As a working programmer I am against patents in general and software patents in particular. To abbreviate the arguments as to why: it’s not possible to write a non-trivial piece of software without infringing on someone’s patents. The fact that software world isn’t consumed by patent-litigation frenzy is due to luck and not inability to sue the makers of pretty much any released software.
While the only right solution is to abandon software patents, according to CNET aticle the next version of GPL might have an interesting anti-patent clause. The idea is that if someone sues GPL software for patent infringement, he’ll loose rights to use any GPL software.
This is just brilliant. Today GPLed software is used everywhere. Not using it at all is an option for majority of companies. Imagine that a company is prohibited from using Linux, gcc, gdb, emacs, samba - you name it.
GPL as an anti-patent, latent virus.
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