The following headline from the Mises Blog caught my attention: Surely Without Patents No One Will Invent Widgets
. The post goes on to note that IBM has opened 500 of its software patents to the "open-source" software development community, and that the European Union is looking to scrap software patents entirely.
As someone with a BS in computer science, I'd just like to add some interesting observations. Several prominent
"open-source" projects, began as commercial
projects, protected by the very patents being decried here. Let's just list some:
- The Mozilla web browser (Netscape)
- The Eclipse Integrated Development Environment (IBM)
- The NetBeans Integrated Development Environment (Sun Microsystems)
- The Open Office Suite (Sun Microsystems)
There are very good pieces of software that have been developed without
patents; but generally, they aren't as good (i.e., complete, feature rich, practical) as commercially developed software.
Also, I'm sad to say, most programmers are way to my left; when I went to college (I just graduated 8 months ago), I was the only person who liked Microsoft, let alone actually admitted that their products were any good. It is cachet amongst programmers to revile
Microsoft and most commercial software; anytime an "open-source" equivalent is available, it is flocked too. I also found this attitude entrenched in most of the faculty, as well.
POSTED BY THE GENERAL AT 12:59 AM