W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org > October 2001

Re: Patents

From: Antonio Arauzo <dax5@jazzfree.com>
Date: Wed, 17 Oct 2001 18:19:20 +0200
Message-ID: <3BCDAF88.17E00BE9@jazzfree.com>
To: Anders <anders.sahlqvist@brandeye.se>
CC: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org
Hi Anders,

 > the proposed royalty fees. However, I do believe most of You are
forgetting
 > the reason why patents exist. It moves all of us forward.

This is not true. Patents stop us moving forward. Its nature is not
allowing someone to do something, just because another one (with more
patents law knowledge, or with more time to waste in useless but self
profitable things) has previously patented it.

 > It gives companies
 > and individuals a possibility to gain a little from their inventions.

Companies and individuals can earn money with their inventions without
patents. Copyrights protects them against someone copying their work. If
after the invention someone is better and faster implementing another
way of doing the same thing, isn't this moving us fordward faster than
letting the first one sit down and rest getting profits for doing
nothing.

 > Without the possibility to patent inventions, we would all still be
writing
 > with chalk on blackboards instead of using computers.

Please consider that the computers most people are using now are the
result of IBM not patenting its PC. And better alternatives like Macs
were left behind because they were patented. Do you still think patents
are good for progress?

The problem is much worse if patents are aplied to software and methods.
If a method for encoding an image is patented this prevents people from
seeing those images. If teaching methods are patented this prevents
people from learning! If an encription algorithm is patented this
prevents companies and people to make safe agreements on the internet.

Fortunately this is not allowed in Europe, and I hope it will never be.
With software patents I would need to spend much time taking care my
programs didn't use any patent instead of doing usefull things. If a
free software programmer that its making software for nothing, giving it
away for people's benefit is asked to pay fees, you can be sure he will
stop programming.

If you want an example of what crazy things can be patented in USA have
a look at http://matrix.netsoc.tcd.ie/~dax5/example.html

AND WE ARE NOT EVEN DISCUSSING THIS. We are talking about standards for
the web. Imagine what would had happend if soneone had patented HTML or
something like that. If an organization as important and trusted as W3
allows people patenting its standards or required methods for using
them. It will lost programmers and users confidence and its standards
will become useless as nobody will trust them as standards. 

The solution is not saying that only a few standards can have patents,
because it will anyway become a mess. And neither it is saying that fees
should be small. (Imagine a fee of just 1 cent on every program that
uses html) Any fee can become discriminatory because people from poor
countries may not be able to pay them.

 > So if these "bad guys" get to earn a little money, what's wrong with
that?
 > It will move the Internet ahead.

I don't think so...

All the best,
  Antonio
Received on Wednesday, 17 October 2001 12:19:31 GMT

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