Timothy B. Lee reviews the current state of US software patenting on Ars Technica – lots of links.
I completely reject the idea of patenting anything abstract. I still need to think about where I stand on copyright – the arguments aren’t so straightforward.
I used to be against all forms of patent or copyright – I thought of them, and still do really, as consolidating power of the enterprising time-rich, money-rich, intellect-rich over those who aren’t. The opportunity to profit financially from an idea and its actualisation by making it exclusive is not one I’ll ever support. However, in the context of the campaign for an academic boycott of Israelis – often justified with reference to particularly strong pressure to be gained from excluding Israeli scientists with their disproportionate inventiveness – I’ve come round to entertaining an idea of them as incidental protections for individuals and groups who might otherwise be taken from – plundered – at the same time as being grievously ostracised.