Freedom of Speech in Software – Patents

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Freedom of Speech in Software
Posted by michael on Saturday August 30, @06:06AM
from the if-only dept.

akpoff writes ” I’ve been struggling with the question ‘what’s wrong with software patents’ but haven’t been able to find the right words. I was over at John Gilmore’s website and found a link to John Salin’s ‘Freedom of Speech in Software’ letter to the USPTO back in 1991! This is one of the best explanations I’ve seen. He reminds us that computer programs are essentially like literature or music — they are expressions of ideas. Just because they run on a computer doesn’t make them uniquely different from other creative mediums. We should think player piano (patentable) vs the music (copyrightable but not patentable) it plays.

Europeans — put this letter into the hands of your MEPs!”

Posted in Technology Review.

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