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Re: Bug#176267: ITP: mplayer -- Mplayer is a full-featured audioand video player for UN*X like systems

On Wednesday 29 January 2003 01:40 pm, Richard Braakman wrote:
> Does it bother anyone else that this completely subverts the point
> of having patents in the first place?

Heh. The patent system has outlived its usefulness, yes. I believe that it 
actually was still useful sometime around 1900 or possibly even as late as 
1950 or so.  But since then, it has gradually declined to the point of 
undermining its precise reason for being -- to promote technological 
progress. I don't even distinguish between software and hardware -- I think 
they're both pointless obstructions.

In the present era, I believe anyone who could actually afford to use the 
patent system to protect their inventions doesn't need patents to do so, and 
those who might conceiveably benefit can't afford to use it.  Furthermore, it 
promotes a general fear of litigation -- punishment for independent 
innovation.  It may serve to prop up existing institutions, but it does not 
serve the society, IMHO.

But then, I also believe I will have a very hard time convincing enough 
people of this to get the USPO abolished.  So we're just doing brinksmanship 
here, AFAICT.


Terry Hancock ( hancock at anansispaceworks.com )
Anansi Spaceworks  http://www.anansispaceworks.com

"Some things are too important to be taken seriously"

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