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331 comments

HEY (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11428601)

how many polacks does it take to get a first post?

Not to be pedantic, but.. (1, Interesting)

Dancin_Santa (265275) | more than 8 years ago | (#11428602)

If you create something really novel, even if it is in software, why *shouldn't* you be able to get a patent on it?

Re:Not to be pedantic, but.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11428631)

Because people are trying to patent things like the 'scrollbar' and 'drop menu' and such.

Re:Not to be pedantic, but.. (3, Insightful)

Sheetrock (152993) | more than 8 years ago | (#11428654)

Software shouldn't be patented. It shouldn't even be copyrighted or trademarked. There is such a short shelf life on software and software companies that the impact of denying access to techniques and logarithms effectively shuts out competition and fair use not only for the life of a product but well beyond, negatively influencing people well beyond the useful scope of any novelty that could possibly be discovered.

One only has to look at the rampant achievements and success of Free Software and Open Source to see how much the rest of the industry is being held back by software patents and other "intellectual property" restrictions.

Re:Not to be pedantic, but.. (5, Insightful)

Xepo (69222) | more than 8 years ago | (#11428734)

Um, I think you're a little confused.

Open source software, and free software *depend* on copyright. Yes, depend on it. Without copyright, then anyone could take the code, including large corporations, and modify it for their own interest, and sell it without releasing the source code. Basically, it'd defeat the point of the difference between "free", and "Free".

Software shouldn't be *patented* because you're patenting an algorithm. And computer code is a completely logical process. It'd be very similar to patenting a mathematical formula. They're both *discovered*, not really *created*. It also creates a lot of problems in enforceability, and in large corporations being able to sue anyone they please. It's not only logically wrong, but also effectively wrong. It's similar, in a way, to the DMCA in that it gives bigger corporations the power to control everyone.

Very very few people argue against copyright when it comes to software. Free software people/open source people argue against patents alone.

oh, and trademark has nothing to do with the issue. Don't lump the three under the whole "intellectual property" umbrella. You'll almost always be wrong when you do. They have very little to do with each other.

Re:Not to be pedantic, but.. (1, Interesting)

j. andrew rogers (774820) | more than 8 years ago | (#11428924)

Software shouldn't be *patented* because you're patenting an algorithm.

Newsflash: ALL patents are algorithms. Stop acting like this unique to computers. Chemical process patents, for example, are structurally and functionally indistinguishable and very obviously map into the same space as "software algorithms" and yet those are not considered controversial.

And computer code is a completely logical process. It'd be very similar to patenting a mathematical formula.

This is not an argument against anything. Everything machine is reducible to software, and every software is reducible to machine. It is a distinction without a difference. To reuse my example above, chemical process patents are not generally considered controversial here, yet every argument against software patents can be used against them because they are the exact same kind of thing.

Everyone needs to stop pretending that software patents are a special aberration. The reason this is controversial at all is that many people are trying to assert an arbitrary distinction where none exists. We either need to decide that patents are good, or patents are bad. Quibbling over meaningless distinctions between identical classes of things is completely missing the point. All it does is make it an argument purely from politics i.e. who does and does not get special protections for their particularly flavor of Kool-Aid.

Re:Not to be pedantic, but.. (5, Informative)

zerblat (785) | more than 8 years ago | (#11429059)

Pantents exist to encourage innovation by making research that wouldn't be profitable otherwise possible. Do software patents encourage innovation? Will software patents give us more software related inventions? I haven't seen any studies that indicate that. I have however seen studies that suggest the contrary, that software patents in fact inhibit research (e.g. these [researchoninnovation.org] two [dbresearch.com]).

So, tell me again why we should introduce this costly, bureaucratic and monopolistic process. Exactly how will it benifit the citizens of the EU? Will it give us new, innovative software? Will it give us more jobs (apart from all the patent lawyers, that is)?

Re:Not to be pedantic, but.. (1)

Fire Dragon (146616) | more than 8 years ago | (#11429249)

Newsflash: ALL patents are algorithms. Stop acting like this unique to computers. Chemical process patents, for example, are structurally and functionally indistinguishable and very obviously map into the same space as "software algorithms" and yet those are not considered controversial

Yes, but with software patens you see companies patenting things on chemical side like water, wild flowers, air and other kind of things that make no sence

Re:Not to be pedantic, but.. (1)

orangesquid (79734) | more than 8 years ago | (#11429324)

Who are you to know what makes sense?

All too often, I hear someone say that their patent is, "in truth, fairly simple/straightforward." It's the R&D that goes into perfecting a particular implementation.

Patents are generally formatted by first listing the simplest overview of the process, then progressively adding detail until the most intimate details are listed.

Without any patents, everything would become "trade secrets," and, in a different culture, releasing trade secrets to the public or stealing them for another company could simply be labelled as actions intended to cause damage to thousands of people's jobs and punished severely.

I don't think the "general method" of any patent should be enforceable---in fact, the general method ought to be a starting point for anyone interested in implementing something similar (why re-invent the wheel?). Plus, if two companies are not allowed to release their two products which use *completely identical* processes, innovation might disappear. Not being allowed to exactly duplicate someone else's work will encourage people to try alternate solutions, or experiment with variables. However, if some company patents something in OO-language pseudocode, and another company turns around and patents it in Fortran-like pseudocode, the second company hasn't really contributed anything useful, so the second patent should be stricken down.

Patents which are too ambiguous and too general, those having no real use to an overall industry or those too similar to existing patents or existing work, should not be condoned. Companies should not even bother---it makes them seem disrespectful to the industry.

Also, I couldn't find waist in the dictionary. I did discover that waister is a seaman stationed in the mid-section of a ship of war. This could be metaphorical for someone whose ethics yet appreciation of capitalism "station" them in the middle of the spectrum on the software patent issue, like I. Does this mean that a softwaister is someone who holds views like mine? Or is this supposed to be a reference to the common pun of "seaman/seamen" sounding so close to semen? Or, perhaps, this is supposed to have something to do with someone's waist---is "to waist no time" a pun referring to someone who gives up a diet before seeing any results? Please enlighten me ;)

Re:Not to be pedantic, but.. (3, Interesting)

novakyu (636495) | more than 8 years ago | (#11429337)

This is not an argument against anything. Everything machine is reducible to software, and every software is reducible to machine. It is a distinction without a difference. To reuse my example above, chemical process patents are not generally considered controversial here, yet every argument against software patents can be used against them because they are the exact same kind of thing.

I guess this is one major difference that sets software apart from everything else: R&D cost. As far as I know, R&D for chemicals and proteins (i.e. medicine) is expensive, even after taking the salaries of the researchers/inventors out of the consideration, due to the infrastructure, equipment, and raw material necessary even just to build the prototype. So, for someone (and nowadays, most likely a company) to even get started on a new invention/innovation, he has to have some sort of guarantee that if he succeeds, he will be able to recover his costs and even proft, perhaps---thus, a simple solution is legalized monopoly (and the price-markup that necessarily follows).

On the other hand, software patent? What R&D cost exactly goes into it? Sure, programmers might get paid a lot (or at least there was a time when that was the case...), but if a lone-coder is making a program, other than the so-called "opportunity cost" what other cost is there? Hardware purchase cost? Perhaps---but that's negligible, compared to other expenses (i.e. "cost of living") throughout a year. Multiple hardware purchases (for testing, etc.)? But that would only be limited to programs that deal with the hardware directly, and those don't constitute a majority.

