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The Age of Speaking Out Against the Patent System

Posted in Law, Patents at 9:25 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

[written in 05/12/2011]


Summary: A few more examples of notable figures that grew tired of the patent system as it stands, especially in the United States

EARLY in the month Russia Today interviewed Richard Stallman. We saw some very good answers from Stallman, even to seemingly hostile questions.

One article which was written around the time of the interview concentrated on Stallman’s take on patents. To quote: “Muktware: Do you think USA is becoming hostile to innovation and competition as the companies like Apple and Microsoft are gaming the system?

“RMS: I have to point out that innovation is not my highest value. Human rights are my highest values. So I don’t to get into the dialogue that treats innovation as a primary goal.

“With software patents the US has become a dangerous place for software development, including innovative software development, because when a program is innovative, that means it has some new ideas in it. But it also has lots of well-known ideas in it. A large program combines thousands of ideas. So if you have some new ideas and you want to use them, in order to use them you have to combine them with a lot of other ideas that are well-known. And if you are not allowed to do that because those other ideas are patented, you can’t use your new idea.”

Stallman might be described as eccentric by some, but what about business people like Mark Shuttleworth? Well, he too holds a similar opinion on the US patent system, as noted here before. One article which was written about it says that the whole patent system is a sham, according to Shuttleworth. And for those who cry foul and say that patents are only disliked by ‘freeriders’, let us remember who Shuttleworth is:

Mark Shuttleworth is probably best known for three things. Selling the certificate authority Thawte Consulting to VeriSign for about $575 million in 1999; using some of that money to become the second self-funded space tourist; and using some more of it to found and sustain the Ubuntu version of GNU/Linux.

So here we have a rich businessman detesting patent. Even Bezos recently attested to a similar experience. The trend is telling.

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  1. Michael said,

    December 13, 2011 at 12:36 am


    Stallman, as is his norm, made a complete fool of himself and made it harder for true supporters of open source software. Here is the interview:

    How does free software promote personal freedom?

    Free software literally gives you freedom in the area of

    Well, this is true to some extent – you should be free to select to use it or not. But then the loony goes on to talk about how it is a human right to use the software he approves of, as if you are going against human rights to use software *he* does not approve of. Completely idiotic.

    Stallman then makes it clear that his view of what software he approves is a “political” decision – not one based on intrinsic qualities of the software. As many who frequent this site and COLA know, and Stallman makes clear, “free” software is not about making people productive or making software as good as it can be, it is about politics and philosophy.

    If free software is suddenly enforced on the world wouldn’t
    it cause a massive cash outflow from related industries and
    whole organizations.

    Who cares?

    This is an easy question to answer! The people you want to convince to follow your whacked out cult! But Stallman goes on:
    What good is a so-called industry that is creating tools to
    subjugate people. I won’t use the non-free software at all.
    I dedicate my effort to getting away from it. So if they
    stopped making it that would be great. I wish they would. I
    hope for the day when they won’t make non-free software any

    This is where Stallman could have made it clear he supports *real* freedom and believes people should be able to make – and use – either software he approves of or not… that he would like to see the software he approves of gain in popularity and how he thinks that if people make this *choice* this would be a benefit.

    Instead he does not say a word against the idea of having his ideas “enforced on the world” and then talks about his own preferences and actions and how he wishes the world would comply. Who cares if he dedicates his effort to using software that is developed as he sees fit, comes with a blue theme, or does not have the letter “B” in its name? He can do whatever he wants. He can be free. By why push his desires on others.

    And his BS about how restricting choice somehow increases freedom is just absurd double-talk. When open source software serves me best, I use it. I am free to do so and I do. When closed source software serves me best I use that… assuming it is worth the price (if there is one… it can be free). Stallman misuses the term “free” and makes things up about how people would be more free if only they would restrict their choices as he does.

    Utterly insane. He is a miserable spokesperson for any movement.

    And then he completely contradicts himself:

    What would I do to convince companies to use free software?
    I hope they will for their sake.

    For their sake? What? Just before this he was saying he did not care about their profitability. He cannot keep his story straight for 10 minutes!

    Then he makes another completely outrageous comment about using proprietary software and using illegal copies:
    An unauthorized copy is almost as nasty as an authorized copy. … If they pay the developer than makes it worse.

    What! Not only is he against people using software he does not approve of, but it is worse to follow reasonable morality than to not! It is *worse*, says Stallman, to be honest than to lie (at least in this area).

    Stallman is completely devoid of any sense of reasonable morality. And his cult followers worship this immorality. Just sickness.

    He insists people are evil for exercising their own freedom. And it takes away your freedom to exercise your freedom and make choices he does not like. Insanity. And many of the COLA herd follow this whacked out “leader”.

    At least in this interview he did not eat from his foot nor speak about his views of kids and sexuality. Still, what a repulsive man and immoral man Stallman is! The more I listen to his whacked out, cult-like babblings the more insane I realize he is.

    And the more against the open source movement I realize he and his followers are.

    phel Reply:

    Stallman consider commercial software immoral. From that pov it makes complete sense to claim that paying for a license is bad. The only companies which would have a problem in Stallman’s world are parasitic mega software-centric companies which the world would do much better without.

    Michael Reply:

    Stallman encourages using software in a dishonest and illegal way… this is not moral no matter how you try to twist it.

    phel Reply:

    _If_ commercial software is considered immoral, paying for it is no better than buying drugs or stolen goods.

    Michael Reply:

    So? Really… I do not see the point. Nobody is suggesting you should be required to pay for it. Don’t pay.

    But don’t be dishonest and immoral and use what you do not pay for (unless permitted, of course!)

    This is not complex. Stallman is advocating dishonesty and immoral behavior. He need not do this – he could just advocate using software he approves of and not that which he does not approve… and he can pick any criteria he wants. I am fine with that. If Stallman tomorrow suddenly declared all software with a green icon evil, his herd would follow him on that. No problems with me! Just don’t then say you should use such software without paying for it (outside of its license requirements).

    Got it?

    twitter Reply:

    I can’t wait till you get the bill for your posts here, Michael. I’ve got a portfolio of trolling patents. I won’t tell you what they cover, but paying up now will save you a lot of time and money.

    Michael Reply:

    Interesting how you have now admitted you and your group of cult-folks get paid to post your nonsense… but you have me confused with someone else if you think I will ever pay you a dime for your BS. Sure, you amuse me, but it is not like you are worth a cent.

    twitter Reply:

    I’m sorry, that was a joke. I was pretending to be Bill Gates or one of his flunkies.

    Michael Reply:

    Why would Bill Gates want people to pay him for posting here? No… you made it clear that your cult is paid to post here. Which is not surprising… after all, who would post the type of nonsense you do for free?


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