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Economy & Innovation

From: Matthew C. Tedder <matthew@tedder.com>
Date: Mon, 1 Oct 2001 15:11:06 -0400
Message-ID: <000a01c14aba$e41f17e0$26a67986@temp.wsu.edu>
To: <www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org>

Inventing standards and allowing them to be used as infrustructure for new categories of products and services is what grows an economy (among other things).  It allows for new market within competition can exist and Tthat is the basis of capitolism.

The philosophy Microsoft pushes is factually innaccurate.  Owning a standard for oneself, secures these new markets for oneself and in this respect may grow an economy.  However, it has a far larger effect of preventing economic growth by disallowing (or at least adding significant risk to) making compatible products/services or building newer technologies/standards on top of the "owned" standard.

Thus being able to own standards serves the interest of the owner to the detriment of the greater economy.

I also stand with the crowd that believes software patents are seriously detrimental to economic growth.  The nature of software technologies is just far too fluid and interdependant.  It's the equivalent of patenting things like an explanation of how to put one foot in front of the other, for example.  From a developers perspective, clearly and verifiably rediculous.  

Other patents, such as drug technologies may have some merit.  High research & development costs can often mean that the only way to secure investor's dollars is by guaranteeing a monopoly long enough to offset their risk.  As a result, millions in poor nations die needlessly because medicines/treatments are refused to them even though they could be cheaply manufactured..... But I understand the point that otherwise it wouldn't exist for anyone.

Software technologies are fundamentally different.  And, making software more profitable for software companies does not grow an economy.  It burdens the economy by increasing the overhead to the industries that rely on the said software. Software-related intellectual property goes even farther to increase the costs of software, reduce the inter-operability of software, choices in software, and how software may be used by consumers/organizations.

Software, keep in mind, is overhead for businesses that actually create the products and services that build our economy and our standard of living.  I'd rather it be more helpful than burdensome.  And I'd rather have choices and the fear-free ability to innovate and develop newer and better software technologies.  You might have guessed, I am a software engineer.

--Matthew
Received on Monday, 1 October 2001 19:54:49 GMT

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