So, with software, the developer doesn't have to worry about recovering the costs because there isn't that much to begin with (now, profit motive is something else, but why should we make a law that make a few people wealthy beyond reason?)---so, there isn't that much incentive software patent gives to innovate. Rather, by creating an artificial barrier-to-entry in the market, it stifles innovation (and yes, the same argument may be used for even traditional patents, but in those cases, it can be argued that the incentive outweighs this).

Valid point, however.... (1)

maxwells_deamon (221474) | more than 8 years ago | (#11428945)

I think that a very limited term of copyright is useful to thr promotion of progress...

Strictly limted ( 5/10 years or only as long as supported ) and no patents

That said, a valid view point would be to make all software free and open. If someone "steals" the code and modifies it so what. If there modified version is not better it would die on the vine.

Re:Valid point, however.... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11428979)

I'm going to patent/copyright the correct spelling of words in the English language. At least no one on /. will be able to sue me then.

Sheesh. Give me a damn address and I'll send you a dictionary, for fuck's sake.

Re:Valid point, however.... (1)

novakyu (636495) | more than 8 years ago | (#11429368)

I think that a very limited term of copyright is useful to thr promotion of progress...

Strictly limted ( 5/10 years or only as long as supported ) and no patents

I'm not sure if such blanket solution will even be fair. There are some materials that 5-10 years is too short for copyright period: books, work of art, etc. Copyright covers far more than software, and, well, for software, 5-10 years will still be too long (anyone 'still use Windows 98 or Office 98?).

I think US currently has the copyright law set up so that it's effective for a few decades after the author's death---now, I think that's just absurd. Why can't we have copyrights expire along with the author's life? It seems to be that would be just the right time to release everything to the public domain.

Re:Not to be pedantic, but.. (1)

killjoe (766577) | more than 8 years ago | (#11429344)

"Open source software, and free software *depend* on copyright. Yes, depend on it. Without copyright, then anyone could take the code, including large corporations, and modify it for their own interest, and sell it without releasing the source code. Basically, it'd defeat the point of the difference between "free", and "Free"."

RMS invented the GPL to hack the copyright. If copyrights were to be abolished RMS would be dancing in the streets.

Re:Not to be pedantic, but.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11429357)

"computer code is a completely logical process"

Just like boolean logic and every combination of gates and latches ever devised aka "hardware." Give it up! Go to bed, or something!

Re:Not to be pedantic, but.. (4, Funny)

gardyloo (512791) | more than 8 years ago | (#11428742)

[...]the impact of denying access to techniques and logarithms effectively shuts out competition[...]

Ah, yes, the old "don't let them look up logarithms in a table" trick.

Re:Not to be pedantic, but.. (1)

Coryoth (254751) | more than 8 years ago | (#11429088)

Ah, yes, the old "don't let them look up logarithms in a table" trick.

But it's true! Your used to be allowed to request a copy of Eton tables in math exams, and be provided with one. The last time I asked a proctor for a copy they just looked at me completely blankly as if they'd never heard of it.

Jedidiah.

Re:Not to be pedantic, but.. (1)

novakyu (636495) | more than 8 years ago | (#11429381)

But it's true! Your used to be allowed to request a copy of Eton tables in math exams, and be provided with one. The last time I asked a proctor for a copy they just looked at me completely blankly as if they'd never heard of it.

Why would you want to look it up when you can just use a simple (infinite) Taylor polynomial to calculate it to any precision you want? Why settle for 5 significant figures? :) Wait.... hmm, is Taylor polynomial copyrighted/patented? Maybe that's why?

Re:Not to be pedantic, but.. (1)

Azh Nazg (826118) | more than 8 years ago | (#11428747)

Yes, but if copyright law is not enforced, companies such as Microsoft would quite likely start enforcing even more draconian digital restrictions managment measures upon the software distributed, so we would in effect have almost the same economy. A way to solve this would be to also make digital restrictions managment illegal. Of course, the odds of either such law getting passed through any modern beauracracy is slim to none.....

Re:Not to be pedantic, but.. (4, Insightful)

Yartrebo (690383) | more than 8 years ago | (#11428753)

Very good post.

Copyright and patents were intended to encourage people to make stuff that otherwise wouldn't be done. When people and organizations are willing to create an entire operating system and a collection of thousands of programs (GNU/Linux and the thousands of associated programs), the basic premise of copyright and patents is nullified.

If people will create without incentive, there is no reason to impose needless costs on both consumers and creators by strangling the public domain with laws like copyright. If Microsoft refuses to develop Windows because it no longer has any copyrights, then Linux is there as a replacement, and it will become 10x what Windows ever was or Linux is today once it becomes unshackled from copyright and patent issues and has the customer base of MS Windows today.

And that is assuming that no grants are given to fund open source development. The Chinese government, among others, has shown that they are willing to fund open source work. A small amount of federal funds would replace a massive amount spent in retail software licenses.

Re:Not to be pedantic, but.. (1)

Dancin_Santa (265275) | more than 8 years ago | (#11428769)

The problem is that you are trying to shoehorn your lifestyle choice into the real world of creators and users. You forget the one central tenet that pretty much defines the Western civilization. Creators are primarily motivated by money.

While there may be a few 'inventors' who sit in their basements thinking up inventions for the sake of having fun, the vast majority of creators who generate useful inventions work for real companies for real salaries. This is irrefutable.

But by taking away the ability to patent, and subsequently license, the invention (which you and your smelly friends would love to restrict) you remove any incentive for a company to innovate anything. If they can rip off the next guy who created something, then basically they are gaining knowledge for free. So why invent?

As for your industry which "is being held back by software patents", I defy you to name some area in which the state of the art is not the state of the art. Patents hold nothing back, as we all know that patents are fully open and can be incorporated into further designs based upon the base patent.

In addition, companies cross license patents all the time. When one company infringes on another company's patent, there is usually a pretty thick cross-pollinization of patent infringements across the board, so they agree to license patents to each other at no fee so they can both use the patents freely. This encourages the creation of new inventions, as companies would rather hold patents which can be cross-licensed than to sit on their ass and let every patent holder come and extract a ton of licensing fees.

Patents beget patents. Patents are for inventions, so if patents encourage invention, they must also necessarily encourage progress.

Re:Not to be pedantic, but.. (4, Insightful)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 8 years ago | (#11428972)

Creators are primarily motivated by money.

I'm a creator, but I'm concerned that operating in a legal minefield of vague, overlapping and bogus patents will destroy my ability to make money.

Copyrights are a reasonable match for software, and that's all the protection it needs. Software is too maleable to support well-defined patent claims. Software doesn't need copyrights and patents. Other kinds of products don't get double IP coverage; why should software?

I'd rather take my chances that some someone duplicates the functionality of my products and competes in the marketplace than risk having some jackass submarine patent-holder pop out of the woodwork demanding cash out of my bank account.

