Subject: Re: Examples needed against Soft Patents
From: Russell McOrmond <>
Date: Tue, 28 Dec 2004 23:03:16 -0500 (EST)

On Tue, 28 Dec 2004 16:06:37 +0900, Stephen J. Turnbull
<> wrote:

> As Russ phrased the issue, I took it that he believes that even a
> fairly small group has the incentive to lobby against software
> patents, and that the network externalities of such a lobby should
> cause it to grow (although he didn't express it that way).  He was
> wondering why that doesn't happen.

On Tue, 28 Dec 2004, Ben Tilly wrote:

> I strongly doubt that Russ has thought his beliefs out in this way.

  Currect, but it was interesting to have it sent back to me in a very
different form.

> I suspect that he believes that, "This is obviously important, why
> aren't people addressing it when their payoff is so obvious and
> the cost to each of them contributing would be so small?" 

  There is also the question as to why specific campaigns seem to work in
some places, but not in others.

  Lets take two jurisdictions as examples.  I am trying to organize in
Canada.  While software patents are of concern to me, it is only if I
somehow leverage the Canada-DMCA-Opponents community (now ) that any work on software patents in Canada will go
anywhere at all.  Software patent policy is changing in Canada, with CIPO
doing very similar things to what the EPO has done, granting pure software
patents even though the law and jurisprudence doesn't support it.

  On the other hand there is the group that is
doing great work in Europe.  Even though software patents exist elsewhere
I don't see any group as well organized as FFII.  What is it about FFII
that has been (from my vantage point) so successful, but similar work has
not happened in North America or elsewhere?

BTW: Thanks for the ongoing discussion.  It has been quite helpful --
especially when there are differing views.  Sorry for the emotions that
burst out from time to time, but given how personal FLOSS advocacy can be
for some of us I hope that can be excused.

 Russell McOrmond, Internet Consultant: <> 
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