Well done, EFF. Well, about DPL…
Summary: While DPL helps legitimise software patents and centralise them under a common umbrella, the EFF speaks out against them
The new Defensive Patent License (DPL), launched this week by two UC Berkeley law professors, offers an improved way for businesses — especially small businesses — to protect themselves from patent attacks. Over time, it may also disarm patent trolls by reducing the supply of “weaponized” patents.
It is not, however, pro-FOSS like the OIN is. Other than diluting existing efforts, it is unclear what this really achieves. Rather than work to eliminate software patents, it is creating a collective of patents which only companies with a large portfolio can really participate in (as prominent players). It serves to show just why patents are obsolete, except perhaps for the case where they help document ideas (code and algorithms, however can be documented in source code, so there is no need for any patents). Here is what OStatic wrote on this subject:
The new Defensive Patent License (DPL), created by a couple of U.C. Berkeley law professors, is already generating lots of discussion only days after its introduction. Both Ars Technica and Boing Boing are kicking the tires on the newly proposed license, which would purportedly “protect innovators by networking patents into powerful, mutually-beneficial legal shields that are 100% committed to defending innovation – no bullies, trolls, or other leeches allowed.” Here is how this license would work, and you can still contribute to its final language.
The EFF is meanwhile working to challenge the patent system under the banner Defend Innovation. The EFF likes to bust patents one at a time; a better strategy would strive to eliminate al of them in one fell swoop. To quote the EFF’s page:
The patent system is in crisis, and it endangers the future of software development in the United States. Let’s create a system that defends innovation, instead of hindering it.
The correctly target policy and they name software patents. This seems like a better strategy than DPL’s. Just to be sure, we checked to verify that the EFF is behind the latter.
whois defendinnovation.org [...] Domain ID:D165776538-LROR Domain Name:DEFENDINNOVATION.ORG Created On:09-Jun-2012 00:06:36 UTC Last Updated On:13-Jun-2012 21:52:27 UTC Expiration Date:09-Jun-2013 00:06:36 UTC Sponsoring Registrar:Gandi SAS (R42-LROR) Status:CLIENT TRANSFER PROHIBITED Status:TRANSFER PROHIBITED Registrant ID:O-1179459-GANDI Registrant Name:Electronic Frontier Foundation Registrant Organization:System Administrator Registrant Street1:454 Shotwell St Registrant Street2: Registrant Street3: Registrant City:San Francisco Registrant State/Province:California Registrant Postal Code:94110 Registrant Country:US Registrant Phone:+1.4154369333 Registrant Phone Ext.: Registrant FAX: Registrant FAX Ext.: Registrant Email:firstname.lastname@example.org Admin ID:O-1179459-GANDI
Thank you, EFF. They do it correctly this time around. Patent busting should be done en masse. █