Re:Not to be pedantic, but.. (1)

morbiuswilters (604447) | more than 8 years ago | (#11429144)

Very good points, both of you. I do agree, waffle, that patents are overkill for fundamental things like "one-click checkout" or a particular algorithm. I imagine that copyright protects software sufficiently (the industry has done well for itself without them). To me, it seems that if an algorithm or process is sufficiently complicated enough to have a legitimate desire for the protection of a patent, then it is probably sufficiently protected by the high-level of knowledge required to implement it as well as the protection copyright would afford it due to its unique nature. Most of these software patents seem like novelists or publishers trying to patent a particular character type or plot line, which would completely decimate Hollywood's ability to make money. In that case, as with software, copyright prevents outright stealing, but allows enough wiggle room for authors to reuse the same old ideas in different ways. Software patents don't seem to be about protection of property and innovation as the protection of monopolies and litigous companies who cannot compete in a free market, much like compulsory DRM, which would almost certainly be rejected by consumers for its expensive nature and alien view of ownership of content. However, I still think it is neat that IBM is offering protection to open source developers by loosening some of its patent restrictions, even though I wish it was not granted that power in the first place. Now bring on the Polish jokes!

Re:Not to be pedantic, but.. (1)

Alsee (515537) | more than 8 years ago | (#11429314)

The grandrant commented about both patents and copyrights, but you just addressed patents and that's where I'll jump in.

by taking away the ability to patent

No one is taking away the ability to patent. This is about restricting patents to inventions, which I addressed in another post.

Programmers are authors. They are protected by copyright. By not expanding patents so software those authors retain copyright and the incentives it provides.

As for your industry which "is being held back by software patents", I defy you to name some area in which the state of the art is not the state of the art.

By definition the state of the art would be the state of the art whether patents had held things back or not.

In fact the entire explosion of the computer industry and in software occured without software patents. The United States properly and consistantly threw out any attempt to patent software until the 80's, and really only started granting a substantial number of them in the 90's. And they are still virtually never enforced, and even when someone does try to enforce one it is throuwn out half the time.

So the state of the art became the state of the art in the entire absence of software patents and in the non-enforcment of software patents. Perfect proof that there is no "need" for them. And if software patents do start to become enforced in signifigant number is *will* be crippling to progress in the industry. Hell, our entire economy would pretty much collapse if every sector of industry suddenly had to rip out all infringing software. Linux would likely be ruled to infringe about 100 patents. Imaging ripping out Linux and every application that runs on Linux. In many cases that would include vital and essentially irreplacable applications. The entire country would grind to a halt. And of course that is on top of all software development fleeing to countries with sane laws that do not permit logic patents.

companies cross license patents all the time

You say that like it somehow helps your position. Cross licencing is a way for companies to escape the entire patent system with each other. The end result being further entrenchment of huge established industry players at the expense of upstarts and innovators.

Patents are for inventions

Exactly. The entire notion of logic patents is rediculous and harmful.

-

Re:Not to be pedantic, but.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11429346)

"So the state of the art became the state of the art in the entire absence of software patents and in the non-enforcment of software patents."

Not true. There are patents applicable to software going back for decades. It became evident many years ago that the line dividing software and hardware was practically non-existent, but it seems many slashdotters will never catch up to that simple truth for at least another decade. Nobody is seeing the problem with facing an unenforced patent here, either. You've got a patent to study and nothing to worry about. What's the complaint?

Re:Not to be pedantic, but.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11428914)

Cool. I agree with what you wrote, but that's not why I'm responding; in a truly geek fashion apprpriate on Slashdot, it's to point out that your sig may have an error in it: I think you meant MR Spock, not DR Spock...

Re:Not to be pedantic, but.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11428736)

Agreed, what would drive and fund software research teams if the fruits of your labour can then be implemented by anyone?

We need sensible patents.

Re:Not to be pedantic, but.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11428744)

It seems to be working OK so far without patents being a major player. The burden of proof should be on the person trying to raise the importance of patents.

Re:Not to be pedantic, but.. (5, Interesting)

__int64 (811345) | more than 8 years ago | (#11428737)

If you create something really novel, even if it is in software, why *shouldn't* you be able to get a patent on it?

12:02 Restate my assumptions:
1. Mathematics is the language of nature.
2. Principals and ideas in mathematics are universal truths; hence they are discovered, not created.
3. Computer science is the straight forward application of discreet mathematics. Thus ideas and algorithms written in computers are not patentable.

Re:Not to be pedantic, but.. (1)

maxpublic (450413) | more than 8 years ago | (#11429121)

Your second point is irrelevent. According to the Constitution copyrights and patents apply to the "respective writings *and discoveries*" of the person in question. Notice that nothing is said about having to create something new; you only have to discover it.

Max

Re:Not to be pedantic, but.. (1)

morbiuswilters (604447) | more than 8 years ago | (#11429202)

I think you miss the point. Patents provide the incentive for people to engage in economic activity by protecting their investment, whether you call it discovery or invention, it makes no difference practically. Other posters have stated that people would still invent without patents, and although true, it would most likely lead to a less productive society. I do think there needs to be a degree of uniqueness to a discovery or invention, but this was what was intended by the framers of the constitution. The patent system is indeed an artificial construct of government, but without companies will continue to try to protect their investments, leading us eventually to DRM-like schemes where you aren't allowed to know what the companies don't want you to know. I see intellectual property laws, when properly balanced, as an attempt to give inventors (or discovers, whichever you prefer) the protection of law but at the same time allowing individuals access to the internals of the discovery or invention. As many have pointed out, this is central to the FOSS community, as the GPL, BSD, Apache, et al. licenses are using the protection of law to allow individuals access to the disovery, without giving up all rights to the content. Of course, most of the people who create for free could not do so without either a day job whose gains are protected by IP laws or through government fiat, the mediocre results of the latter attesting to the viability of that social model.

Re:Not to be pedantic, but.. (5, Interesting)

kenthorvath (225950) | more than 8 years ago | (#11428755)

If you create something really novel, even if it is in software, why *shouldn't* you be able to get a patent on it?

The motivation behind patents is not to reward people who innovate for the sake of patting them on the back, but to provide insentive for them to begin innovating in the first place, with the hopes that society will benefit from their creation after a small time period.

The reasoning behind patents is dubious in general - it presupposes that there would be less innovation were they not to exist (or even to exist in a more limited form). If history has taught us anything, it is that greed always finds a way to mask its ugly head and I'm sure that businesses would find a way to profit from their inventions even were patents not to exist. Being the first to market (and the name recognition that goes along with it) can be a very powerful ally indeed.

Secondly, it is not clear that the current time period for software patent expiration is anywhere near reasonable. In the fast-changing world of computers and information technology, even a year can be a long enough time period for software to become obsolete. How long do software patents last? 10 years? 17 years?

Then look at the patents that companies try to secure - one click ordering via amazon.com? If the patent on one-click ordering were even remotely influential on the companies decision to implement that feature, then I could perhaps see that a software patent may be useful in achieving its dubious purpose. But in this case, it is the ease of ordering - the desire to improve the customer's experience - from which the implementation gains its lure.

The above question strikes me as no more grounded than when a five year old gets into a fight with his sibling and says "stop copying me!". One person's being the first to have a particular idea does not in anyway entail his or her posession of that idea. So with this in mind, the question is: "If you create something really novel, even if it is in software, why *SHOULD* you be able to get a patent on it?"

Re:Not to be pedantic, but.. (3, Interesting)

Coryoth (254751) | more than 8 years ago | (#11429128)

Being the first to market (and the name recognition that goes along with it) can be a very powerful ally indeed.

