Analysis on balance: Standardisation and Patents

MJ Ray mjr at
Wed Dec 3 13:52:41 UTC 2008

simo <simo.sorce at> wrote:
> On Wed, 2008-12-03 at 00:55 +0000, MJ Ray wrote:
> > Aren't patents claimed to reward "the true and first inventor"?
> > (Statute of Monopolies, 1624, England)

Aside to another thread: I know that's old, but it appears to be the
last time someone justified a patent law here and the UK Patent Office
still refers to it.

> > 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.

No, I mean the workers.  Often that means the employees, but I don't
think the patent system should be aimed at employee-employer
combinations, which is how it seems at present.  Independent workers
are important.

> >  - 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 ...

Are workers ill-placed to profit from it?  Arguably still yes, but it
seems a lot less clear-cut than for patents: copyright is granted for
free, while patents cost hundreds of pounds in form-filing fees alone;
copyright material can be exploited by almost anyone now, while patent
exploitation seems to involve thousands of pounds of legal fees.

Actually, I probably am basically against copyright, but we are where
we are and the Berne Treaty, the internet and free software have done
a lot to make copyright fairer for workers.

> >   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.

So fair trade and worker benefit are not good arguments to you?  Then
I leave you to make better arguments to people you understand, because
I don't understand your values.

> > 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.

I'm glad to read that.

MJ Ray (slef)
Webmaster for hire, statistician and online shop builder for a small
worker cooperative
(Notice tel:+44-844-4437-237

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