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Protect with patents?I have several patents in my name - it is the biggest PITA to get one...plus the lawyer fees etc. This would kill freeware.

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Depends upon the country of origin. What flies in the US doesn't always pertain to the rest of the world and vice versa.I also publish freeware, scenery to be explicit, and I'd like to think that this falls within the realm of the napkin example used within the linked article; thus negating any patent requirement.

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"What flies in the US doesn't always pertain to the rest of the world and vice versa"True.... In regards to freeware, I've seen just as much disrespect of copyright outside of the U.S., and I don't know whether it's due to differences in copyright law or just the safety that distance from the software owner provides. One European site in particular really pushes the idea that freeware is theirs to publish as they see fit. Even if U.S. law doesn't apply, having it in force probably gives some offshore site owners pause. If copyright were removed in the U.S. as a means of protecting our work, I wonder if we'd see more people everywhere claiming that our work is theirs to do with as they want.

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If it flies it will mean the end of commercial software development and sales in the US (and by proxy the world).Without copyrights there's no way in hell anyone will be able to take steps against piracy and other IP theft (plagiarism for example).The entire concept of the lawsuit is completely bollocks though. Copyright is independent of the media after all. It doesn't only apply to printed media as that lawyer seems to want you to believe, it applies to everything.If it doesn't apply to software it will also not apply to digital photographs for example (which are computer data which he seems to claim cannot be copyrighted), nor will it apply to music or videos distributed on CD, DVD, or online (which is also computer data).

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"Of course, some have no Idea, and inject their hyperbole and conjecture instead of common sense.End of the world... Please....."That's very hostile Joe. Please re-read my PM to you.

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Hi Jeroen,I think you may be missing the point - the goal of the lawsuit is not to link copyright to any specific forms of media, but to achieve clarification as to which laws protect software. With a music CD, the distinctions are very clear: The contents of the CD, as well as the cover art are copyrighted, while the CD itself and the case are patented. With a software CD, it gets messy. The CD and case are still patented, the cover art is copyrighted, but the contents of the CD are now claimed by the software developer to be subject to three distinctly different bodies of law: copyright, patent and contract (the licence agreement). The scope for conflicts and different interpretations is enormous. Let's take a very simple, straightforward example: A software manufacturer claims copyright for a program that's distributed on CD. The copy protection on the CD, however, is protected by a patent.Under the 'fair use' doctrine in most countries, the user has the right to make a backup copy of a copyrighted title. But patent law in the same country prohibits the user to crack the copy protection in order to make his backup copy. What we have now, is a CD, which (if it were a legal person) could sue itself. In this example, I have completely ignored the EULA, as I assumed the developer to only claim copyright for the main program, so any clauses restricting fair use would have been void. But in reality, most developers will claim a mixture of copyright and patent for their software titles, so that any restrictive clauses would apply in part. So, the question put to the court is twofold:1.) Is it constitutional to claim such a wide scope of IP protection for a single product?2.) If the answer to 1. is 'no', how should the scope be narrowed? Copyright is easier to claim, more economical, and fairly broad in scope. Patents are more expensive, fairly narrow in scope, but much easier to enforce.Cheers,Gosta. http://www.hifisim.com/images/as2betateam.jpg

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no.The software is copyrighted (this prevents copying the whole lot and giving it to whoever wants it).Certain algorithms and specific workings of the software may be patented which prevents others from immitating those in their own products (so this is NOT aimed at the end user but at competitors).The license agreement while it usually contains clauses reinstating the provisions of copyright and patent law which apply to the product is for the rest mainly a disclaimer of responsibility for damages caused by the software.Neither can stand alone, only all 3 together will provide protection from the 3 main lines of damage to a software company:1) piracy2) technology theft by competitors3) libel and liability claims by users and ambulance-chaser style lawyers.Remove the protection against piracy by removing software from the copyright system (which would by proxy remove ALL content distributed in digital form from the copyright system as a good lawyer could easily claim all of it is essentially software...) and you're removing the only thing software companies can use to go after pirates.This will effectively drive them all out of business as instantly any and all measures to prevent piracy will become illegal (they'll be blocking peoples' constitutional rights to do with the stuff what they want which invariably seems to be hand it out to everyone they know, seeing as they are doing that now whenever they can find a crack).

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