To be fair, this was potentially something that patents were about: If a small company or lone inventor comes up with a stunning new product they potentially don't have the capital to get it to market. To get the capital they need to shop the invention around venture capitalists. Once they've made the idea somewhat public (in the shopping around phase) a large company with lots of resources could easily duplicate, produce, and market said invention before the inventor can manage to raise the capital and get production underway. In principal the patent would help alleviate this because the invention could be openly published, but there would still be a window of time for the inventor to raise funds and get his product to market before anyone else was allowed to join in.

Of course in this day and age of NDAs for everything, and the rate at which new products (particularly software) can be brought to market, this sort of concept just doesn't carry as much weight as it use to.

Jedidiah.

Re:Not to be pedantic, but.. (1)

cgenman (325138) | more than 8 years ago | (#11429146)

The other reason behind patenting was so that the public could have a full and complete record of the invention that was patented, and so the public would be in a good position to take full advantage of the invention when it fell into the public domain. If you ever needed to know how something worked, you could just go the patent office. This made a lot of sense when people were patenting guns made from exchangable parts or new suspension types on horse drawn carriages, but is less useful these days when you're patenting specific polymer suspensions for hydrobearing contact lubricant formulas, and which will be obsolete by the time it falls out of patent protection anyway.

Re:Not to be pedantic, but.. (4, Insightful)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 8 years ago | (#11428759)

If you don't want someone to know how you did something, close the source. If someone comes around 2 weeks later and duplicates your work.. well it wasn't really novel was it?

I've come up with many algorithms in the past that I've thought were novel... then found out someone thought of it and gave it a fancy name 50 years ago. I could have got a patent on it if I'd wanted - but I wouldn't have deserved it. I'm just not *that* good.

Re:Not to be pedantic, but.. (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 8 years ago | (#11429047)

I really think you're under the same delusion as a large number of people in the software industry in that you think compiling software somehow magically encrypts it so people can't possibly know how it works. If you come up with some brilliant algorithm and your business hinges on you maintaining control of this algorithm, giving an implementation of it to your customers, even if in binary form, will be the end of you. Your competitors will reverse engineer your software and provide an implementation of your algorithm in their product.

So what of it? If you rule out patents there is absolutely no market for new algorithms. Thankfully academics who come up with new algorithms have the incentive of career advancement. Not that I'm in any way advocating software patents as the system currently stands. But it would be great if we had something other than academia to incite people to work on developing new algorithms full time.

Re:Not to be pedantic, but.. (1)

0xC0FFEE (763100) | more than 8 years ago | (#11428851)

Because everything of value should be instantly be shared over the world to improve the life of others. You need others right?

Because you didn't really create something of value, others came before you and did the grunt work, you're just putting the pieces together.


I'm playing devil's advocate here. Of course ideas are valuable and should be protected and inventors should be given exclusive rights do their inventions and given the possibility to distribute/licence, wait for it, as they wish!

If some people, even if they were the majority, want to give algorithms/methods they possess for free, then more power to them. The fact is, if you work your ass off for a number of years researching, fleshing out details and coming up with solid solutions to problems, you have something of value on your hands and that should be protected.

Some whiners will want to throw away the patent system because of the way some companies have patented obvious ideas and trivial algorithms. Those particular patents should be reneged by the patent office or offered to the public domain as a goodwill gesture.

Re:Not to be pedantic, but.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11428892)

Steve and Chauncy were two boys that always loved to play their favorite game, Sega Marine Fishing. For hours they would dream of grabbing rod and reel, taking to the high seas like their idols Masala and Powell.

One day, Steve and Chauncy had been fishing all day. They had just gotten the Offing Sega Bass Fishing remix and could hardly wait to crank it up on their new stereo. But just as they were about to jam out, smoke enveloped their room! Suddenly they felt very sleepy, like they were drifting away...

Gentle drifting. This is what Steve felt, even before he was awake. And then...a salty smell? His arms felt around, they felt wooden planks. Steve's eyes slowly opened-he was on a boat?

"Aha my friend! I see now you are awake! It's time to try next field!" said a familiar pidgin voice. He whirled around to see none other than Masala!

"Masala! Is it really you? How, how did I get here?"

"That's what I've been trying to figure out!" It was his friend Chauncy, who had been standing at the railing of the ship, smoking a pipe. He handed the pipe to a stately fellow with a dark beard and a red polo shirt. It was none other than the Captain!

"Don't ya see, we found ya driftin' in the middle of the sea, in the middle of a dense fog, two days ago. Powell over here reeled you in!"

"Yeah, and I checked your wallets, you didn't have any items, you stupid shits!" said Powell, emerging from the ship's cabin wearing his aviators and playful grin. Everyone laughed heartily, and even the dog barked!

"This my dog, Rocky!" explained Masala. "Her favorite food? Fish!"

"Wow!" exclaimed Steve. "This is amazing! I don't know how to tell you this, but we must have come from another dimension!"

"Yer friend said the same, but I thought 'cos he was smokin' the pipe!" the Captain snorted snidely.

"If it's true, that is an amazing miracle," Powell said in an almost reverant tone.

"Yeah it is," said Chauncy. "Let's fuckin' fish our nuts off!!!"

---

"The secret to SELECT A LURE is GOOD FISH!" explained Masala. "I always like to use 'Big Popper 2', because it reminds me of my dick" replied Steve. Masala was dumb founded!

A few minutes later, Steve and Chauncy were ready to try their hand at deep sea fishing. The mellow setting sun reflected oranges and blues in from the surface of the sea water, while mellow electronic music played from somewhere in the background.

"That's amazing-where does this music come from?" said Chauncy.

"Music, it comes from the sea, from the area of this sea, of course," said a puzzled Captain.

"In our world, music has to come from a radio or orchestra," explained Chauncy. "It is not endemic to nature."

The Captain looked at them, but the stoic old sea bird said nothing, except maybe some slight mutterings to himself. Just then, the music changed to thrashing speedmetal!

"Oh!" exclaimed Masala. Steve had fish on the hook! It was a big one, too. He struggled to keep his rod upright.

"Oh no! The hook's gonna come off!" Masala stood at Steve's side, eager to offer his assistance. As Steve applied more force, his tone suddenly changed. "Oh no! The line's gonna break!" said Masala, and sure enough, Steve felt the line snap.

"Damn," said Powell. "That one weighed 287 pounds! There's no shame in that one getting away!"

"But, how did you know how much it weighed if we couldn't catch it?" It was Steve's turn to be confused!

"What do you mean, you can always tell the weight of a fish by how hard it yanks your rod!" said Powell.

"He said 'rod'," Chauncy pointed out.

"Haha, I did!" replied Powell. "Now you pussies are gonna see how a real fish is caught."

"Wait a minute," said Steve. "My beard has been at sea too long!"

"Aye, it seems a bit unkempt, it does." said the Captain, returning from the cabin. "Here's me electric shaver if you care ta borrow it. 'Tis awesome!"

"No, try this one!" Masala removed an old and rusted shaver from under his bandana (it matched his bandana, which was purple). "It's hard to use, but I love it!"

What shaver would Steve use? Still "reeling" from the shock of meeting his two idols, Steve was unsure which to pick. He heard a faint echoing voice calling out a suggestion...."PUPPIES....SLAW..."

