Subject: Re: patent trolls and X-licensors
From: simo <s@ssimo.org>
Date: Mon, 05 Jun 2006 07:50:37 -0400

On Mon, 2006-06-05 at 13:50 +0900, Stephen J. Turnbull wrote:
> >>>>> "Thomas" == Thomas Lord <lord@emf.net> writes:
> 
>     Thomas> Stephen J. Turnbull wrote:
> 
>     >> You're evidently thinking of the same usage as "fix a cat," no?
> 
>     Thomas> No.  Very funny, btw, but no.
> 
> Well, that is still the effect.
> 
>     Thomas> The patent system isn't currently functioning much as a
>     Thomas> patent system for software.  All the action is in (a) it's
>     Thomas> negation by cross-licensing strategies and
> 
> What do you mean "negation"?  Cross-licensing is more or less the
> socially optimal outcome if you measure in terms of consumers'
> willingness to pay for the products.  On the one hand you have an
> effective oligopoly, with positive returns to R&D for the
> oligopolists, while on the other you can hope for price competition,

I question both the better R&D and the better price argument.
There are empirical studies that shows that legal costs raise, but not
R&D. And for competition, I never seen a market with oligopolists to be
much competitive.

> increasing the effective size of the market and lowering prices for
> the customers.  This still sucks from the point of view of free
> software, but any effective IP will suck from the point of view of
> free software.

It depends what you mean by effective imo, actually copyleft free
software depends on effective Copyright.

>     Thomas> In software, [patents] *don't* contribute to monopolies,
>     Thomas> higher profits, etc.
> 
> If I've glossed your statement correctly, what evidence do you have
> for that claim?

I would like to know too.

Simo.