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Re: Software Patents

From: Thomas Hallgren <thhal(at)mailblocks(dot)com>
To: Robert Treat <xzilla(at)users(dot)sourceforge(dot)net>
Cc: Dawid Kuroczko <qnex42(at)gmail(dot)com>, pgsql-advocacy(at)postgresql(dot)org,pgsql-www(at)postgresql(dot)org
Subject: Re: Software Patents
Date: 2005-04-22 17:30:23
Message-ID: thhal-0M81EA6PMyScJcEHR7J2DBk+HNKQCnd@mailblocks.com (view raw or flat)
Thread:
Lists: pgsql-advocacypgsql-www
Robert Treat wrote:
> One has to wonder, what is the difference between protecting small companies 
> from larger companies, or protecting small companies from large open source 
> projects who reverse engineer their software and distribute it worlwide, 
> putting said small company out of business.
> 
One of the arguments used by the software patent opponents is that 
software patents utterly fails this purpose in this respect. Instead of 
protecting small companies, it gives big companies the tool they need to 
put the small companies out of business. Simply because the small 
companies cannot affort a lengthy legal process.

> Perhaps because most open source projects have little to no money, s the 
> traditional process of sueing infringers for big $$ or to force licensing 
> arrangments just doesn't work. 
> 
That makes it even easier for the big companies to put the OSS projects 
out of business if that is what they want. As OSS has more and more 
impact on their revenue, rest assured that there will be lawsuits. 
Sooner rather than later. The fact that software patents are recognized 
in a limited part of the world at present is protecting us to some 
extent. Less so if it gets approved in the EU.

> You can post a statement that the postgresql project feels it is in our best 
> interest and in our users best interest to avoid patents within our code.  
> You can also point out that if there were no software patents, we wouldn't 
> have to worry about this.  I don't think anyone would disagree with the 
> above. 
> 
True, but pointless. The reason this discussion is so vivid is that 
software patents pose a real threat to our way of developing software. 
If we at all care about this, we really should make a stand.

Regards,
Thomas Hallgren


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