pjcast wrote:What's wrong with being able to use copyrighted items for educational purposes? That's how people learn... And that practice has been around long before software was around (for literature and what not)... And it's not as if a educational institute can start competing with you with your own copyrighted material.Bill wrote: Well copyrights and patents protect things in different ways. A copyright will protect your stuff for your lifetime or for 50 years in the case of a corporation. There are a number of loop holes in the copyright law under the fair use clause. For instance, you can copy copyrighted materials for scolarship purposes. But the main difference is that a patent protects your idea where a copyright only protects an instance of your idea.
There is nothing wrong with it. I didn't say there was. I'm quite in favor of it as I copy stuff under that clause all the time. I was just pointing out the a copyright isn't iron clad protection.
This would kill off industries where the cost of development greatly outweighs the cost of manufacture. The pharmaceutical industry is a perfect example. It only cost pennies to make each individual pill, but it costs 10s of millions (some say 100s of millions) to come up with the formula. If a competitor could just copy the formula he could easily under cut the inventor because he wouln't have to cover develoment costs. The inventors of new medicines would be drivin out of buisness.pjcast wrote:[And that's exactly right that patents protect ideas... The point is idea's should not be protected, implementation should (ie software itself), although with limits (like time limts).
Right that was my point. Reverse engineering is a proper thing to do and companies do it all the time in order to figure out how their competition is making stuff. That's why a copyright won't protect your algorithm, thus the need for a patent.pjcast wrote:Reverse engineering something is not against the law afaik. So they can, and will do it anyway.Bill wrote: So let's say you come up with a really good compression algorithm. So you write a program and market it. M$ likes your program and want to include it in their OS. So what they do is buy a copy and reverse engineer it to figure out your algorithm. They produce a document that describes the algorithm and hand it over to a bunch of programers who have never seen your code (clean room). They produce a new program that goes in to their OS and your market ceases to exist. And there is nothing you can do about it even though your code was copyrighted.
I would like to reiterate what I think are main problems. 1) That patents are given for things that they shouldn't be. 2) That access to the court system is very costly. And 3) that judgments from the courts takes way too long.
I think reform is needed rather than abolishment of the patent system.