--
Huh? "Hush puppies or cole slaw sir, please make a decision." A tinny drive-thru speaker yelled. Steve's hands were no longer around a shaver, they were on a steering wheel!

"Dude." Chauncy was next to him. "What happened?"

"I dunno." said Steve. "God, we must have been so high!"

"Fuck yeah!" said Chauncy. "But was it all a drug-induced hallucination?"

"Who knows?" said Steve. They drove up to the window. A kindly mustachioed man handed them their order. Steve was driving away as the man's doorag sparked a notion-but of course, the drive thru was fading away in the rearview by the time he thought of it.

"Agghgh!!!" screamed Chauncy in pain. He had a hook sticking through his cheek.

"Shit, you shouldn't have taken so long to ask for hush puppies!" admonished Chauncy, pulling the hook from his face. "Look what they put in mine!"

"It looks like-BIG POPPER 2! Best on large fish!" replied Steve.

"I got a new item!" said Chauncy, wiping the blood from his cheek.

"I think we both did, old friend, I think we both did-" Steve said, and they both laughed, overcome with hunger for the rest of their Captain D's meal, filled with fishhooks or no!

Re:Not to be pedantic, but.. (4, Informative)

eric76 (679787) | more than 8 years ago | (#11428900)

If you create something really novel, even if it is in software, why *shouldn't* you be able to get a patent on it?

The purpose of patents is to allow the patent holder a limited monopoly on the invention while telling everyone how it's done.

Think of it as a solution to a problem for which one can, if the solution is truly clever, receive a government granted monopoly on the solution for a period of time.

What we have now is that any solution, no matter how obvious or trivial, is being granted the same monopoly protection as if it were really unique.

It's like giving a class a test in which the first person to solve the problem by some method gets an 'A' and the rest using the same method are given 'F's. The question is whether that problem is sufficiently difficult that the other students would have been able to arrive at the same solution without copying the solution of the first to solve the problem.

If the other students could have only solved the problem by copying that of the first, then the 'F's would be appropriate. But if the problem was such that every student satisfactorally solved the problem on his own, they should all receive 'A's.

Re:Not to be pedantic, but.. (1)

gnuguru (301000) | more than 8 years ago | (#11429232)

Are you claiming the zero's and ones are yours, and yours alone?

Are you patenting the group of zero's and one which make up a 32 bit word?

So what if the word(s) you hold a patent on, by chance, is/are included in the output of a paint program writing an image?

Are you claiming that writers of the imaging software should pay you a royalty because they contain that series of zero's and ones, or maybe paint programs should be rewritten so as never to *infringe* on your patent?

Are you claiming that the instructions in the C, or C++ language are somehow yours and yours alone
if grouped in a particular way?

Are you saying that you, and you alone should have control over the way assembly language is written?

Should schools and universities pay you royalties so that they can teach fundamental mathmatics?

Get over yourself, and get over the idea of patenting the language which describes yourself, and the entire universe.

Mathmatics should not be patentable.

Imagine having to teach a child to count under software patents where the concept of 3 is patented. Extrapolate.

1, 2, (4-1), 5, (5+1)

Re:Not to be pedantic, but.. (1)

maxpublic (450413) | more than 8 years ago | (#11429101)

In the United States, the ONLY valid argument for patents and copyrights are defined by the Constitution as: "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries".

So the only question is: do software patents or copyrights "promote the progress of science and useful arts"? Anything else is irrelevent.

Max

Re:Not to be pedantic, but.. (1)

morbiuswilters (604447) | more than 8 years ago | (#11429239)

No offense, but do you really think the 250 year old efforts of our ancestors to flesh out a working government is the only practical way of doing things, or that it is even the best? They were clever about a good deal of things, but they also goofed up a lot. Hell, they spent a lot of time arguing if we should have a king or just two co-presidents. Then there was the whole slavery thing... The fact is, our constitution is a wonderful document, but I am annoyed by legalists who can't wrap their minds around the idea that there might be fantastic ways of doing things that our ancestors had never heard of, like, you know, computers and all. This mindset has led to the invasion of law into every nook and cranny of our lives so that no almost no interaction with the government apparatus can be performed without the services of a lawyer and so that many otherwise bright people instantly dismiss any good idea as wrong because it is illegal and and will accept the injustices of their government because somewhere it is written on paper that this is how it must be done. Sorry to rant at you, I'm sure you probably weren't meaning any harm, but I think that the mindset echoed in your post hints at a much bigger problem in society.

Re:Not to be pedantic, but.. (1)

maxpublic (450413) | more than 8 years ago | (#11429348)

No offense, but do you really think the 250 year old efforts of our ancestors to flesh out a working government is the only practical way of doing things, or that it is even the best?

It's the only legally valid method of doing things in this country. If you want a different method our canny ancestors provided you with the ability to AMEND the Constitution, an effort which you can spearhead at any time.

If you aren't up to it, then obviously the law isn't important enough to change. And I think the 'problem' here is that people know many of the things they want (e.g., gun control) can't be written into the Constitution via an amendment because they'll never gather the support required, so instead they try to do an illegal end-run around the law.

If people want what YOU want, then you'll be able to amend the Constitution. If they don't want what you want, you can either a) suck it up and live with it, or b) remove yourself to another country more to your liking.

Max

Re:Not to be pedantic, but.. (2, Insightful)

KeithIrwin (243301) | more than 8 years ago | (#11429134)


Well to begin with, patents are an imposition on freedom. You give someone a temporary and artificial monopoly in order to gain benefit to society. You don't have to justify why not give them patents, you have to show why you should. The benefits (at least in theory) are thus:

1) Companies have a greater incentive to innovate and create new products.
2) Little guys don't get their inventions stolen.

Except that neither of these apply to software patents. Now, clearly, there's no shortage of innovation and new product creation in the software market. I mean, really, there are fifty zillion software companies out there and myriad individuals just writing software in their spare time. And software patents are more like to hurt the little guy than help them. The little guy can't afford the cost of doing a patent search for every line of code he writes to make sure that no one else has used the same idea in the last 20 years.

In software how novel things are is very unclear. There would be nothing wrong with patenting things which truly are completely novel, but if ten programmers are given a problem, four or five of them are going to come up with the same answer. If we allow the first one to come up with an idea to patent it, it means that the others aren't allowed to solve the problem in the best way even though they would have on their own.

And more to the point what will actually happen is that the second, third, fourth, etc. guy will come to the problem, have no idea how the first guy solved it, but come up with the same algorithm and implement it. They won't know what the other guy named his algorithm, so they won't be able to find the patent and the software will be produced. Then at some later point, the first guy's company will discover this and hold the other guys' software hostage with a patent lawsuit. Patent is meant to prevent really stealing people's ideas, but when you look at the patents which have been granted for software in places where such is allowed, the level of novelty required is so low that multiple independent creation of the idea patented is not only likely, but in many cases inevitable.

Further, showing prior art in physical devices is fairly easy, but showing it in software where other people's source code is hidden from you, becomes almost impossible. So maybe in the above scenario, it's not the first guy who patented it, but the third, but the first and second ones didn't see it as novel or didn't work for companies which worry about patenting things. But by the time the lawsuit roll around 10 years later, the first two have completely forgotten all about it and their code is each buried inside some obsolete product whose source code is locked away in a secret vault somewhere.

