[Mono-list] Re: Sleepless at Patentland...

Thomas F. Burdick tfb@OCF.Berkeley.EDU
Thu, 9 Aug 2001 11:04:32 -0700

A Rafael D Teixeira writes:
 > Thanks, Miguel
 >   I've read the article you pointed. But the problem I'm still worried is 
 > about NOT KNOWING which patents we have to avoid.
 >   For example, suppose the Reflection.Emit mechanism is patented, and in 
 > very general terms. We are using it in our compilers. We work hard, produce 
 > usable compilers, publish it under GPL, and then get notified that we have 
 > to settle with MS. We can go back to code and implement a traditional 
 > back-end to generate IL. But MS can still reach to us, seeking financial 
 > remedies, because "potentially" some people is using our first version, 
 > because it's published in the Internet.
 > ENDNOTE 1: I agree with you, software patents MUST be abolished, or the 
 > darkest sci-fi scenarios of corporate dictatorship can become a reality 
 > sooner than expected, because software is embedded in nearly everything.
 > ENDNOTE 2: DMCA is a sour reminder of how misguided the US politicians are 
 > about what is best for society. Corporations are important, but their rights 
 > MUST be submitted to the needs of society and individuals.
 > Rafael Teixeira
 > Brazilian Developer

I wonder how many developers here are in countries without software
patents.  I'd imagine any country in the US's imperialist sphere would
probably have them -- so I'd guess Brazil does -- but conversely, I'd
imagine that any country in the European imperialist sphere woudn't.
There could still be nasty surprises, but perhaps we could keep
development of the most-likely-to-be-patented bits in countries
without software patents?  Anyone know if Japan has software patents?