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What is all this European Union panic about??
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nelz
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Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2005 12:52 pm
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Location: Warrington, UK

PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2005 8:57 am    Post subject: RE: Re: RE: What is all this European Union panic about?? Reply with quote

It reads like he hasn't recovered from Sunday morning yet Smile
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andychannelle
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Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2005 5:08 pm
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2005 11:10 am    Post subject: RE: Re: RE: What is all this European Union panic about?? Reply with quote

I think patents tend to last about 20 years from the moment of granting, which is why cheap ibuprofen medicine took so long to come out. It is a state sanctioned monopoly on an innovation and is designed to allow the inventor to reap the rewards of her work. The idea is to encourage others to spend money on R&D with the knowledge they'll have some time to recoup losses. Copyright currently remains with the holder (the person who created the work) for 70 years from their death. It used to be 50 years (prior to that it was 14), but the Disney corporation managed to lobby the US govt (and thus WIPO) to extend the period as Micky Mouse was close to entering the public domain. As far as I can tell there will be another extension soon as Winnie the Pooh is getting close to public domain status, and the bear of little brain is Disney's highest earning character.

I don't know why no-one has come up with the idea of putting drug formulae to tunes in order to extend the monopoly life of them. Another drug company woudn't be allowed to copy their "lyrics".

Andy
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towy71
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2005 11:14 am    Post subject: RE: Re: RE: What is all this European Union panic about?? Reply with quote

OS code as poetry perhaps Wink
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davecs
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Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2005 12:13 am
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2005 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Imagine if you will that M$ patented the concept of the WIMP user interface (Windows, Icons, Mouse and Pointer I think). Then KDE, Gnome, Windowmaker, Fluxbox, ICE-WM etc would all be controlled by M$. OK it's hardly a new idea now, but you get the point.

The fact is that the WIMP UI was not originally done by M$, it was done on an Apple computer before a PC, and the GEM interface predated the Windows interface. BUT that does not mean that M$ could not have patented the idea at the time, it was a relatively new thing and not generally used.

It could destroy all open-source programs, and even competition within commercial programs.

If Adobe patented the concept of DeskTop publishing, then all Microsoft's, Serif's and other efforts in this area would be illegal, as would Scribus. All you can "copyright" is your own implementation of an idea. With patents you can own the idea itself.

PS love the earlier post about the guy patenting the wheel!
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jjmac
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Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2005 2:32 am
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2005 3:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Umm, it made sense to me, ( i think ? ) ... Very Happy


>>
All you can "copyright" is your own implementation of an idea. With patents you can own the idea itself.
>>

Yes, thats what i was getting at, in a nut shell. But i was just rolling it around to myself really. There is a difference, though subtle.

So, a patent decrees, or formalises ownership. That ownership being based on it being something original. Such as an invention. But thats all. It's up to the holder to decide how that title will be used. Where copyright controls how it will be used on transfer to someone else.

hmmm, seems the two are closely related, and in themselves apparently benign. Though, as is quite evident in business, when it comes to self regulation ... a person would have to be a fool to think it wont be abused.

And it would appear, that, as a patent depends on the concept of inventiveness. It would seem that thats the thing that is in need of some re-draughting. Like .. what is and what ain't an "invention", compared to an implementation. If that can be defined in an acceptable way, wouldn't that be a major govern over the issuing of patents. Easier said than done though, i know.

Could "xml" be thought of as an original idea, or just an implementation of the "concept" of "markup" language(s). I would think the idea of a patent would have to belong more with the later. But what i think isn't really worth much. It's what that weird commision thinks that counts.

So ... the EU commission has to figure out a definition for what constitutes an invention, or just when does something become original. But also, can't an "original" and thus apatentable thing, consist of a set of other original thing. Like a patentable machine, built from common components ... cogs, sprockets, levers etc. Like the "foon", over here it was called that. It was a cross between a fork and a spoon. A really handy utensil. One could drink beer and have their dinner at the same time, which puts it in the hall of all time great inventions in my book. It was different though. It borrowed two existing ideas and merged them into something completely different.

Doesn't software, kinda do that as well !, in a way.

