Wednesday, September 10, 2008

LPT370 Assignment 1

software patents

the good, the bad, and the ... (already been said)

Using technology to engineer social change?? How on earth could technology be used to affect the human psyche.

"While an algorithm standing alone can't be patented, if it can be demonstrated that that algorithm can achieve some commercial aim in its application in software, well ... that's patentable. Well duh" - Mark Webbink - Truth Happens

look and listen here:

Sure seems like a complicated subject: all these genius lawyer types butting heads over things I can can barely grasp at all: I even get stuck on the algorithms.

But seriously, isn't the whole argument slightly inane? Nobody seems to be arguing that patents are wrong the whole peer-to-patent thing is fighting to improve the process of patenting. So, patents are good, patent protection is good and everything for sale in the marketplace is good. The bad - well that must be those folks we don't agree with, the ones who patented that single click mouse thing. Reminds me of the old saw about everything being for sale - it is the 'price' that is to be negotiated.

I gather, from listening to Webbink, that packaging (the algorithm) has a lot to do with it being patentable hence sale-able. It is software that has to demonstrate the ability to satisfy a commercial aim to be patentable.

That is all well and good but, it is the standalone algorithm - the art - in the Art of Computer Programming (see Knuth, 1968), that should be patentable - make them prints for the wall! Yes, make it art we can use but patent it for what it really is - and yes, lets sell it too.

Oh and there is a nice message in the preface of the book (the image at the top of the post).

What is with bill C-61

Was that visual basic © running on the gov't website? So I need VB to get a government job?

I usually leave this type of stuff to the thinkers but since I have to...
I'll spend a few minutes researching C-61 then a few more lying about it.

Oh boy! This looks ominous - what have they got to do with the Internet anyway. I thought the whole idea behind it was the global village, it's sans frontiers - none of their business.

From the federal website.

This enactment amends the Copyright Act in order to
(a) update the rights and protections of copyright owners to better address the Internet, in line with international standards;
(b) clarify the liability of Internet service providers;
(c) permit certain uses for educational and research purposes of Internet and other digital technologies to facilitate technology-enhanced learning, inter-library loans, the delivery of educational material and access to publicly available material on the Internet;
(d) permit certain uses of copyright material for private purposes; and
(e) amend provisions of the Act relating to photographs to give photographers the same rights as other creators.

If they would just stop mentioning networks and the Internet I could probably overlook this.
I prefer not to get involved but sometimes - it's hold my coat and give me a rock -
I recall, in an earlier lifetime, a lady I knew was stopped boarding the DC-9 at Timmins airport as she was carrying a large bread knife (might have been in her purse she never got on the plane), well, Kiki Lapier was on her way to Ottawa to straighten out one PET - bare with me if this seems slightly off topic, it is a tale of righteous indignation - you see Kiki (she was a lady who never took authority well) had a 4*8 sign on the roof of her house that simply said 'seat belt law fuddle duddle', she had had enough.

Oh, sorry to go off topic. Anyway, in honor of Kiki and her personal crusade, until the C-61 issue is resolved, though I may buckle up I vow to silently utter that oath - fuddle duddle - whenever I do. And, more than that comrades ... at least in my mind, I'll see you on the barricades.

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