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How Software Patents Actually Work, an Animation by Gavin Hill
Tuesday, April 19 2005 @ 06:50 AM EDT

You simply must see this! It's an animated film by Gavin Hill, "How Software Patents Actually Work," and it's wonderful. It's explaining the dangers of software patents, and I think it's very effective. Gavin gave Groklaw first dibs on telling the world about his film, so World, take a look, please. You will enjoy it. I love this film.

I asked Gavin what license it is under and for a little bit about himself, and here is his answer:

Yes, it is under a CC license (although it is a no derivatives one). If people want to translate it they can email prmat-help at ffii.org

I'm just a film graduate : ) I produced and directed this with the help of some very committed and professional people - namely Grant Gilchrist, Andy Turvey and Stephan Bourgeois. Thank you very much to them.




  


How Software Patents Actually Work, an Animation by Gavin Hill | 185 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Corrections (if any) go here please.
Authored by: Hiro Protagonist on Tuesday, April 19 2005 @ 06:52 AM EDT
Corrections (if any) go here please.

---
I Grok... Therefore... I am.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Sniff, only QuickTime & Windows Media formats :(
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, April 19 2005 @ 06:56 AM EDT
Not exactely the most useful formats for us Linux users :-(

[ Reply to This | # ]

How Software Patents Actually Work, an Animation by Gavin Hill
Authored by: leguirerj on Tuesday, April 19 2005 @ 06:59 AM EDT
There needs to be a commercial on TV like this during prime time, or better yet
during the Superbowl.

[ Reply to This | # ]

That works well for me, very simple, very cute ...
Authored by: dmarker on Tuesday, April 19 2005 @ 07:01 AM EDT

Nice bit of work and it hits the spot.

Doug Marker

[ Reply to This | # ]

How Software Patents Actually Work, an Animation by Gavin Hill
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, April 19 2005 @ 07:47 AM EDT
Does anyone have the user ID and Password to get into this?

[ Reply to This | # ]

How Software Patents Actually Work, an Animation by Gavin Hill
Authored by: TwinDX on Tuesday, April 19 2005 @ 07:48 AM EDT
Very nicely done - it explains everything in language I could even get my mother
to understand. I just wish the voiceover guy could pronounce GNU Linux properly
though!

[ Reply to This | # ]

Off topic here please
Authored by: fudisbad on Tuesday, April 19 2005 @ 07:52 AM EDT
For current events, legal filings and Nasdaq delisting rulings.

Please make links clickable.
Example: <a href="http://example.com">Click here</a>

---
See my bio for copyright details re: this post.
Darl McBride, show your evidence!

[ Reply to This | # ]

Sorry, this is rubbish
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, April 19 2005 @ 08:32 AM EDT
The problem is NOT software patents, it's TRIVIAL software patents.

This affects ALL areas of industry, including hardware. When people understand
this, maybe we can move forward.

MS are playing a very clever game: Get loads of trivial patents, and they can
annihilate competitors. OR get all software patents abolished because of their
actions, and they can annihilate competitors.

Patents are one of the only protections small innovators have against large
corporations (who like MS generally can't innovate).

Stopping trivial patents is the problem. Otherwise MS win by default.

[ Reply to This | # ]

How Software Patents Actually Work, an Animation by Gavin Hill
Authored by: Stephan Schulz on Tuesday, April 19 2005 @ 08:58 AM EDT
For me, the animation always dies in the middle (looks like the rest is not
even downloaded). MacOS-X, 10.3.8, Safari. Does anyone else have a similar
problem?

Bye,

Stephan

[ Reply to This | # ]

How Software Patents Actually Work, an Animation by Gavin Hill
Authored by: brewer13210 on Tuesday, April 19 2005 @ 09:14 AM EDT
Actually, as nice as it is, it would be far more effective if it also included a
few examples of software patents. I'm sure most people would be surprised (and
a little outraged) to find that "one click check out" was something
that could be patented.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Sorry but .....
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, April 19 2005 @ 10:19 AM EDT
I don't think this video is going to convince anybody who is not already
convinced.

The text is ok but the whole cute/kiddy style just distracts from the message
and doesn't feel serious.
If you think style doesn't count and form has no impact over susbtance think
again.

As usual it feels like something done BY and FOR the community (progarmmers in
that case) while we need something to convince people OUTSIDE the community.
Whether you like it or not, programmers are NOT the ones passing laws ...

The Firefox add was a great example of an action with a larger appeal.

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • Sorry but ..... - Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, April 19 2005 @ 10:28 AM EDT
No subtitles?
Authored by: bshowalter on Tuesday, April 19 2005 @ 11:36 AM EDT
It would certainly be nice if this animation had captions or subtitles so those
of us who are deaf or have hearing difficulties could understand what's being
said.

[ Reply to This | # ]

yet another MS spin?
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, April 19 2005 @ 11:40 AM EDT
There is a curious Article in vunet that claims that the Fortinet GPL case in Germany "proves" that the GPL is unworkable.

"James Governor, principle analyst at Red Monk, said: "This will make Microsoft very happy as it adds to fears over the GPL being unworkable."

Appearently, you can't just steal GPL code. In MS's mind, that is entirely an unworkable business plan. Perhaps that indeed would interfer with their past R&D methods.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Effective?
Authored by: DrHow on Wednesday, April 20 2005 @ 02:36 AM EDT
I was not impressed. This is actually a subtle issue. To attempt to address it
by means of a cutsy animation tends to trivialize the issue for me. The people
who need to be educated are those in decision/lawmaking positions. I think that
such persons take themselves seriously and that they would tend to feel that
this video was patronizing them.

The presentation included a number of important assertions which were made
without justification. I am not saying that no justification exists - just that
I give no weight to such assertions in the absence of justification. In a
number of areas, the presentation was redundant - and I would argue for more
depth rather than repetition.

In the time it took me to watch the video, I could have read a much more
thorough presentation of the issue. The nature of the issue is such that
animation techniques offer no gain in revealing it. The relevant concepts do
not readily lend themselves to graphical presentation.

I want to emphasize that I am not trying to discredit Gavin as a film maker. My
criticism regards the effectiveness of the content and the manner of its
presentation for its intended audience. As an exercise in animated film making,
it constitutes good work from Gavin.

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • Effective? - Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, April 20 2005 @ 04:33 AM EDT
  • Effective. - Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, April 21 2005 @ 05:38 AM EDT
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