Now, you may note that this also makes it harder to find the lawsuits to press to begin with, and that's true. But there is one very obvious section of software which is more vulnerable to suits over software patents: open source software. I personally know of at least one major, well known open source project used by a significant portion of the user base of this web site which accidentally stepped on the patents of a large company. Now, in this case, the company has done a really terrific thing, they've not filed a lawsuit and aren't mentioning it in public (which is why I'm being so vague) so as to not hurt the reputation of the project or in any way cause FUD. But, in general, software patents are likely to hurt open source because they'll be enforced on open source products much more often than on closed source products.

Keith

Re:Not to be pedantic, but.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11429186)

If you create something really novel, even if it is a work of literature, math or a series of mental steps, why *shouldn't* you be able to get a patent on it?

Comeon Einstein, we're waiting!

Re:Not to be pedantic, but.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11429295)

Literature is not in the "useful arts" and it's covered by copyright already, so complain to the copyright office about copyrights, if you don't like copyrights.

Math is an abstract idea, often a series of mental steps, and often an expression of a law of nature. Abstract ideas are not "useful" until they are applied in some physical way, at which point they become involved in the "useful arts." Laws of nature can't be copied nor their presence denied, and a series of mental steps can't be known unless one is a mind reader, not to mention that people believe that thinking and privacy of thoughts are fundamental rights, as opposed to copying someone's work without permission, and selling it.

Re:Not to be pedantic, but.. (1)

Alsee (515537) | more than 8 years ago | (#11429194)

If you create something really novel

The issue here is changing the extent of the "something" that can qualify. If I create a novel equation, do I get a patent on it? If I create a novel sequence of thoughts, do I get a patent on it?

Pysical objects and physical processes may be inventions, may be patented.

As the US Supreme Court ruled in Parker v Flook, all algorithms/equaltions/calculations are to be considered to be familiar prior art for patent purposes. You cannot "invent" a new equation. The lower courts have be admitting software patents in FLAGRANT violation of that Supreme Court ruling. The baffling part is why the Supreme Court has allowed the lower courts to run amuck like this. I know the Supreme Court is very busy and can't hear every case, and patents are generally not a very sexy subject, but jeez! The last time they even touched the subject was in 1981 in Diamond v Deihr in 1981. And while some may try to cite Deihr as somehow pro-software patents, in fact the majority(5 judges) were explicit that they were not addressing or altering the novelty criteria for patents. The very novelty issue I cited in Flook. And as for the 4 judge minority, there were absolutely positively anti-software patents and they were afraid the majority ruling would be mis-construed as opening the door to software patents.

It's mindboggling that the Supreme Court has entirely neglected the subject for 24 years while this has been going on.

The only thing computers can do is calculate. You can certainly attach a computer to a speaker, and that speaker can make sound, but the copmputer itself can only calculate and equation. You can invent and patent a new speaker, but you cannot invent or patent the equation for converting one set of numbers (an MP3 file) into a different set of numbers (the data sent to the speaker). The software IS the equation. Non-patentable.

Moreover software is just a series of mental steps. As a programmer, I can state catagorically that any software a computer can run can (eventually) be run purely mentally. In fact running software mentally is a routine part of writting and debugging software. In principle any software patent can eventually be carried out through pure thought. Yes in some cases it would take many lifetimes to do so, but in many other cases software patents can in fact be carried out mentally in a matter of moments.

Can the law ever claim to prohibit a sequence of thoughts?? And if that is not itself patentable, is there anything inventive about adding the single the blatantly obvious step of using a computer simply to speed up that otherwise non-patentable calculation?

-

Re:Not to be pedantic, but.. (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 8 years ago | (#11429294)

Because if I invent it myself completely independant of the patent and with no knowledge of the patented product, with the errant belief I'm the first to invent this, I will not be allowed to do anything with it.

With software the likelihood of this happening increases dramatically. In my opinion that's wrong.

Re:Not to be pedantic, but.. (2, Insightful)

johannesg (664142) | more than 8 years ago | (#11429329)

If you create something really novel, even if it is in software, why *shouldn't* you be able to get a patent on it?

Because that is not what usually happens. Software patents are used as weapons to destroy competition, not as protection for true innovation. If patent holders would limit themselves to only truly innovative, non-trivial solutions I doubt anyone would care. As it is we (anyone making a living in software) are under constant threat because someone might take out a patent on some completely trivial technique tomorrow and shut you down for the next twenty years.

I asked this [slashdot.org] in the previous patent discussion as well, but let me ask again: does anyone know of any "good" software patents? I.e. non-trivial, innovative, and realistic? The only one that came out of that previous discussion was the RSA patent, which I agree meets these criteria and as such is worthy of patent protection.

But right now most software patents do not fall in this category. Instead they patent utterly trivial "inventions", often in ways that have been standard practice within the industry for years.

Let me add a prediction for what will happen within a year of software patents becoming a reality in Europe: with patent protection finally possible in all major markets, Microsoft will make its big move against open source. It will attack Apache, Samba, Mozilla, Open Office, and perhaps some others, stating they all violate Microsoft-held patents. I suspect Linux itself will be allowed to exist as a sort of token competitor to Windows, but there will not be any useful software left to run on it, which accomplishes Microsofts goal as well as destroying the OS itself.

Moreover, the people who worked so hard to make these incredible projects a reality will be painted as "thieves" in the media. After all, they "stole" "intellectual property" that so clearly belongs to our beloved "innovator", Microsoft.

One final question on my mind: who keeps adding software patents to all sorts of irrelevant agenda's in Europe? It is very annoying having to fight this battle every two weeks, especially since our adversary is some nameless civil servant who apparently got one bribe too many...

They're feeling better (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11428604)

Actually

Oops. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11428605)

They're at it again and they're not waisting any time.

Would you say they're throwing there weight around?

Re:Oops. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11428632)

Weight, theirs a eror n Slahsdot?

Re:Oops. (1)

saned (736423) | more than 8 years ago | (#11428711)

They're at it again and they're not waisting any time.

I'd say more like they're shooting from the hip.

-P@

Re:Oops. (1)

notanatheist (581086) | more than 8 years ago | (#11429126)

I'd say "there throwing their wait around" if I were the Anonymous Coward but I'm not so I'll just get modded down for trolling instead.

yeah... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11428607)

you'll have that

Re:yeah... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11428801)

chad, is that you?

Should I.... (2, Funny)

Azh Nazg (826118) | more than 8 years ago | (#11428624)

Should I interpret this as "European Software Patents 'Not Dead Yet'"?

Re:Should I.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11428848)

Actually, I think they're pining for the fjords.

Re:Should I.... (1)

Jubii (315611) | more than 8 years ago | (#11428878)

I immediately thought of Monty Python's Holy Grail scene:

Large Man with Dead Body: Here's one.
The Dead Collector: That'll be ninepence.
The Dead Body That Claims It Isn't: I'm not dead.
The Dead Collector: What?
Large Man with Dead Body: Nothing. There's your ninepence.
The Dead Body That Claims It Isn't: I'm not dead.
The Dead Collector: 'Ere, he says he's not dead.
Large Man with Dead Body: Yes he is.
The Dead Body That Claims It Isn't: I'm not.
The Dead Collector: He isn't.
Large Man with Dead Body: Well, he will be soon, he's very ill.
The Dead Body That Claims It Isn't: I'm getting better.
Large Man with Dead Body: No you're not, you'll be stone dead in a moment.
The Dead Collector: Well, I can't take him like that. It's against regulations.

