Click here to monitor SSC
SQLServerCentral is supported by Red Gate Software Ltd.
Log in  ::  Register  ::  Not logged in

Software Patents

By Steve Jones,

I highly dislike the current patent system in the US. I think awarding patents for an idea like "1-click purchasing" is a poor practice that discourages innovation. There are numerous problems with our patent system, not the least of which is that it can stifle new ideas and prevent small companies from building on similar ideas that are, well, what I'd all common sense. I don't quite share Richard Stallman's view of software patents, but I do think we have fundamental flaws in the way we handle this intellectual property.

I do, however, think that software has value, and the work we do as software engineers deserves compensation, as noted in this post. We should have some patents, and we should reward those that create truly innovative, and not common sense, ideas in the digital world. How we define those, and how we measure innovation isn't clear to me, but I do think that non-trivial ideas deserve protection.

Our legal systems around the world are slow to catch up to the digital world, and may never do so. As quickly as we can debate patents, copyright, trademarks, and more, the digital world grows, expands, and changes to stretch and challenge our thinking of how the world works. It almost seems as though digital ideas and software defy analogies and explanations that we can relate to the real world.

I don't know how I'd change patents, but I don't want them to go away completely. I do, however, know what I'd do with copyright. I'd change it back to the original system we had, granting 14 years exclusivity to creators, with a single option to renew for 14 years and that's it. The world certainly changes too fast to wait 95 years to use someone else's work.

Total article views: 114 | Views in the last 30 days: 1
Related Articles

Digital Storage

Digital technologies have made the transfer of information easier than ever, but what about it's lon...


Patent Stupidity

Comments posted to this topic are about the item [B]Patent Stupidity[/B] The whole computer industry...


Software Patents

Comments posted to this topic are about the item [B]Software Patents[/B] Well, that 1-click patent b...


Patent Stupidity

Recent developments such as the Apple vs. Samsung trials, or Oracle's unsuccessful claim that it...


Secrets and Lies

An fascinating look at security in the digital world.


Join the most active online SQL Server Community

SQL knowledge, delivered daily, free:

Email address:  

You make SSC a better place

As a member of SQLServerCentral, you get free access to loads of fresh content: thousands of articles and SQL scripts, a library of free eBooks, a weekly database news roundup, a great Q & A platform… And it’s our huge, buzzing community of SQL Server Professionals that makes it such a success.

Join us!

Steve Jones

Already a member? Jump in:

Email address:   Password:   Remember me: Forgotten your password?
Steve Jones