e9a3 cf48677fa60cafa5d8d1cff2526e9c9bd71ef3b4c7cc5f6cf3 2c38c1ca47bb47534611d55824ad846fd1138e66a1cacd0fb4 b86446714dff247d6ce255be2d41cf82b1d66b2ba3dd176fb6 8ba78b8297421f5a093f242d32f90f32d12aaa7d01e72ec066 83b01fba3f59cc32935ea56d3ed84872085e

Attention trolls, we must unite! a3c7d50f299a0f933 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6327842)

Propaganda [foxnews.com] Lies [foxnews.com] Bullshit [foxnews.com] Fake News [foxnews.com] Vast Right Wing Conspiracy [foxnews.com] Yellow Journalism [foxnews.com]

Scientology [xenu.net] Scientology [scientology-lies.com] Scientology [factnet.org] Scientology [scientology-kills.org] Scientology [whyaretheydead.net]

anusfeast [slashdotbot.com]

9228db1427178a9ac1bd4709da0ca6951c7836dbabd12c45 8d 20e3b35633733a

Attention trolls, we must unite! 31bb6a357c5653f40 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6327843)

Propaganda [foxnews.com] Lies [foxnews.com] Bullshit [foxnews.com] Fake News [foxnews.com] Vast Right Wing Conspiracy [foxnews.com] Yellow Journalism [foxnews.com]

Scientology [xenu.net] Scientology [scientology-lies.com] Scientology [factnet.org] Scientology [scientology-kills.org] Scientology [whyaretheydead.net]

anusfeast [slashdotbot.com]

18127f180f794f67e7cd415702226399354609a96ce4f59c 0e 3f9b4252444f51724213fb14a909fbf3bb0756728b1e00d4cf a8e7e07ac531bc3cce0203f6b20979bb27cfac1ddee3267dcd 929f6703acff3c9f5525043747472c4a35d87b464c3625f6f1 b00672a943e932214682e4bef8a7e9f5efd72a91d7de61a012 b07983

Attention trolls, we must unite! 913e417f612458e76 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6327844)

Propaganda [foxnews.com] Lies [foxnews.com] Bullshit [foxnews.com] Fake News [foxnews.com] Vast Right Wing Conspiracy [foxnews.com] Yellow Journalism [foxnews.com]

Scientology [xenu.net] Scientology [scientology-lies.com] Scientology [factnet.org] Scientology [scientology-kills.org] Scientology [whyaretheydead.net]

anusfeast [slashdotbot.com]

a814bb91697e1e997f2db0d2006e09305d89b1fde97acfe3 70 0dc0ecafec82102a63aaefec8b7491fde3ac929c1ffd147dff 6ac67c71c02e916302abc0ee5d31effea49943daf7bed59122 87f2ee5a437b8fd5e717a9f33b70048132837efd168aa7db6b 925810b453eb63028f4f770a01cbec073018465086c9752e65 08e0ec662a2fde878a9bef6370fb07c5a28705cbeed2b064ab e2fb4b0ea8b769027bee

Thank you, EU. (0, Insightful)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 11 years ago | (#6327866)

I want to persoanlly thank the EU parlement - for crippling their own software industry and thus eliminating a competitive threat to that of the US.

Now if only India, Asia, South America, and Africa would do the same.

=============

It's like protective tarrifs. "If you keep shooting off your own feet we'll have to retaliate by shooting off ours. So there!"

Welcome to the new (and growing) world order (1, Interesting)

MrLint (519792) | more than 11 years ago | (#6327876)

In this world the 'regulating' government bodies will call the regulated 'customers' (See mike powell head of the fcc) and consumer will be defacto criminals (see RIAA, MPAA etc)

I have coined a phrase for this, the high-tech dark age.

Re:Welcome to the new (and growing) world order (1)

zogger (617870) | more than 11 years ago | (#6327976)

Nice one. Goes along with my favorite phrase describing this sort of thing, "technofuedalism".

here is what you need to do (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 11 years ago | (#6327906)

Gat a lawyer, and be ready to file these patents. Patent everything in the Linux Kernel, and the GNU tools that come with most distibutions.
If GoodGuy {

Then set it up so that it and anything that could be considered a derivitive is royalty free.
}
ElseIf BadGuy {
demand royalties from anything remotley similiar
}
Else {
Go gat a mocha and wait for the /. Fallout
}

New patent system (2, Interesting)

JVert (578547) | more than 11 years ago | (#6327931)

Good news everyone I have if figured out.

Ok my the new patent system works like this, you have to apply for the patent before you actually invent it, if the invention exists at all at the time you first place you patent you are denied (this would include if you already have a product on the market and you are just now patenting it). Second your patent is put in holding where anyone else can see it and if someone else produces a working model within the time frame the patent is void.

If the point of patents is to encourage research as opposed to monopolistic tactics then this will do it.

If the point of patents is to encourage research as opposed to monopolistic tactics then this will do it.

... I dunno I figured if I said it twice maybe I could belive it.

Crapflood and The Incredible Machine (4, Interesting)

i_am_nitrogen (524475) | more than 11 years ago | (#6327956)

This story was hit by the biggest crapflood I have ever seen.. Is this what all those trojaned Windoze computers are used for? Trolling on dotslash?

Speaking of patents, one of the most ridiculous software patents I've seen in the US is the interface to the game The Incredible Machine. Nobody can make a game with gizmos used from a gizmo-bar to make things happen.

if Alan Greenspan... (0)

frankmanowar (583879) | more than 11 years ago | (#6327961)

"...doesn't have any answers..."

That's an odd comment for the author to make. I think Alan is asserting his answer by the questions he is posing, as they are formed a very certain way: Our current system protects the entrenched rich in their physical properties, and now we need to extend that protection, regardless of the concepts of freedom, liberty, or even (actual) fair trade to continue to protect the entrenched rich. In fact, we should extend it over "Intellectual Property," a vile and deceptive term, recently discuessed by R.Stallman in his column regarding the SCO Saga and what it means for GNU.

Is this really extending the rights of those who need to protect their property, or to squash "unfair competition"?

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