respectful naming of your opponent
Posted Oct 15, 2007 19:31 UTC (Mon) by moxfyre
In reply to: respectful naming of your opponent
Parent article: A visit from the trolls
> I know this is going to sound weird to some folks, but I would appreciate it if we didn't use disrespectful terms like "troll" to denote people whose actions or roles we dislike.
> We can argue that they are doing wrong while still referring to them with a word which indicates a normal human being just like the rest of us.
I understand your sentiment, but I think the history of the term "patent troll" actually shows that it's not meant to be offensive, but rather descriptive.
I believe it comes from the folk tale of a troll who hides under a bridge for a long time. People use the bridge to get about and do their business. One day the troll pops up and demands some fee to cross the bridge, causing problems for everyone who was using it.
In the same way, patent trolls wait until a particular technology becomes popular and widely used, and then "pop up" and start demanding money to use it. Many of them own dozens of patents and just selectively enforce the ones that pan out.
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