View Full Version : patent absurdity
April 18th, 2010, 11:58 AM
I just saw a screening of this movie a few weeks ago at libreplanet it's pretty good. most people don't realize how bad software patents are for software in general and especially for free software: http://patentabsurdity.com/
April 18th, 2010, 12:24 PM
It's seems more concerned with spouting propaganda than actually making a case for their argument. It's also horribly recorded.
It's not that I disagree with them, but e.g. the explanation with the mathematician should have been much longer and gone into more details. Matrices and operations on them are sadly above most people and if you don't follow the very simple math you fail to exactly follow the point they are making.
They could be doing a very well substantiated argument, but especially Eben's opening argument really does paint most highly educated judges as egomaniacs who would rather be unjust than inform themselves. I think the more productive approach would be to point out that outside of the software business e.g. not a whole lot of people understand software (or paint making for that matter). The problem is also that as we go back in time this feeling of computers as being "magic" is only increasing because then they basically were. This is not a problem extending only to patent law, you have to be judged by your peers. This isn't so much an argument against software patents as it is an argument for education of members in the legal profession on IT by IT people rather than by law professors. You cannot judge someone in these without understanding how they work.
The best part is definitely about the midway point, the graphics and the history lesson is very well told, it also manages to explain the growing costs from software patents.
Also I can't believe they didn't go with Patently Absurd for the title.
April 18th, 2010, 03:36 PM
It makes you wonder... If any open source OS compilation became popular enough... How long would it stand against litigation?
It would be like a poker game with unlimited stakes. The large player would only have to raise the stakes beyond the others ability to call and the hand is won by default... Fold...
It also makes me wonder if Ubuntu could afford to hold as much as 5% of the OS market without coming under attack?
April 18th, 2010, 04:06 PM
They could be doing a very well substantiated argument, but especially Eben's opening argument really does paint most highly educated judges as egomaniacs who would rather be unjust than inform themselves.
He is right. What he said is that a trial judge can't learn about software over night if he never programed in his life; no matter how hard he try. And that is true. You seem try to paint it as something else.
Fact is, most judges do not know a thing about software, and people in USPTO do not have very clear idea for what they are giving patents for. They are just giving out patents for thing that are not in the books or manuals.
I think they made a few very interesting points with this video, pretty clear to me.
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