And, if an object can be thought of as being an invention. Why can't an idea. Or does calling an idea a procedure make it more acceptable in that regard.

I just saw in LXF for March, up at the local shopping center, on the editors page. Seems Poland have been successful in blocking some vote or something. I haven't read it as yet Smile.

If software can be patented were __all__ doomed. And how the fsck does an unelected commission get to have any political power in a democracy. Thats totally weird.

Maybe different "classes" of a patent would be a good idea. With diminishing degrees of associated legal power (ie; different getting screwed levels).

Copyright should be sufficient in most cases. And, because of the complexity, the old surgeons maxim should be made to apply ... "when in doubt, cut it out".

That is, if it isn't obvious enough, and clear cut, then a copyright should only apply. And maybe some form of other recognition with out any legal weight.

Would the EU be having this problem if this so called commission was actually elected. Hell, the weekend is tomorrow, i'll have to have another, umm, long think on that one Smile

If they get away with it over your way. Our egg-roll of a PM will just catch the idea, like the flue. Then we'll all have to carry it.

Good Luck on this. (get rid of that screwy commission for a start)


jm
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                If you want to survive on a Talk Back show,
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towy71
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2005 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The patent office insist that software per se is not patentable but that it needs some "technical element" to allow it to be patented, but they don't have a definition as to that "technical element". I wonder how that works? Over to Jarndice & Jarndice and m'learned friends!
On the commission front the European parliament threw out the proposals but somehow it was then resusitated by the commission, arse. I'm with jjmac get rid of the commission!
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davecs
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2005 1:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can see Messrs Sue, Grabitt and Runne making a few bob, along with m'learned friends...
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hairymunky



Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2005 6:50 pm
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2005 6:53 pm    Post subject: RE: Re: RE: What is all this European Union panic about?? Reply with quote

easy answer ...

just go to the mplayer website, then you'll know what all the fuss is aboot (about!!)

http://www.mplayerhq.hu/
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jjmac
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Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2005 2:32 am
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PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2005 2:21 am    Post subject: RE: Re: RE: What is all this European Union panic about?? Reply with quote

>>
it needs some "technical element" to allow it to be patented, but they don't have a definition as to that "technical element" ...
>>

It is really is just that simple, but, there is a somewhat disturbing air to their explanation. It seems the game is going to be all about "definitions", ... what MS in the 'halloween' memos liked to refer to as 'perceptions'.

I think the antenna needs to very much so, up and observant in that case.

jm
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  -:- Would you by a second hand car off a EU patent commissioner ? -:-

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nordle
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Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2005 10:56 pm
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PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2005 10:34 pm    Post subject: RE: Re: RE: What is all this European Union panic about?? Reply with quote

2pence

Software is generally speaking a form of comminication, its a form of speech, after all programmers generally learn "a language" to program in.

Books are also a form of communication / speech, and authors can copyright a book but they can't patent the story before its been published.
Software is inherently based on ideas from the past, building blocks get re-used or learnt from, thats how it moves forward. When trying to accomplish something, what is the point of starting from scratch EVERY time, especially when there are tried and tested ways of doing things.

Is it not also slightly funny that a patent can be nullified if "prior art" can be shown to exist, but art is one of the forms which cannot be patented.

My personnel view is that ALL patents are bad, I understand that the initial intention was possibly to protect person A from having their invention nicked by Corporation B who can rush it to market much quicker etc But to simply say that two people cannot have the same idea just doesn't work. So what if I think of an invention that someone else thought of 10 years ago, I did not know about it, how can it be wrong for people to have the same ideas!!?

Copyright on the other hand is far easier to place morally.


To quote a source from 1991:
http://lpf.ai.mit.edu/Patents/against-software-patents.html

Against Software Patents
February 28, 1991
The League for Programming Freedom

Software patents threaten to devastate America's computer industry. Patents granted in the past decade are now being used to attack companies such as the Lotus Development Corporation for selling programs that they have independently developed. Soon new companies will often be barred from the software arena--most major programs will require licenses for dozens of patents, and this will make them infeasible. This problem has only one solution: software patents must be eliminated.
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