Patent Notch

Original author: Markus Persson (Notch)
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From a translator: This Notch blog post is a continuation of Friday 's patent lawsuit . On Saturday, Notch already expressed a sharply negative attitude to software patents, and today he has set out his position on the blog in more detail.

Imagine that you are Neo, and you are the first person on Earth who came up with the idea to write a novel. That is, something like a story, but more authentic. And you are very proud of your invention.

Suddenly Trinity runs up to you, grabs one of the freshly printed copies of your novel and runs away. You don’t like it, because you paid for the print of this copy, and you want your expenses to be reimbursed. Therefore, you are loudly outraged by her act. She committed theft .

Trinity first sulks a little at you, and then asks to borrow one copy to read. You allow, but she puts this copy in the copy machine and prints a few pieces for herself. You don’t like it, because you want only you to be able to print copies of your novel to sell them, so you are again outraged. Trinityviolated your copyrights .

Trinity leaves in tears and sits down to write his own novel. You don’t like it, because it was your first idea to write a more authentic story, and you want to earn income from all the novels that someone will ever write, and you are again outraged. Trinity infringed your patent .

I have nothing against the concept of ownership, so I am against theft. Society will fall apart if people cannot own property.

In general, I do not mind that people can sell things that they themselves have done. Therefore, I am against copyright infringement. However, I don’t think this is as bad as theft, and I’m not sure that society benefits from the fact that people of certain professions can get money over and over again for once done work (for example, a computer game), whereas others have to do their job every time they want to be paid (as is the case with a hairdresser or lawyer). But in general, yes, having the opportunity to sell the result of your work is good.

But no one can ever convince me that it’s good for society not to share ideas. Ideas are free. With the help of ideas, we improve things around us, and society only benefits from this. For ideas to work, they need to be shared.

The standard argument for patents is that inventors will stop inventing if they cannot defend their ideas. The problem is that patent law also applies if you come to the patented invention independently. If someone else can easily repeat the exact same idea, then on what basis does the one who invented it first claim a reward?

Yes, there are areas in which research costs a lot of money, and the benefits of innovation for humanity are very large. Personally, I think that such research should be funded by the state (as is the case with CERN and NASA), and without any patents, and not like the way things are with medicine now. But I can understand the point of view of patent advocates in such cases.

But trivial patents, for example, software patents, are counterproductive (they slow down technological progress), vicious (this is worship of the "golden calf") and ruinous (they force you to spend time and money on meaningless litigation).

If you own software patents, you should be ashamed.

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