The everyday blog of Richard Bartle.

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4:16pm on Thursday, 7th July, 2005:

And in other news...


Somewhat understandably not publicised yesterday (Olympics) or today (bombs), comes the news that the proposed EU Directive on the patentability of computer-implemented inventions failed to make it past the European Parliament yesterday.

In other words, the EU doesn't regard software as patentable.

Of course, this won't stop the European Patent Office from continuing its dubious practice of granting patents to software (and "business methods& such as Amazon's glaringly obvious 1-click purchase system); nor will it stop national governments from doing it. I do feel it marks a significant victory in the battle to defeat this odious practice, however.

I am a big unfan of software patents, and not all that happy with patents in general (at least the way they're implemented at the moment). I'm not even content with copyright, given how long it (increasingly) lasts. Software patents are like letting people patent legal arguments, so if you want to use the "The doctor didn't prescribe me enough hormones to address my PMT fully so when I killed my husband it wasn't my fault" defence you have to pay the Legal Patent owner for permission.

Good move, European Parliament. I know you have only the pretense of a political mandate, but on this occasion you delivered the goods — thanks!

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Copyright © 2005 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).