Jun 17, 2013Science and Technology
Richard Stallman: Let's limit the Effect of Software Patents

Richard Stallman on software patents! He wrote this wired opinion awhile ago but I just discovered it.

He makes a good point that even if you change the criteria for granting patents, patent lawyers are good at reformulating them to whatever rules might apply. I guess that's the challenge of dealing with smart opponents!

So he proposes to limit effect, not patentability. He says "We should legislate that developing, distributing, or running a program on generally used computing hardware does not constitute patent infringement."

Interesting take. 

Let's Limit the Effect of Software Patents, Since We Can't Eliminate Them | Wired Opinion | Wired.com
Patents threaten every software developer, and the patent wars we have long feared have broken out. Software developers and software users – which in our society, is most people – need software to be free of patents. The patents that threaten us may be called "software patents," but that term is misleading.
Christi MillerI don't think this is the way to go. Patents can be good if they are awarded appropriately and it's fair to reward inventors for things they truly invent, even if it's software. If we went Stallman's way, developers who had legitimate inventions/patents would have little recourse to actually enforce them.
Jun 17, 2013