Steven Schveighoffer schveiguy at
Wed Oct 26 14:45:54 PDT 2011

On Wed, 26 Oct 2011 16:55:34 -0400, Chante <udontspamme at never.will.u>  

> "Steven Schveighoffer" <schveiguy at> wrote in message
> news:op.v3ylgbgaeav7ka at localhost.localdomain...
>> On Tue, 25 Oct 2011 00:04:18 -0400, Chante <udontspamme at never.will.u>
>> wrote:
>>> "Steven Schveighoffer" <schveiguy at> wrote in message
>>> news:op.v3u2chz6eav7ka at localhost.localdomain...
>>>> On Mon, 24 Oct 2011 10:39:54 -0400, Kagamin <spam at here.lot> wrote:
>>>>> Chante Wrote:
>>>>>> While I haven't thought it through (and maybe don't have the
>>>>>> knowledge  to
>>>>>> do so), elimination of software patents was something I had in mind
>>>>>> as a
>>>>>> potential cure for the current state of affairs (not a cure for
>>>>>> viral
>>>>>> source code though). Of course, noting that first-to-file is now
>>>>>> the
>>>>>> thing, it appears (to me) that Big Software Corp and Big Government
>>>>>> are
>>>>>> on one side, humanity on the other.
>>>>> Patents are seen to exist for humanity. Elimination of patents is
>>>>> equivalent to elimination of intellectual property. You're not going
>>>>> to  succeed on that. But GPL3 at least protects you from patent
>>>>> claims
>>>>> from  the author, so you'd better use it. You're afraid of others,
>>>>> but
>>>>> GPL can  also protect *your* code.
>>>> Patents are to foster innovation.  Software innovation needs no
>>>> patent
>>>> system to foster it.  Nobody writes a piece of software because they
>>>> were  able to get a patent for it.
>>>> I feel software patents are a completely different entity than
>>>> material
>>>> patents.  For several reasons:
>>>> 1. Software is already well-covered by copyright.
>>> Software, though, is not like a book: it's not just text. There is
>>> inherent design, architecture, engineering represented by source code.
>> Books require design, sometimes elaborate design, and engineering of
>> sorts.  What an author puts into writing a book is not unlike what an
>> entity puts into writing software.
> With a book, the text is the end product. With software, the source code
> is an intermediate representation, or production machine rather than the
> end product. Source code is like a printing press for a specific book. It
> is not like the book. (These analogies are presented more for analysis,
> rather than in direct or opposing response).

compiled software is copyrighted, it's a derivative translation of the  
original source code.  When speaking of copyrighted software, the binary  
code and the source used to build it are one and the same.

>>>> 2. With few exceptions, the lifetime of utility of a piece of
>>>> software
>>>> is  well below the lifetime of a patent (currently 17 years).
>>>> 3. It is a very slippery slope to go down.  Software is a purely
>>>> *abstract* thing, it's not a machine.
>>> Maybe literally "abstract", but those flow charts, layers,
>>> boxes-and-arrows actually become realized (rendered, if you will) by
>>> the
>>> source code. The text really isn't important. The "abstraction" is.
>> Software is not unlike math.
> I disagree. While one can use software to perform math, that does not
> make software "like math".

Then the rest of this argument is moot, and I respectfully will end debate  
so as to not waste any more of our time.


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