[Fsfe-ie] Png videoshop

Ciaran O'Riordan ciaran at member.fsf.org
Fri Dec 5 19:33:33 CET 2003

John Evans <jevans at eircom.net> writes:
> I would welcome a consensus view on changes that might be made to the
> videoshop document (or perhaps someone would like to produce their own
> version). Particular issues are
> (i) accuracy (eg. LZW)

The LZW patent is still valid in the EU, it only expired in the US:

"the LZW patent expired in the United States. The Canadian, Japanese,
British, German, French and Italian LZW patents expire mid-2004."

> (ii) wrong impression (eg the India comment)

I'm pretty sure the india comment is incorrect, but I can't think of how
it would be enforced.  In the EU, patents cover use of the idea, so the
user of the website would be infringing the patent.  I suppose.

...actually, I've just had a great idea.  How about a page that includes
some patented ideas, with a big heading "Warning, You have just
infringed patent EPnnnnnnn, this is an offense(crime?), below you can
see what sentence you face:" and list the charges of patent infringement
in a few countries.  (I'll check the legalities of this.)

The proposed EU directive explicitly excluded business method patents
and the pro-patent side cited 1-click as the sort of patent they would

So if we say "look at this 1-click, it's crazy", they'll respond that it
is indeed crazy, and that it's exactly what they are trying to prevent
with the business method exclusion.

Most of the pro-patent efforts are aimed at making us look like
protesters that don't know what we are talking about, so we need to be
careful to demonstrate that we do understand it.

Of course, in practice, I don't see how anyone could distinguish between
business and technical patents, but the MEPs won't understand this.
Maybe the page should highlight which of these patents are for business
methods, and include a note explaining that both sides agree that these
are bad, but patent examiners are paid for the patents they accept, and
the value of patents encourages each country to hand out as many patents
as possible, so some business methods will be disguised as technical
patents, and some coutries will not be strict enough about the rejection
of business methods.

Great page anyway.
Ciaran O'Riordan - http://www.compsoc.com/~coriordan/

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