Tom at Abacurial.com
Tue Jul 30 17:49:34 EDT 2002
On Tuesday, July 30, 2002 at 17:32, Russell McOrmond <russell at flora.ca>
wrote re "Re: [Cdn-DMCA] Patents" saying:
> On Tue, 30 Jul 2002, Tom Trottier wrote:
> > On Tuesday, July 30, 2002 at 16:38, Russell McOrmond
> > <russell at flora.ca> wrote re "Re: [Cdn-DMCA] Patents" saying:
> > > I think you need to re-think what the alternatives to patents are.
> > >
> > > Secrets are OK, if they aren't governemnt protected secrets (IE:
> > > legalistic attacks against the use of public knowledge). This isn't
> > > the type of secret that we were discussing.
> > Oh no? What makes you think that if patents are killed that companies
> > won't seek, and get, other government protections?
> The logic presented to government that convinced them to no longer
> offer patent protectionism would apply even more strongly against
> these other protections. It is our (vague) support of software
> patents that has allowed the discussion of these other protections to
> happen at all.
Government and Logic are not always linked.
> By supporting software patents, you are inadvertantly supporting
> attacks against legal reverse engineering/etc. These things are very
> linked public policy.
Actually, software patents should fully support reverse engineering,
which I am interpreting as *investigations* into how it works, rather
than including the work of duplicating the object.
Patents on formulae, procedures, or steps are not allowed, I believe,
just patents on the particular programs or machinery to accomplish them
> > > Attacks against reverse engineering are also not the alterntative
> > > to
> > > patents - they are part of the patenting mindset.
> > No, reverse engineering would be more necessary if there were no
> > patents. Otherwise, you'd have to reinvent everything. Inventors would
> > seek to obscure their invention, adding extraneous circuits and
> > materials (copy protection) to lengthen their market window. And try
> > to make it illegal, just as they try with shrink-wrap software
> > licences.
> These laws are all inter-linked - you can't simply look at one or the
> other in isolation. Once you convince people of the invalidity of one
> form of protectionism, you are automatically questioning the others.
True, but often governments give with one hand and take with the other -
- the "Balance of Powers." It's like traction control using the brakes
when accelerating to help apply engine power to the wheels according to
how they can use it, or having edits on data input rather than
"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" --Emerson
> Shrink-wrap software licenses are already questionable in their
> enforcability, and some licenses are outright being invalidated by
True. I hope they all go the way of the dodo.
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