Subject: Re: New angle on the patent problem
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <>
Date: Thu, 16 Sep 1999 11:01:09 +0900 (JST)

>>>>> "shapj" == shapj  <> writes:

    shapj> From a social perspective, I am inclined to think that the
    shapj> patent poison pill is mostly good.

I think it rigidifies the division into free software and non-free
software camps, which I think is bad.

    shapj> It advantages small organizations,

No.  It advantages members of a large organization, the "Poison Pill
Patent Foundation".  Without that, there will not be sufficient
coordinated action to make it a threat.  (How many "two guys in a
garage" companies will take time off and hire a lawyer to enforce the
poison pill license against a large well-financed patent shark?)

Furthermore, some members (those with large patent portfolios) will
be more equal than others.  Theoretically, you could charter it in
such a way that small members could pool effectively without conceding 
excessive privilege to large members.  In practice, to get the thing
off the ground you'd need to sign up a few members with large patent
portfolios, both for the initial impact and _to take advantage of
their extensive experience with patent law._

University of Tsukuba                Tennodai 1-1-1 Tsukuba 305-8573 JAPAN
Institute of Policy and Planning Sciences       Tel/fax: +81 (298) 53-5091
What are those two straight lines for?  "Free software rules."