Analysis on balance: Standardisation and Patents

simo simo.sorce at
Wed Dec 3 02:33:32 UTC 2008

On Wed, 2008-12-03 at 00:55 +0000, MJ Ray wrote:
> simo <simo.sorce at> wrote:
> > On Tue, 2008-12-02 at 21:42 +0000, Alex Hudson wrote:
> > > [...unattribution lost?...] Those things which cost 
> > > > money/labour to create/invent are privatized in the hope this incentivises 
> > > > people to invest that labour or money. If you can get the returns of that 
> > > > privatization without making the investment, that's a failure mode of the 
> > > > system, no?
> > > 
> > > I wouldn't say so, in the same way that not getting any returns by 
> > > making that same investment also isn't a failure mode of the system 
> > > either. It's a system of risk.
> >
> > If there is no investment what are you rewarding ? [...]
> > The patent system should reward risk takers that actually made the
> > investment, because if you don't, in the long term you will get no
> > investments.
> Aren't patents claimed to reward "the true and first inventor"?
> (Statute of Monopolies, 1624, England)
> If they currently reward *investors* rather than inventors, that is
> yet another illustration of the corruption and perversion of software
> patents.

It depends on how you define inventor, for things that are expensive to
'invent', you are either a rich inventor, or you ask an investor to fund
your invention. In the latter case (the common one), you get the name on
the patent and the investor (most of) the profits that come from the

> The risk-takers are the workers and they are the ones that should be
> rewarded in a fair way

Workers, if by that term you mean employers, are seldom risk takers.

>  - and that isn't done by granting them a
> monopoly which they are ill-placed to profit from.

So you are against copyright too ? It's a monopoly you know ...

>   There should be a
> unambiguous blanket ban on software patents so that software workers
> can get on with working, without fearing submarine patents.

I am against software patents as well, but you should use better
arguments imo.

> FSFE should make that point and make it strongly, for the sake of all
> workers on free software.

FSFE made this point many times already, you can check it did.


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