Subject: Re: Why software patents are bad
From: bruce@perens.com
Date: 17 Sep 1999 21:22:19 -0000

Peter,

I think your secrecy of work-rules argument is invalid, because such secrecy
would not prevent _other_ companies from releasing the details of their own
work rules in an attempt to attract workers, even if those rules were
identical to a company that kept them secret from outsiders. Patents act to
prevent Open Source use of an algorithm and create a monopoly condition. The
real problem is that this monopoly is granted too lightly, without the
patentor having to prove that he really has an invention. Then, those who
would dispute the patent that the government has granted must do the job the
government should have done, at their own expense.

From: "L. Peter Deutsch" <ghost@aladdin.com>
> 2) Why doesn't the same argument apply to copyright?

Copyright protection was originaly granted as an _exchange_ for the work
eventually going into the public domain. This mechanism has been perverted
by repeated extension of the term of copyright. However, copyright alone does
not prevent competitors from creating a similar work. No real monopoly is
granted.

	Thanks

	Bruce