Subject: Re: Novel anti-software-patent article
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <turnbull@sk.tsukuba.ac.jp>
Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2000 15:31:37 +0900 (JST)

>>>>> "Craig" == Craig Brozefsky <craig@red-bean.com> writes:

    Craig> What happens outside the U.S?  Can we generalize the
    Craig> "beneficiaries" to mean the whole globe, or maybe even just
    Craig> a statistically significant portion of them?  Trickle down
    Craig> baby, we're taking this show on the road.

To be honest, I have no idea how to do the relevant accounting in
societies much less transparent than the U.S.

Europe's income flow is not as transparent as the U.S.'s.  "Trickle-
down" occurs, but not via stock-ownership, which is still moderate
(Britain) to small (elsewhere).  Instead it goes via monopoly profit
being partially siphoned off by unionized employees.  I'd say the
effect is much more concentrated on the better off members of society
than in the U.S.  On the other hand, Europe doesn't accept software
patents AFAIK, so the point is moot at the moment.

As for the emerging and transitional markets, penetration of stock
ownership is negligible.  Regardless, even the current US system of IP
would be an improvement.

(-: But forget IP reform there; far more important is for you to
internationalize all your programs, especially OSes and the
development tools; don't forget to provide Mandarin and Devanagari
gettext message catalogs.  And translate the comments!  Lack of tools
in the national languages and for processing them is a significant
barrier to entry, despite the penetration of English as a technical
pidgin.  Much more so than IP.

I'm only half-kidding; at least here in Japan, at the graduate level
many students avoid economics because of the need for English skills.
I have heard a few student and developer comments that indicate there
is a definite (but less serious) "English barrier" for software (which
actually penetrates to the undergraduate level, since most
"user-friendly" systems did not handle Japanese very well until
recently, so identifiers and comments had to be in English or
transliterated Japanese---and many professors discourage the latter!)

I imagine China (PRC) is quite analogous, and Indians can be
surprisingly bad at English (at least to me; the Indians I know by and
large have superlatively good English).

    Craig> Is there some voodoo going on here I'm not seeing?

    sjt> Yes.  It's that witch-doctor over there sticking pins into the
    sjt> "Richie Rich" doll as he roasts it over slow coals.

I'm sorry, that troll was uncalled for, even in context.

- 
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