Re: Should I.... (1)

Alwin Henseler (640539) | more than 8 years ago | (#11428890)

Should I interpret this as "European Software Patents 'Not Dead Yet'"?

Better interpret this as "EU democracy and software patents mutually exclusive".

Meaning: If the EU still has a grain of democracy left, then software patents should be dead. Or, if software patents get passed somehow, EU democratic principles are proven dead.

Either way, Netcraft will confirm it.

Re:Should I.... (1)

einhverfr (238914) | more than 8 years ago | (#11428894)

Should I interpret this as "European Software Patents 'Not Dead Yet'"?

Right. Just a flesh wound.

Re:Should I.... (1)

einhverfr (238914) | more than 8 years ago | (#11428905)

To give credit where due: Monty Python reference.

Re:Should I.... (1)

Azh Nazg (826118) | more than 8 years ago | (#11429000)

You say this almost as though almost anyone on here could, at a moment's notice, give a script of that entire scene.

Re:Should I.... (1)

einhverfr (238914) | more than 8 years ago | (#11429104)

You say this almost as though almost anyone on here could, at a moment's notice, give a script of that entire scene.

Given the popularity of Monty Python among Geeks and the slashdot crowd, and its impact on tech culture (including the word spam) do I really need to give refernece to the seen?

Ok, if anyone doesn't know what the scene is, reply here and I will post a more detailed reference....

You're a fucking waist. (0, Offtopic)

HookedOnPhonics (683545) | more than 8 years ago | (#11428666)

Idiot submitter, don't you know know the difference between waist [reference.com] (that large circumferenced middle section of your nerd-body) and waste [reference.com] (what you are to both air and space)?

I'll bet you type "loose" when you really mean "lose", too.

Fuck you and all your ilk.

hey fuckwads (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11428668)

Why were these submissions rejected?

  • 2000-06-28 03:09:37 Hemos and Signal 11 Are Fags! (articles,news) (rejected)
  • 2000-06-28 16:44:32 Rob Malda is Gay! (articles,news) (rejected)
  • 2000-06-28 16:59:11 Emmett Chokes on JonKatz's Dick! (articles,news) (rejected)
  • 2000-06-28 17:08:38 Slashdot Officially "Sucks" (articles,news) (rejected)
  • 2000-06-28 17:44:39 Roblimo Went Down on RMS for $5!!! (articles,news) (rejected)
  • 2000-06-29 03:10:29 Rob Malda Caught Sucking Off Bruce Perens (articles,news) (rejected)
  • 2000-06-29 05:48:15 Vladinator Shits in Rob Malda's Mouth; Rob Eats It (articles,news) (rejected)
  • 2000-06-29 05:22:24 Slashdot Is a Pile of Shit (articles,news) (rejected)
  • 2000-06-29 05:27:59 RMS and ESR Gangbang Hemos and CmdrTaco! (articles,news) (rejected)
  • 2000-07-17 10:19:41 You are Gay (articles,news) (rejected)
  • 2000-07-27 22:02:53 Hemos Blows Out Rob's Ass (articles,news) (rejected)
  • 2000-08-01 10:15:50 Slashdot Renamed "Band of Faggots," Malda Fucks ow (articles,news) (rejected)
  • 2000-08-02 09:27:53 Malda and Hemos Involved in Major Gangbang (articles,news) (rejected)
  • 2000-08-04 11:16:53 Rob Malda & RMS: First Gay-Geek Marriage? (articles,news) (rejected)
  • 2000-08-04 11:23:27 Katz Drinks 1 Gallon of Semen a Day (articles,news) (rejected)
  • 2000-08-04 11:28:45 Emmett Gives Rimjobs to the Entire FSF! (articles,news) (rejected)
  • 2000-08-04 11:37:51 Anal Warts Have Slashdot Staff in Health Worry... (articles,news) (rejected)
  • 2000-08-04 11:48:53 Canker Sore Halts Rob's Cocksucking Habits... (articles,news) (rejected)
  • 2000-08-04 12:02:58 Fractured Penis Ends RMS's Reaming of ESR! (articles,news) (rejected)
  • 2000-08-04 12:07:59 Gay Games 2000 to Be Sponsored by Slashdot... (articles,news) (rejected)
  • 2000-08-04 12:13:41 ESR Seduces Emmett; Malda and Hemos Jealous (articles,news) (rejected)
  • 2000-08-04 13:02:23 Slashdot to Sell Jelly Dildos for Gay Geeks? (articles,news) (rejected)
  • 2000-08-04 13:08:15 ESR "Backwards Engineers" Malda's Rectum (articles,news) (rejected)
  • 2000-08-10 20:28:04 Malda's Rectum? Nearly Killed'im! (articles,news) (rejected)
  • 2000-08-10 20:33:09 Emmett "Opens the Source" to Timothy's Colon (articles,news) (rejected)
  • 2000-08-10 20:39:29 Roblimo Glunks All Over Taco's Face; Taco Smiles (articles,news)
  • 2000-08-10 23:49:35 Malda Shaves Bruce Perens's Cock & Balls for Charity (articles,news) (rejected)
  • 2000-08-15 14:42:54 RMS Renames FSF to "Free Sex Foundation" (articles,news) (rejected)
  • 2000-08-15 15:01:47 Rob's Balls Smell Like Ass After He Fucks Hemos! (articles,news) (rejected)
  • 2000-08-15 16:06:40 ESR Transmits Herpes to RMS; FSF Declares War on Open Source (articles,news) (rejected)
  • 2000-08-16 08:42:26 Hemos Places Emmett's Ass-Virginity Under GPL! (articles,news) (rejected)
  • 2000-08-16 08:49:12 Hemos Places Own Dick Under the LGPL; RMS Approves... (articles,news) (rejected)
  • 2001-01-04 21:32:43 Malda Rapes Hemos; No Reports Filed (articles,news) (rejected)
  • 2001-01-04 21:56:20 Hemos Changes Name to Homos, Blows RMS (articles,news) (rejected)
  • 2001-04-23 04:29:46 A Nugget for You! (articles,news) (rejected)
  • 2001-04-23 04:35:17 Taco Wraps Hemo's Burrito... in Ass Cheeks! (articles,news) (rejected)
  • 2001-05-10 14:32:16 Michael is a Fucking Asshole! (articles,news) (rejected)
  • 2001-05-17 18:37:41 CmdrTaco's Breath Smells of Feces (articles,news) (rejected)
  • 2001-06-07 07:29:21 Problems at Home? (articles,news) (rejected)
  • 2001-06-07 14:08:05 Michael Sims: Censoring to Hide his Faggotry (articles,news) (rejected)
  • 2001-06-07 16:11:54 Nazi Michael Busts a Nut, Faggot Malda Swallows (articles,news) (rejected)
  • 2001-06-19 20:26:14 Michael and Timmah Censor Each Other's Cocks (articles,news) (rejected)
  • 2001-06-19 20:32:01 Roblimo's Beard Encrusted with Slashot Staff's Cum (bsd,bsd) (rejected)
  • 2001-06-19 21:00:43 Michael Shaves Pubic Hair; RMS Looks On Eagerly (yro,gnustep) (rejected)
  • 2001-06-20 19:07:51 Rob Malda Sucks Cock for Chiclets (articles,news) (rejected)
  • 2001-06-20 19:16:37 ESR Injects Malda's Semen into Veins Twice Daily (features,pilot) (rejected)
  • 2001-06-20 19:21:57 JonKatz Accidental Dildo Suicide: "Tragic," Malda (articles,news) (rejected)
  • 2001-06-20 19:27:25 Emmet's Asshole "a Messy Wreck," No Asspounding fo (apache,xmas) (rejected)
  • 2001-06-20 19:33:38 Rob Malda Chugs ESR's Chilled Semen: "Ahhhhh" (articles,be) (rejected)
  • 2001-09-19 12:59:58 FreeBSD 4.4 Released (articles,news) (rejected)
  • 2001-10-24 18:46:05 The Ultimate Troll Tuesday (features,slashdot) (rejected)
  • 2002-01-14 05:58:32 Jamie and Michael Rape... Each Other? (articles,news) (rejected)
  • 2002-01-14 15:33:29 Malda Tears Anus in Potato Stunt (articles,news) (rejected)
  • 2002-01-14 15:43:16 Slashdot Eds Kidnap Klerck; Have Him (articles,news) (rejected)
  • 2002-01-14 15:49:04 Jamie Mistaken for Woman; Doesn't Correct Error (articles,news) (rejected)
  • 2002-01-14 16:52:58 Rob "CmdrTaco" Malda Fires Polynesian Hous (articles,news) (rejected)
  • 2002-03-07 17:33:29 ESR "Pours Pecker" to Every Editor at Slas (articles,news) (rejected)
  • 2002-12-09 18:38:58 Taco Is a No-Talent Hack; Slash Is a Resource Suck (articles,news) (rejected)

