Software Patents have become so common in technology, but here the question is Are they right?
Recently Yahoo sued Facebook for infringing on 10 of its patents involving advertising, privacy controls and social networking. After less than a month, the Facebook’s response was direct, they accused Yahoo of violating ten of their patents on photo tagging, advertising and more.
What these two company haven’t realized is that they seem to be two little babies who are crying because they don’t have milk to drink. Yahoo that is in a terrible situation, from all the points of views, took this decision showing how weak it is. Facebook, instead of ignoring or settling, decided to respond in the same way.
Nowadays it is so common that a company sues another company. People don’t even think about it, because it is always in the news. The insanity of this sick system has become natural. Further the huge companies are constantly supporting the system without doing what the common thought would do.
In 1962 the first first software patent was filed. From that point, this fever grew exponentially. Companies after companies filed their own software patents in order to “protect” their ideas. In the same way startups and new companies filed their own patents to advocate their ideas in front of huge companies.
Most of the people would say that software patents help creativity, but this is untrue. The first killer of creativity is a patent. People are obliged to think with the worry of patents, people can not improve software written by others and they can’t even use or work out again an idea.
Is this good? No, it isn’t. People should be free to think in their way and to write software as they wish. Programmers shouldn’t be constantly worried about violating a software patent that can turn their own project or startup in the bin.
If we start introducing patents on ideas, we kill development, technology and creativity.
Isaac Newton once said:
If I have seen further it is only by standing on the shoulders of giants
He meant that thanks to the outstanding work of Galileo, Kelpler and Copernicus he was able to see another world. A world made of ideas, free thinkers and gravity. If patents were applied on ” De revolutionibus orbium coelestium”(Copernicus), he wouldn’t be able to work out gravity and to understand how our universe works.
There is nothing to see in favor of software patents. We can not protect ideas, we should share them in order to improve mankind. What it really struggles us is the constantly use of them. It seems that huge companies are always worried about the theft of their ideas.
Further this is not the best way to protect startups. If you are at the beginning of your idea and you have a limited budget how can you file your patents? The only way is to get funds and then invest them in order to protect your ideas. That is the best way to waste your money.
Although the huge mass of people around technology want to stop this insanity, companies are not listening to them. There haven’t been great steps against this fever, the only no profit organization that fights against patents is the Free Software Foundation located in Boston (FSF). However they can’t solve the problem alone, they need the support of people and companies.
This should be the first step toward a free and better world.