Useless Patents That Impede Progress

Brent Ashley has posted some thoughts about patents and The Software Commons on his blog, following the news that NetObjects has a patent on WYSIWYG HTML editing. A few thoughts follow…

NetObjects is likely to go after large companies with large bank accounts and vast hordes of lawyers (eg, Microsoft) to try and collect on their new patents. Microsoft won’t just settle such a suit, because they have too much invested in WYSIWYG HTML (MS Word and FrontPage come to mind). They’d be a lot more likely to just buy NetObjects. The least costly solution, however, would be to dig up some prior art… and odds are that it exists.
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Sun Defending Their Java Investment

Yahoo – Sun defends Java platform investment: “The company says it makes money by building services and hardware systems around Java, which it manages in a semi-open process.” I’m certain that Sun has generated business as a result of Java. It has been good for them both in terms of marketing, and in terms of providing technology that enabled developers to use their systems.
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Why Would You Care What I Write?

If you’re curious about the goal of this site, check out this article.

Why would you care what I write? For the same reasons you would care what anyone writes: you find the topic interesting, or the opinions resonate or dissonate with you. My purpose with this site is not to build some gigantic audience that I can “monetize”. My goal is to have a place where I can keep a journal of things that are interesting to me and thoughts that come to me along the way. Perhaps some of those thoughts will be interesting to others and we’ll get some discussion going… but given my real goal for this site, I’m basically guaranteed to succeed.
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The Software Commons

The open source software revolution is just heating up. Though some would portray it as a destroyer of intellectual property, the truth is that it is a chance for companies to work together to save billions of dollars and retain the intellectual property that is truly important to them.

The Software Commons
Where Is Open Source Taking Us?

Though the GNU project has existed since 1984, the notion of thousands of developers collaborating remotely on software projects was inconceivable before the Internet came along. The rules of business haven’t changed; companies still need to turn a profit. The rules of software, however, have changed. This article explores how open source software is creating a “software commons” that will significantly alter the landscape of the software industry.
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