[Fsfe-ie] Videoshop Mark 2

Fergal Daly fergal at esatclear.ie
Sat Dec 6 03:39:30 CET 2003

On Saturday 06 December 2003 02:02, Ian Clarke wrote:
> > Yes but but even implying it's an innovative business idea is a no-no when 
> > bring business model patents into the picture. I can't remember if they're 
> > also included in the current fight.
> Wait a minute, what are you trying to argue?  I am saying that 
> innovators (whether business innovators or technology innovators) are 
> adversely affected by patents.  You seem to be going off on a tangent 
> about how someone inventing a video library website isn't an innovation. 
>       True or false, it is totally beside the point.

I'm just pointing out (and as I said it's not a very big point) that one of 
the problems with the patent system as it has applied to software has been 
the abysmally low standard for what is innovative. We anti-swpat folk mention 
this a lot and will probably be pointing out just how uninnovative most of 
the patents effecting our video store owner are. The problem is that some of 
them could be considered (especially from a non-techie background) marginally 
more innovative than simply flogging videos over the net. Calling a web video 
store an "innovation" implies that some of these or some of the other 
appalling business method patents which take an everyday physical business 
and webbify it actually are innovations and we wouldn't want to do that.

> Playing Devil's advocate, established companies are already doing plenty 
> of business on the net, even in countries which enforce software 
> patents, like the US.

They are but how many of them have quietly settled with bullshit patent 
companies rather than fight? I have no idea and it'll never be public but I'd 
say the answer is a resounding "some". Then there's the quite public case of 
Microsoft and Eolas, there's also the "you could be next" campaign, can't 
find the site right now but it's a perfect example of small businesses 
getting the shaft on a nonsense patent. So it's a useful angle with plenty of 
real live this is happening right now material to work with. Just emphasise 
that in 10 yers time the web will be awash with "you could be next" companies 
and that each 1 of the patents on that diagram could be used in this way,


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