Another two cents on software patents

In a previous post, I wrote about software patents. Now I remembered a page I came across some time ago, and in the credits section, there was something that I found inspiring, and that quote here:


Recently, people start to try to enrich themself by confusing other people to think, that they own them money for nothing. This confusion is spread by patent lobbists. There is nothing wrong, with their aim to rip of money from others by doing nothing. Unfortunately, this aim is orthangonal to my idea of a how a prosperous environment for creative minds looks like.

In cryptography, there is a minefield of patents. Ciphers, cipher modes, generic construction guidelines are found in patent applications. Not only, that the idea of the possession of ideas is fundamentally flawed, it also hurts free software.

If you like my software, my efforts, or my documentation, I don’t request you to pay me anything. I write software because thinking does not hurt and it’s fun to create and realise ideas. I share software because I’m not afraid that I will ever run out of ideas — I’m actually afraid that I will run out of time before I can realise only the most important friction of them.

Creativity is driven by intrinsic motivation. I request you pick your favorite of the following two futures: a world where this creativity can sprout and many people’s ideas can create something bigger than the sum of their parts, or either a world where creativity is hampered by contracts, lawyers and money transfers and where thinking must be something that hurts and therefore has to be rewarded with money.

I picked my favorite. And I voted for my favorite with my vallet. FFII is a European organisation lobbying for a patent-free Europe. If you like to follow this example, you may do so at their donation page. These folks also have to pay their printer paper, fax machine and air tickets.


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