Let’s Limit the Effect of Software Patents, Since We Can’t Eliminate Them, by Richard Stallman, the founder of the Free Software movement (and WordCamp SF 2010 speaker).

9 thoughts on “Stallman on Software Patents

  1. +1 lets get rid software patents *and* software copyright. Maybe then software will truly be free (and not just in the FSF sense of the word).

  2. Can anyone tell me how an independent software developer earns a living writing free software? I must be missing something but I honestly don’t know what it is.

      1. As simple as that? John makes enough money selling his software “A” to be able to give away his software “B”. Meanwhile, Bob makes enough money selling his software “C” to start giving away software similar to software “A” that developer John had been selling. Then John has to write and sell new software “D” to earn a living until Bill starts giving away software similar to software “D”, etc. This forces continuing software innovation but, eventually, people learn to not buy software because soon the software they want will be made available for free. Then John, Bob, and Bill wonder if this was really such a good idea. So they all get together to see if maybe a big company wants to buy something they’ve all cobbled together in their spare time. The big companies say, no thanks, we’ve already used your open source code in our own free software – but we have this cool software development tool we’d like to sell you.

  3. I disagree with this to some extent because I don’t have time to read Mr. Stallman’s opinion.

    Intellectual property is what keeps us going.

    Software is the accelerator of that.

    The BSD license poisoned a bunch of software.

    We have better licenses now.

    Let’s move forward!


    p.s. I’m giving a talk on Computational Biology at the Hacker Dojo on Nov. 13, 2012. I have to go get ready for it.

    1. Here are a few points from me:

      1. What protects writers and photographers right now?

      2. If I write a computer program that writes poetry, what protects the output of the program?

      3. If I create a device that runs a program which writes poetry, what protects the device?

      4. While we are hashing this out, who is going to be making the money?