Summary: With the exception of heads of multinational corporations (and their lawyers who impose or enforce monopoly), everyone seems to understand that software patents haven’t a place in society
SOFTWARE patents have had in New Zealand a similar status to what we see in Europe. Loopholes like “device” have been used to camouflage them. According to the national press in the country, the local people continue to oppose what only foreign multinationals and patent lawyers whom these corporations employ seem to be pushing forth. To quote:
As a quick recap, the US government has spent recent times applying significant and sustained pressure on countries like New Zealand to adopt US-style IP laws and penalties.
If they get their way? Think internet disconnections because your kid listened to music online, tech companies succeeding based on the strength of their lawyers rather than their innovations and Dotcom-style raids being the norm for what have always been considered civil matters here.
However, what bothers many in the IT community more is the pressure the US is applying around software patents. Our government has spent the last few years reviewing the Patents Act of 1953.
With the support of what certainly appears to be the vast majority of IT professionals and the country’s largest software houses such as Orion Health and Jade Corporation, the Commerce Select Committee – made up of both sides of the House – unanimously agreed to remove patentability of software.
Many in the IT community see software patents as a bad thing, stifling innovation rather than supporting it and protecting mature technology markets (such as that of the US) at the expense of rapidly developing technology export markets such as New Zealand.
In New Zealand, the people still have a lot of power compared to those in the West. There are all sorts of possible explanations for that, but the matter of fact is, their opinion is not different from that of people in other countries; it’s just that in other countries the mega-corporations often write the law by proxy, irrespective of the people’s will. In fact, superorganisms are assumed to have rights of humans, such as privacy.
The ongoing argumentation in New Zealand has helped us who live in the West present the case that people, as opposed to imperialists, do not want software patents to be legal. Keep up the good fight, dear islanders. It helps people abroad, too. █