Meaningful vs. meaningless support from businesses
Posted Sep 30, 2010 4:17 UTC (Thu) by FlorianMueller
In reply to: Red Hat is great
Parent article: Red Hat Responds to U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Request for Guidance on Bilski
Something to add concerning this statement:
As you point out, we need business support. ...then when we get it, you complain.
Ciarán, you may remember what an EPP adviser (who worked for the political group, not for an individual MEP) told Erik Josefsson -- then the FFII's full-time lobbyist -- in the spring of 2005 with a view to the second reading on the software patent directive:
He said that in order for the conservative EPP group to be impressed, the anti-software-patent camp would have to bring to the European Parliament a group of middled-aged closed-source entrepreneurs with beards, bellies and glasses (obviously that visual part was just meant to illustrate the profile he had in mind, not to be taken literally) to speak out against software patents. In that case, a greater number of conservative politicians would be receptive to anti-software-patent arguments and be willing to rethink their positions.
Without that happening, the adviser said, the largest part of EPP was going to stay on the pro-patent side and wasn't going to be impressed with open source activists.
I explained separately what's wrong and less than credible about Red Hat's initiative. I don't think it's bad if Red Hat supports the cause in the right places (which the USPTO is not). The problem is that their model can't work for an entire economy, so you need support from those pursuing conventional, "conservative", business models. If a Red Hat helped to get more support from companies of that kind, fine, but I don't see that happening (at least not to the extent that any results would be visible).
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