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Re: [pgsql-advocacy] Software Patents

From: Chris Travers <chris(at)travelamericas(dot)com>
To: "Marc G(dot) Fournier" <scrappy(at)postgresql(dot)org>
Cc: "Joshua D(dot) Drake" <jd(at)commandprompt(dot)com>,Bruce Momjian <pgman(at)candle(dot)pha(dot)pa(dot)us>,Josh Berkus <josh(at)agliodbs(dot)com>, pgsql-www(at)postgresql(dot)org,pgsql-advocacy(at)postgresql(dot)org
Subject: Re: [pgsql-advocacy] Software Patents
Date: 2005-04-22 20:40:59
Message-ID: 4269615B.2070709@travelamericas.com (view raw or flat)
Thread:
Lists: pgsql-advocacypgsql-www
Marc G. Fournier wrote:

> On Fri, 22 Apr 2005, Joshua D. Drake wrote:
>
>>> Basically, if we're going to be *anti-patent*, we need to know the why 
>>
>>
>> anti-software-patent
>
>
> You keep differentiating this ... but, in both cases, aren't we 
> discussing IP rights?


Am am not sure that I am anti-patent in the general sense.  I am not 
sure that I would even be opposed to an appropriately balanced software 
patent system.  However, I think that it is quite reasonable to say that 
our current patent system is unreasonable when it comes to software.  I 
think that this is what Joshua is saying when he says that he is 
anti-software-patent.  To this I would ask if he would have the same 
opposition of software patents lasted, say 3 years, and had a much 
higher standard of acceptance than they now do.  What if they were more 
limited in scope?

However, I don't see anyone arguing with the main point that open source 
software projects and small software development companies cannot afford 
to do any real patent searches in order to offer anyguarantee of 
non-infringement.  This is a problem which is more practical and 
economic than political.  And it is a real problem.  Yes, I too worry 
about alienating the likes of Fujitsu.  However, I think that if we are 
worried about it, maybe we should approach them and ask them what they 
thing on the matter?

The issue of software patents is simply a question of whether they 
provide us the benefit the patent system was designed to provide.  
Nothing more or less.

Best Wishes,
CHris Travers
Metatron Technology Consulting

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