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Thread: gstreamer plugins legal in USA?

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2006

    Re: gstreamer plugins legal in USA?

    Yeah, but it's just humorous. Think about it... This system was created to punish those who violate the law. Yet, it's at the point where it's just a big conglomeration of ******** that it's like, meh, who cares... (to a degree).

    It's as if law makers created so much work for themselves that at the end of the day, nobody wants to sift through the garbage in order to figure out what's right and wrong.

    But, hey, at the end of the day I'm doing whatever is necessary (within reason) to get my Ubuntu system running.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Solihull/Piraeus (UK/GR)
    Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot

    Re: gstreamer plugins legal in USA?

    I think the fundamental problem with it is that the development of software is generally treated as an advanced engineering discipline, whereas it is more akin to writing (think "program writing" as opposed to "software engineering"). And as with writing, copyright is sufficient to protect software assets. When you apply the idea of patents to it, things start to break down fast. To continue the analogy, imagine if Shakespeare had been able to patent the general themes and outline of Romeo & Juliet...would that be reasonable? Or if some poet managed to get a patent on the haiku? Would the literary world be better off if such things had been possible (or if they were today)?

    And how would we stand if the general method and apparatus for attaching two pieces of wood together using a nail had been patented? We would keep on inventing new metal devices for joining planks of wood until somebody came up with a decent one that they patented and offered royalty-free. This is not a good situation for an industry that is still trying to overcome the general problem of reuse in software, which has been at root the main driver for practically every new software "technology" and standardisation effort in the last 10 or more years. The actual solution to that problem, as with the wood, is open source, which has been proved extremely workable and effective, yet the patent system acts directly against such efforts.

    It is not a good idea to strangle a young industry with patent systems at a point whereby the vast majority of code that is written (which the sponsors obviously regard as an investment in software technology), is done so purely for some specific purpose, to meet some particular set of requirements, and does not represent some new or advanced way of doing something as the product of investment in research. However, what happens is that each time some obvious, natural application of existing ideas gets implemented in a new area, that just happens to fulfil one of the criteria for patent grants (which do not require that no prior art exists, only that it does not exist as applied to the same problem) and affords the first one to do something a particular way the chance to patent it, even if the only reason nobody else had done the same thing before is simply that nobody else had so far had a need, opportunity or other reason to do so.

    Sorry for the rant (I'll stop now) only this whole patent nonsense gets me mad like nothing else

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