Winmodem-like solid state storage
Posted Apr 12, 2009 2:05 UTC (Sun) by dwmw2
In reply to: Winmodem-like solid state storage
Parent article: Linux Storage and Filesystem Workshop, day 2
"But I said the opposite. I suggested someone would do the innovation. And then patent it. It is not pessimistic to expect an inventor to patent his invention; they do it all the time, even for trivial inventions."
Then we need to make sure we get there first, patent it ourselves and license the patent appropriately for use in Free Software.
What's the alternative? To always assume that someone will have got there first, and that any software development that's even remotely innovative will fall foul of a patent and thus, in your words, be "useless"?
That's what I meant when I said it "prevents innovation" — I mean it prevents innovation for us, if we always assume everything interesting will already be patented. And that part of the discussion isn't really specific to modems or SSDs, is it? It applies right across the board.
"Patents seem to be anathema to the Linux world. I thought you said patents are the reason Linux and Winmodems don't get along; I'm just trying to complete the analogy."
Modems are a special case, because you need
to implement precisely the patented algorithms in order to communicate with another modem using the affected standards.
For flash storage, you don't have to do that; you have a lot more flexibility to come up with something that isn't affected by patents. A closer analogy might be audio/video compression — where the Free Software world was able to come up with the patent-free Ogg and Theora codecs.
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