W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-web-plugins@w3.org > August 2003

RE: Flash

From: Dag Wieers <dag@wieers.com>
Date: Sat, 30 Aug 2003 01:36:15 +0200 (CEST)
To: David Judd <judd@melia.com>
Cc: Aral Balkan <aral@bitsandpixels.co.uk>, "Public-Web-Plugins@W3. Org" <public-web-plugins@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.44.0308300123050.2236-100000@horsea.3ti.be>

On Fri, 29 Aug 2003, David Judd wrote:

> On to patents in general, I personally support the concept of patents.
> Eolas is a wonderful example of why patents should exist (although their
> current technique in enforcing them seems to have all the grace and good
> business practice of the 1000lb gorilla we liken MS to be). Without
> patents small companies/individuals have little protection for their
> intellectual property. NOTE: I am not looking for an extended argument
> concerning this; it is merely my opinion from the point of view of
> someone who has gone through the patent process for these reasons.

Patents are a _bad_ idea especially for small business that don't have a 
patent portfolio. Small business never stand a chance against big 
companies with a large set of patents (even if they do have a patent). The 
only reason I can think of that Eolas won this lawsuit is because they 
don't have any applications and therefor or not infringing on any patents. 
Otherwise Microsoft would have countersued them.

So where you basicly want to have a free market, software patents 
allow some clever guy to create a monopoly on something as basic as a 
progress bar and collects the money.

> Does it affect Europe? You bet, possible not directly, but indirectly
> without a doubt. Most of your software comes from the US. Legality and
> infringement within the US will surely affect your specific utilization,
> Aral.

None of my software comes from the US. There may be contributions from the 
US, but since I'm only running Open Source software you can't say that I'm 
using US software.

So it may affect US contributions to Open Source software in the future 
(just like the DMCA probably had an affect on that). But as long as the US 
doesn't succeed in enforcing software patents on Europe, we can use 
plugins and progress bars and one click shopping scripts as much as we 

So if software patents mean that in the long run US citizens can't run any 
Open Source software, I'm sure US will reconsider its point of view. If 
however they succeed in forcing the whole world to adopt software patents, 
sure they will have a huge advantage (all those basic patents that I 
consider common sense ideas).

If Europe thinks twice, I'm sure they understand what's at stake here.

--   dag wieers,  dag@wieers.com,  http://dag.wieers.com/   --
[Any errors in spelling, tact or fact are transmission errors]
Received on Friday, 29 August 2003 19:36:22 UTC

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