Subject: Re: Novel anti-software-patent article
From: Lynn Winebarger <>
Date: Tue, 29 Feb 2000 03:37:52 -0500 (EST)

On Mon, 28 Feb 2000 wrote:

> Oldie but goodie....
   Whatever got you to drag this old thing out?

> On Fri, Jan 07, 2000 at 05:56:39PM -0500, Lynn Winebarger wrote:
> > On Fri, 7 Jan 2000, Jesus M. Gonzalez-Barahona wrote:
> ESR has suggested just this scenario as a possible weakness to the
> patent system as applied to free software, and as one of the reasons why
> there has not yet been a major action, taken to court, involving a
> significant patent player.

   I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks it's at least possible
(hopefully I'm not the only one who thinks it's worth pushing, but
possible is a start).

> > > 	On the other hand, security by obscurity is curently not well
> > > considered, AFAIK. If you want a crypto algorithm to be used, it has to
> > > be publically inspectable by experts. Hard to do if it is a trade
> > > secret. (Of course this characteristic of crypto algorithms does not
> > > hold in other environments).
> > > 
> >    You think M$ allows its crypto implementation to be publically
> > inspectable?  And it seems to me their stuff is being used pretty heavily.  
> >    And I doubt they're the only ones.  How about SDMI (Secure Digital
> > Music Initiative)?
> Point?
    It's been a while, but I think the point was that some companies are
more concerned with having trade secrets than their algorithm being
well-considered by those in the know.  [not that I'm in the know - I know
very little about cryptography or security in general].  I guess I was
responding particularly to the "If you want a crypto algorithm to be used"
and showing it was either false or seriously flawed (assuming one means
"used" as in "I used <x> crypt program when I bought <y> online" and not
"I used <x> crypt algorithm when I wrote <y> program.")
    I couldn't tell you why it came up.