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06.20.12

DPL Wants to Contain/Lock Innovation, EFF Seeks to Defend Innovation by Fighting Software Patents

Posted in EFF, Patents at 11:48 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Well done, EFF. Well, about DPL…

EFF for bloggers

Summary: While DPL helps legitimise software patents and centralise them under a common umbrella, the EFF speaks out against them

THE (RE)EMERGENCE of DPL has been responded to by the president of OSI, the Open Source Initiative. He calls DPL “a new way to end patent madness, noting:

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:071f78f18f1a1a8e5264504ce51338d8-1181248@owner.gandi.net
Admin ID:O-1179459-GANDI

Thank you, EFF. They do it correctly this time around. Patent busting should be done en masse.

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