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why should software get BOTH copyright and patent protection ... | 756 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
No you are missing the point
Authored by: wharris on Friday, July 20 2012 @ 11:27 AM EDT
You are misusing the word "improve the machine."

General purpose computers by their nature are intended to compute anything that
can be computed. Adding software "improves" the machine in exactly the
same way putting a DVD into a DVD-player "improves" the machine. It's
certainly more fun watching an action movie than watching a blue-screen, but the
DVD-player was designed and intended to play any movie. In exactly the same way,
the computer was designed and intended to perform any computation.

Consider a calculator. It is designed and intended to add, subtract, multiply,
and divide any combination of numbers up to about 10 digits. It would be
ludicrous to patent "The use of a calculator to find the area of a
circle" by trying to patent the sequence of multiplications that need to be
performed, but analogous patents for "The use of a computer to compute
something" occur regularly. In my opinion, the biggest reason why is that
the mathematics of computation are taught in college to certain majors, while
the mathematics of arithmetic are taught in grade school to everyone.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Right and Wrong at the same post
Authored by: ftcsm on Friday, July 20 2012 @ 11:34 AM EDT
You are right and wrong.

Right that an advance on computers (hardware) CAN be
patented. No one disagrees with you.

Wrong that a program (software) makes any difference to
computer (hardware). So it renders the software as not
patentable. That's where the disagreement is.

If you design a general purpose computer made of recycled
wood, you deserve a patent on that. The program that
calculates the quantity of wood to make this computer is not
entitled to a patent, no matter if it runs on a computers
made of silicon or your new one.

Flavio

---

------
Faith moves mountains but I still prefer dynamite

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

why should software get BOTH copyright and patent protection ...
Authored by: nsomos on Friday, July 20 2012 @ 12:46 PM EDT
What other fields of human activity qualify for BOTH
copyright and patent protection? Why should software
get both?

Why don't we patent books? Why don't we patent movies?
Why don't we patent music? Why don't we patent paintings?

So why do some persist in thinking that software should
be patentable? Why do some persist in thinking that
math should be patentable?

We should not allow patents on software for much the
same reason as patents are not allowed on books, movies,
music and photos and math.

And some may never believe it, but all software IS math.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Nope, you're just wrong.
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, July 20 2012 @ 06:13 PM EDT
The fact is that computers were designed and intended to run any possible
software.

Wood was not designed and intended to build any possible structure. (Actually,
it occurs in nature.)

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

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