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Re: Patents again

From: Abdullah Ramazanoglu
Subject: Re: Patents again
Date: Tue, 12 Oct 2004 21:11:59 +0300
User-agent: Pan/ (As She Crawled Across the Table)

begin  threeseas <> dedi ki:
> Abdullah Ramazanoglu wrote:
>> begin  <> dedi ki:
>>>In gnu.misc.discuss Abdullah Ramazanoglu <> wrote:
>>>>I don't believe that there would be genuine good faith towards OSS in the
>>>>commercial world, beyond the front window dressing. As long as they can
>>>>make the community to believe that they're friends (as opposed to allies),
>>>>why should go that extra mile and give up their "ammunition" away? It
>>>>doesn't sound like a good business deal.
>>>It wouldn't happen without considerable public pressure. At the moment
>>>there is a lot of humming and haring without a clear direction so this
>>>sort of collective indecisiveness will not generate the required pressure.
>> Frankly I think it all takes a businessman and a calculator. When the
>> stakes are high enough (and I think it will be *really* high in 10 years'
>> time) no public pressure would work. SCO has disregarded it even for
>> today's meager stakes, even for a hopeless case. If some big player
>> manages to indirectly bug GNU/Linux in the next 10 years, with hundreds or
>> thousands of patented codes swamped all over the place, and when GNU/Linux
>> is being used by half of the Fortune-1000 companies, which public pressure
>> would possibly stop that big patent player from monopolizing, or at least
>> manipulating to their best benefit, the Linux market (maybe the complete
>> IT market)?
>> So, I don't believe very much in "soft" means like OSS public pressure and
>> opinions to tame commercial players. Commercial world is famous with its
>> dirty conducts and they need concrete barriers not to transgress, I
>> believe.
> So I log on to the newsgroups every once in a while and what do I find 
> in this newsgroup?
> Microsoft cronies again trying to pollute the clairity of issues 
> regarding FreeSoftware, FOSS, etc..
> Now what would happen should I do a google search on groups with key 
> words like "patents, linux, FreeSoftware, etc.." but a bunch of BS of 
> the MS marketing anti-gpl type.

Before shooting off your unsubstantiated accusations, and before offering
to share your sweet dreams on the clarity of the patent issues, did you
ever care to read the full thread in c.o.l.a?

> The fact of the matter is that patents on software are mostly all bogus 
> anyway, and that is what is going to be determined.
> What is simply happening now is that the patent office doesn't have the 
> time to really do the work of computer science, and they shouldn't have 
> to for that is a job for computer science, not the patent office. So 
> they simply pass it off to the legal system, by issuing patents on 
> anything that passes the paperwork abstraction test.

Wishful thinking. Just because you think it *should* be done in a certain
way, that doesn't mean it *is* going to happen that way.

Furthermore, patent office passing bogus patents to legal system is only
welcomed by big players, as it only plays into their hands. How can an
individual or small company be expected to fight it out in the court
against 800 pound gorillas armed with bogus patents? They will mostly bail
out at the first sight of the swarm of lawyers, and be intimidated into
giving up their most basic rights.

Even if we presuppose that bogus patents don't pose a threat against OSS,
what about if there are real genuine legitimate patent infringements
indirectly sneaked into OSS base with untraceable means over long years?

> like it or not but there is a physics to abstraction creation and use. 
> And this will all come out as natural laws governing the physical 
> phenomenon of abstraction creation and use. Furthermore thru the use of 
> an algorythimic automation machine.
> If you all understand what is not patentable, then you'll understand 
> this. If you don't, then go to the patent offices and look it up.
> There is no threat to open source software from software patents. 
> Besides what I just mentioned, there is also the tracking and approval 
> process of any code that gets into important places in freesoftware.
> Its why we know SCO is nothing more than a front for anti-freesoftware 
> marketing, which is no supprise MS was found to be in the mix.

One, not all important projects are being subjected to the tracking and
approval process, if you're referring to the Linux kernel. And even that
was newly put in place after the SCO case.

Two, even with a code approval process, there are ways to sneak patented
ideas into a project. It is naive to think otherwise. Just as an example,
what if some fake developer with a phoney usenet id shares his "ideas" and
discusses about some concept, and casually drops in snippets of code in a
developer usenet group, which is "unfortunately" already patented? And
what if several real OSS developers innocently copy such ideas into their
projects? Who can possibly ever know that an idea freely discussed on the
usenet would be in fact a patented idea? Or, each developer should hire a
patent attorney? And what happens if some of those many "bugged in" patent
infringements get proliferated into hundreds of occasions after a long

Enough of beauty sleep. Wake up, and get real.

> I suppose it also not any supprise such anti-freesoftware marketing has 
> spread to the likes of freesoftware newsgroups.
> How many of you are using false identities?

Not me. But first look at your own post peppered up with suggestions
bordering flames. Are you trying to hijack or water down an otherwise
serious thread? And also look at your downplaying such a serious issue. Do
you really think that you would be able to seduce us into thinking that
it's not really a threat afterall, so we can all go get some more beauty
sleep? Clean your act, please.

As a side note, I must say that I'm shocked with the indifference of the
folks in gnu.misc.discuss group. No one can say something solid that
mitigates the threat, and the more I try to focus on the core issues the
more I get responses focused on the details, ignoring the core question.
If there's no answer, then why this silence? If we accept that there is a
problem, then why don't we start working on it? AFAICS, this is the
ultimate place to go for this issue. Isn't g.m.discuss is the place of
GNU? If this group will be so indifferent on this, then where should we go
for issues regarding GPL and patents? Directly to RMS?

Most puzzling.
Abdullah        | aramazan@ |
Ramazanoglu     | myrealbox |
________________| D.0.T cöm |__

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