Patent-free software where it makes sense

Alex Puchades alex94puchades at gmail.com
Wed Jun 10 22:44:08 UTC 2015


Really? Do you still think patents are there to protect inventors? (I'll
make an effort to keep this on-topic, I promise) See the ClearType, for
example. Without entering into whether ClearType was really an improvement,
a punctualization, or whatever on the previous Apple II Wozniak patent.
Wozniak patent didn't prevent Microsoft from using a similar idea in their
ClearType algorithm. That's because of patent portfolios, which really
subvert the system upside-down. I can see the point in patenting the very
specific algorithm. But not an idea! The very simple idea of `displaying
images where data is "mapped" to individual (e.g. LCD) sub-pixels, instead
of whole pixels` is patented! [1].

I see the point, however, in that competing products making money from
foreign ideas is not fair (with *ideas* meaning a very detailed process,
maybe *algorithms* would be better worded). They should include a fee for
*borrowing* the idea. But don't we agree that patents, as they currently
are, don't quite make sense with FreeSoftware? Who are they going to
charge? Joe the User?? I think an exception for FOSS should be made, and
not on a case-by-case basis.

I personally think, really, that patents were created with a very laudable
purpose. But that logic has long been subverted. And we have to create
alternative ways of revenue for creators. I don't know how much we can keep
discussing this subject here, but I would be really interested on
discussing this topic and sharing points of views with anybody interested.

[1] http://david.freetype.org/cleartype-patents.html

2015-06-11 0:25 GMT+02:00 M. Edward (Ed) Borasky <znmeb at znmeb.net>:

> I can't speak for Europe, but in the US Constitution it's fairly clearly
> stated:
>
> "The Congress shall have Power ... 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"
>
> In the case of software the implementation of the law may be
> problematic, but still, as an author and inventor I'd want those
> rights.
>
> On Wed, Jun 10, 2015 at 2:21 PM, Alex Puchades <alex94puchades at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> > It seems [1] that there are mixed opinions about the matter. I'll check
> with
> > fedora-legal. In any case, things like this [2][3][4] are really sad.
> >
> > [1] https://fsfe.org/campaigns/swpat/swpat.en.html
> > [2] http://david.freetype.org/cleartype-patents.html
> > [3] https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/europes-unitary-patent.html
> > [4] http://www.epo.org/news-issues/issues/unitary-patent.html
> >
> >
> > 2015-06-10 20:30 GMT+02:00 Bruno Wolff III <bruno at wolff.to>:
> >>
> >> On Wed, Jun 10, 2015 at 19:59:05 +0200,
> >>  Ahmad Samir <ahmadsamir3891 at gmail.com> wrote:
> >>>
> >>>
> >>> The funny thing about the MP3 patent expiring is that really MP3 is
> >>> going away, and has been going away for some time now; AAC encoded
> >>> audio in an MP4 container is becoming more prevalent these days, and
> >>> of course AAC is another codec you can't legally add in a distro that
> >>> resides in the u.s. .... so it looks like a race, one that Linux is
> >>> losing unless users add 3rd party repos that can package those
> >>> patent-encumbered codecs; 3rd party repos have a lower risk of getting
> >>> sued, since they're individuals and suing them wouldn't bring in that
> >>> much money anyway (you need to sue a big wealthy company to justify
> >>> the lawyer hourly fees :)), of course IANAL, so don't take my views on
> >>> legal matters to heart.
> >>
> >>
> >> Opus (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opus_%28codec%29) has become an
> >> important audio codec that doesn't have patent problems.
> >>
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> >
> >
> >
> >
> > --
> > Álex Puchades
> >
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>
>
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-- 
Álex Puchades
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