TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Software Should Not Be Copyrighted -- Lawsuit

Re: Software Should Not Be Copyrighted -- Lawsuit

Mark Crispin (mrc@CAC.Washington.EDU)
Wed, 15 Dec 2004 11:40:37 -0800

On Tue, 14 Dec 2004, Steve Sobol wrote:

>> Intellectual-property consultant Greg Aharonian hopes to convince the
>> court that software makers can protect their products adequately
>> through patents

> No. Patents are absolutely NOT the proper way to go. Copyrights are.

I agree. This is one issue that the Gnu radicals got right.

Now, we may all feel that copyright should not last as long as it
does, especially in the field of software where the value of
intellectual property becomes moot long before its creator dies. All
too often, the preservation of antique software has been hampered by
the difficulty in identifying who owns the IP and securing permission.

Even worse, once the owner is identified, it turns out to be an
extraordinarily complex and expensive process to get the permission
executed even when the owner is otherwise pleased to grant it. What's
needed is an inexpensive process by which an owner can abandon IP
without undesirable side-effects.

But that's something that should be fixed in copyright law.

Patents, on the other hand, lock up techniques; and the history of
software patents is a sad litany of numerous obvious and commonly-used
techniques being claimed under patent. The necessary litigation to
overturn such patents is ridiculously expensive.

Something tells me that Aharonian is a lawyer who's looking to drum up
even more business.

-- Mark --
Science does not emerge from voting, party politics, or public debate.
Si vis pacem, para bellum.

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