Friday, October 08, 2004

The Danger of Software Patents

We just had Richard Stallman in town giving a talk about the Danger Of Software Patents. It's not often that we get such illuminaries all the way down here in Melbourne, so I went along and was hugely impressed by his talk. His arguments were compelling and his delivery passionate - I couldn't help but agree with every point he made.

His major points, as I saw them were:
  • Software ideas patents make development hard, particularly for small development groups
  • They help big mega corporations, often at the expense of the small development group
  • They hinder progress (exactly opposite to their intention)
  • Patent lawyers are the only ones who really make money from the system
He's working hard to abolish patent laws in as many countries as he can. He figures that his country is too difficult to change but if other countries don't have the laws then the US will be at a disadvantage and will be forced to change.

I was converted. Power to the man. My little role in the issue now includes informing as many people as I know about the destructive potential that software ideas patents have. Particularly to developers who typically just don't know.

Listen up kids, software idea patents are bad, mmmkay?

No comments: