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Red Hat packagers dance around frivolous music game software patents

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Sadly, there’s nothing genuinely new about this story, but a recent discussion on the Fedora Games mailing list demonstrates the sort of chilling effect on innovation and impoverishment of the intellectual commons that occurs today because of a broken, outmoded US patent system and its misapplication to software. I’m at a loss for words to express how absurd these “patents” are.

The USPTO was supposedly seeking to reform itself in the last few years, but if this is all it has to show, then maybe it’s time to consider a world without patents, and abolish the whole institution? After all, the US federal government has an enormous debt, and wasting funds on an institution that is actively destructive to the purpose for which it was created is not sane policy.

The US patent system is totally out of touch with its mandate. The reason for the existence of patents in the US is to enrich the public domain by providing for limited times a financial incentive for truly innovative ideas.

The plan was, that we’d offer a special monopoly on the use of a particular technical idea in exchange for having a published, full explanation of the idea.

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