(L)GPL remarks and FreeGIS licensing

Xavi Drudis Ferran xdrudis at tinet.org
Sun Aug 17 22:27:59 UTC 2003

I'm more sleepy now than the first tried I tried to 
express myself, so I may not help much, but let me try.

El Fri, Aug 15, 2003 at 06:11:42PM +0100, Niall Douglas deia:
> On 14 Jan 2003 at 1:47, xdrudis at tinet.org wrote:
> > 
> > For patents to be worth anything, the knowledge they disclose 
> > should not be deductible (is that English?) from available knowledge.
> > That means they should disclose new empirical knowledge, or in other
> > words, new teachings on controllable uses of forces of nature. 
> > 
> > Otherwise, the incentive to disclose something you know and 
> > nobody else knows is fake, for everybody else can deduce it when
> > needed.
> It's very very hard for one man to invent something that no one else 
> in the world cannot reinvent afterwards if needs be. Especially with 
> a working example to study :)

No. I didn't say invent. I said deduce. 
My point is that you may need some expensive labs, experiments and 
prototypes to do the empirical research needed to invent someting
new, which you may not be able to pay back without a patent. So 
you may not want to, so we may all get less inventions without 
patents (that's of course ignoring a few problems and supposing
a lot of things work which aren't working). 

But this is only for inventions that need observation of the 
material world to produce/verify models or theories. You need 
to contribute new facts to the knowledge base, so to speak. 
Not just combinations of known facts in new formulas. 

For new consequences of already available facts, which you 
can get by deduction or intellectual work but not observaion/experimentation
there is no reason we would get that new stuff without the 
patent, so society is better off without patents for 
logical creations. 
And of course anything one person does can be independently done 
by someone else. That's not the point. The point is what do 
we get for the monopoly we give away, a deduction/composition 
anyone else would have produced when needed or an invention 
(teaching on controlled use of forces of nature, therefore 
requiring observation of nature = experimentation ...) that
anyone else would not afford to achieve if she didn't get 
a monopoly and some else might sell without spending on the labs.

> Original 1792 patents were a good idea on the whole and I think a 
> back-to-basics approach would do the modern patent system no harm at 
> all.

That's what I'm saying. Although I would add that this is 
only assuming a lot of things work which theoretically should 
work but have proven not to work over the years.
> You should be. Software patents are a very tiny brick in a very large 
> building which has been continuously built for three hundred years. 

You know what?. I'm trying to remove this brick. I hope many other
people charges at other bricks until the wall falls down. It seems 
more useful than just walking back far enough to be able to see 
the full wall.

I think you're trying to remove this brick too. Let's focus on this.

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