Re:hey fuckwads (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11428796)

MAN, YOU HAVE NO LIFE!

Re:hey fuckwads (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11428814)

this is comedy gold folks, theres no two ways about it

Stay tuned (4, Informative)

Staplerh (806722) | more than 8 years ago | (#11428676)

Hmm. Guess we'll have to wait until next Monday for more definate information. From TFA:

That the matter would be settled for good next Monday, Luxembourgs Economics Minister Jeannot Krecke for one announced at a meeting of the European Parliament's Legal Committee this Wednesday.

Hmm.. Guess we'll get yet ANOTHER Slashdot story on Monday - if Ms. Krecke is correct in her prediction. Oh well, this is a matter of importance and I suppose as many news stories/comments as we can read, the better informed we'll all be on the subject!

I'm still waiting... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11428692)

er, "wating" for confirmation from Netcraft.

what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11428781)

jesus fuck, please shut up.

Re:what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11428822)

jesus fuck, please shut up.

Only if you ask nicely.

In Europe, Only Old People Support Software Patent (2, Funny)

XChilde (748078) | more than 8 years ago | (#11428726)

:-)
Is it true?

Re:In Europe, Only Old People Support Software Pat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11428968)

Almost, but not quite...

It's actually "In Europe, only stupid people support software patents".

Same as anywhere else.

Re:In Europe, Only Old People Support Software Pat (1)

novakyu (636495) | more than 8 years ago | (#11429392)

How about, "In Europe, Only Old People Patent Software"?

Déjà vu in Brussels (4, Interesting)

dweezil-n0xad (743070) | more than 8 years ago | (#11428756)

This reminds me, next month is FOSDEM (Free and Open source Software Developers' European Meeting) in Brussels: http://www.fosdem.org [fosdem.org]. I suggest we raid the EU headquarters and talk some sense into the EU ministers.

Waisting time? (1)

jd (1658) | more than 8 years ago | (#11428761)

Execs are blasted as "fat cats", politicians are accused of pork barreling, it's no wonder they're all getting overweight.

Why is th grammer geting wurse on slash d0t postin (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11428825)

Waisting away, waisting away.

you know... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11428836)

sometimes i think niggers really have things figured out. they don't argue over having a patent on a crack dealing technique, or some special method of preparing fried chicken, do they?

no duh (2, Insightful)

edward.virtually@pob (6854) | more than 8 years ago | (#11428856)

of course they're not dead. software patents benefit the corporations that control the governments, so they will eventually be installed in all countries. you'd think people would get the message from the backdoor process that was used to almost install them on eu countries this time. don't count on stopping it again.

dont think so (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11428901)

patents create property. property is wealth. patents like all property create wealth. the more varieties of property in society the greater the wealth that can be created. the better off society as a whole becomes. you only need to look at the US versus poorer countries. it is the enforcement of property rights that has created wide spread wealth.

there is nothing wrong with patents or software patents.

Re:dont think so (4, Insightful)

Fire Dragon (146616) | more than 8 years ago | (#11429076)

patents create property. property is wealth. patents like all property create wealth. the more varieties of property in society the greater the wealth that can be created. the better off society as a whole becomes. you only need to look at the US versus poorer countries. it is the enforcement of property rights that has created wide spread wealth.


Weapons create property. property is wealth. Weapons like all property create wealth. the more varieties of weapons in society the greater the wealth that can be created. the better off society as a whole becomes. you only need to look at the US versus poorer countries. it is the enforcement of others property rights that has created wide spread wealth.

Re:dont think so (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11429215)

> patents like all property create wealth.

Property doesn't *generate* wealth! Patents prevent other people from generating wealth, not that patents are property to begin with, but let's not let the facts get in the way of your delusions.

Re:dont think so (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11429334)

Two words: Intellectual Property...

You're probably having trouble with the first word...

The Ministers of what? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11428955)

"....the Ministers of Agriculture in their meeting of the EU Council of Agriculture and Fisheries on Monday are to give the nod to the controversial position of the EU Council of Ministers on the Directive on the Patentability of "computer-implemented inventions"".

Isn't that a bit like asking the Minister of Defence if they think the tax system should be revised? Or asking the Minister for Education what his thoughts are on creating a new highway?

I'm beginning to see why so many Europeans don't take the EU seriously.

there is only one way to stop this nonsense (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 8 years ago | (#11429067)

it is for all developers and techlogist to go on strike until it is against WTO policy for a country to have software patents.

It would be in place in a week.

Re:there is only one way to stop this nonsense (1)

Benaiah (851593) | more than 8 years ago | (#11429145)

The american economy would be screwed if it didnt have ip laws. Look at what you have done in the name of globalisation. You have outsourced all of your IT to india. All of your textiles to china and soon with the free trade agreement youll lose farming to australia. IP is all thats gonna keep u from the third world.

Reminds me of a joke (2, Funny)

coaxial (28297) | more than 8 years ago | (#11429187)

Q: How many polocks does it take to stop software patents from being created in Europe?
A: A simple majority.

Wait. That's not funny.

Take 5 minutes... (4, Insightful)

chrisvdb (149510) | more than 8 years ago | (#11429327)

... and write to your minister of agriculture, if you're a EU citizen!

Let them know that software patents are important enough to deserve a proper discussion in the parliament. Add why *you* think they are important (and wrong).

For the Belgians and the Dutch: http://www.softwarepatenten.be/landbouwraad [softwarepatenten.be].
For the rest of us: http://ffii.org/ [ffii.org].

Please, take this 5 minutes, it's worth it.

Chris.
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