Patent law thrown out

  octal 20:49 19 Feb 2005

but not out of the woods yet:

click here

  justme 21:06 19 Feb 2005

I am generally in favour of people and companies being allowed to patent their software, but not to patent the ideas such as using the internet to sell goods or something like that.

This is what is making the patent system unworkable. Just imagine if some book publisher had patented the idea of a murder mystery or a spy story. Then they could stop anyone else from writing similar types of stories.

You only have to look at the mainly American computer companies suing each other. They should only be allowed to protect their software from being copied or used, not to sue someone because they have produced a program which performs a similar function but is an entirely different program.

  Dan the Confused 21:21 19 Feb 2005

Thank God the European Parliament has some sense. If the bill did go through it would be disastrous for small software businesses and allow the software giants to gain complete control, with the result the end user would suffer.

  Forum Editor 00:26 20 Feb 2005

and would do immeasurable harm in terms of stifling enterprise - thank goodness for common sense.

  LastChip 01:02 20 Feb 2005

and we don't see much of that these days!

  octal 08:10 20 Feb 2005

how this would effect Linux if this bill happened to be passed, because as far as I know the no one holds the copyright to it as such as its its distributed under the GNU General Public License click here this applies to a lot of software both linux and Windows released under the GNU. If that bill was passed, would that mean the GNU General Public License would be scraped and everyone would have to buy a licence? I don't see how this would work, especially for Linux, unless they wrote exceptions into the bill, but then that would defeat the object of the Patent law in the first place.

I think they've missed the boat on this one, if they wanted to make this law they should have passed a patent law 15 or 20 years ago, even then it might have been too late. To bring one out now I personally think would be very messy indeed, but I think the likes of M$ and many others, would be absolutely delighted if there was such a law in Europe. I think this law was (is) driven by BIG bucks anyway, but that's just a personal opinion!

  Dennis Goycoolea 13:08 20 Feb 2005

Linux and Free Software in general would be threatened by software patents, read all about it: click here I'm glad this madness has been stopped, at least in the short-term.


This is a little off-topic - on copyright, yes Linux and most software for it _is_ copyrighted. The copyright is held by the authors of the software, and the license (e.g. GNU GPL or a compatible license) allows distribution and modification of it.

So Linux is protected by copyright as much as any other operating system; I always smile when people talk about downloading 'copyrighted material' being illegal. What, now downloading a copyrighted Debian CD is illegal? :)



  jz 21:54 24 Feb 2005

I work in electronics (not software) and find that big electronics companies try to patent all sorts of obvious trivial things. I fear the same will happen with software. I'm not anti-patent, but think there should be much more weeding out of dross patent applications.

  Forum Editor 23:36 24 Feb 2005

You may well smile, but downloading copyright-protected material is illegal......unless you have a copyright licence. Such a licence may be granted by the copyright holder of course, and in the case of open-source software this is the case. It's pretty simple really.

  Dennis Goycoolea 00:39 25 Feb 2005

FE, didn't I allude to that in my last post? Of course I smile, that's because many people talk about 'copyrighted material' without considering exactly that point.


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