That is quite an opening. So tell me, how many software developers have been convicted of patent infringement in this war? The claim that it relates to *every* software developer is a bit at odds with the US centric position in the rest of the article.
> Rather, each patent describes some practical idea, and says that anyone carrying out the idea can be sued.
You cannot patent an idea. You need to reduce it to practice. Protesting against patenting of ideas is like protesting against the sky being orange. Statements like this makes me wonder if he has asked a patent attorney first just to avoid barking up the wrong tree.
> So it’s clearer to call them “computational idea patents.”
Why is this better than "Computer implemented inventions"?
> That same year, it was estimated that Linux was .25 percent of the whole GNU/Linux system. Multiplying 300 by 400 we get the order-of-magnitude estimate that the system as a whole was threatened by around 100,000 patents.
A recent estimate puts the number of US patents in force at 2.1 millions
This includes arts such as pharmaceutics, mechanics and more. I find it hard to believe fully 5 percent of all patents should relate to Linux. Moreover, after KSR a lot of those patents will probably be invalid.
> I don’t know whether Apple’s patents are “good quality,” but the better the patent’s “quality,” the more dangerous its threat.
Dangerous, in what way? Number of programmers that will go to jail or how hard it is to work around these? Quality as meant by for instance EPO relates to how change the procedures to improve legal certainty.
> We should legislate that developing, distributing, or running a program on generally used computing hardware does not constitute patent infringement.
The problem here is what constitutes "generally used computing hardware". Anyone who has worked on embedded systems would know that even embedded platforms are general in nature, the term used is COTS - commercial off the shelf. Much is implemented in FPGA which is also general. Cellphones, covered by a lot of patents, are also general platforms. What then is left?
The problem here is that Stallman brings up a lot of terms such as danger, quality, ideas, generally used computers and more, without providing a solid definition.
If Stallman is concerned about dangers to each and every programmer (as opposed to their employers) why not rather ask for an amendment that patents gives the right to exclude *commercial* use? Many European countries have this clause and allows for educational use of patented technology ( I am simplyfying a bit here).
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