Subject: Re: Examples needed against Soft Patents
From: Seth Johnson <seth.johnson@RealMeasures.dyndns.org>
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2005 06:38:30 -0500


"Stephen J. Turnbull" wrote:
> 
> >>>>> "jean" == jean camp <jean_camp> writes:
> 
>     jean> 4. free information: under the licensing system most
>     jean> information was free. most information was beneath the
>     jean> ownership of the King. So if you ever hear that
>     jean> Shakespeare's plays were 'pirate' copies that is not quite
>     jean> true. His material was not subject to patents and licensure
>     jean> being fiction.
> 
>     jean> So I could see that the founders could have been rejecting 1
>     jean> & 2, and implicitly rejecting 4.
> 
> Or perhaps combining it with 3.  The Constitution does not _require_
> that Congress grant protection, it allows it to do so.


It isn't even put in terms of "protection" -- just as a power of
Congress to stipulate exclusive rights that authors and inventors
may exercise.  Of course, this distinction turns of shades of
meaning of "protection," but it's important to remember that
protection isn't really consistent with copyright -- it's not
some sort of prior restraint that stops you from parsing a work
that's been published -- it's more about recourse and
enforcement.  Talking in turns of protection really gets off the
established track.

Also, copyright precedent very clearly says that the information
contained within expressive works is fair game, that in fact
that's the whole point of copyright.  In fact, there's language
in rulings such as Feist that says essentially that the notion of
content control is against copyright.


Seth

> AIUI, until
> the 20th century, at least, in U.S. law, you did have to register your
> copyright; there was no implicit copyright.  And despite the
> conventional myth in FLOSS circles, the USPTO does turn down patent
> applications.  Lots of them.  Most of them.  (I don't know about
> applications from Microsoft or IBM, though; it's possible those get
> waved through almost automatically---many rejections are on technical
> grounds that the forms were filled out incorrectly.)
> 
> --
> Institute of Policy and Planning Sciences     http://turnbull.sk.tsukuba.ac.jp
> University of Tsukuba                    Tennodai 1-1-1 Tsukuba 305-8573 JAPAN
>                Ask not how you can "do" free software business;
>               ask what your business can "do for" free software.
> 
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