Re: [Richard Stallman <email@example.com>] Re: Debian & BSD concerns
> A slimy character could release a program as free software but patent a key
> algorthm, and then demand royalties from everyone who uses the program.
ah, but a less slimy character could patent an algorithm and force all
software using it to be free. patents are meant to protect the patentor;
usually this is bad for the world of free software because the patentor
does not like free software. but it -can- work the other way too.
(of course, forcing every program using an algorithm to be free is quite
unfair, and i think i would prefer to merely make sure everybody knows
about the algorithm without patenting it, thereby preventing a patent
from coming into existence at all... but that's not the only option.)