Further marketing responses on intellectual property rights
Speaking of 20 year patents, let’s also talk about 99 year copyrights and unlimited time trademarks. I’m really disappointed at that there are individuals here who want to remove patents that protect individuals and small companies.
If a developer doesn’t like software patents, the best thing he can do is to upload all his code with complete explanations to the web. This way, anyone trying to patent will run into an enormous wall of software developers’ prior art.
And, it seems only fair, if inventors can’t have software patent rights, developers shouldn’t have software copyrights either. And no trademark rights, which means, anyone downloading the code should be able to put his name on it, and sell it. And no open source licensing copyright. I should be able to copy your code, call it my own. I guarantee I can always sell your code for a lower price such that it better benefits the public and other coders at a lower price. If the developer has employees, as for example Google, and the employee makes a copy of their code, I guess he owns another Google. (Goldman-Sachs just caught a developer stealing their financial market timing code—I guess that’s OK, according to postings here, because they shouldn’t have any copyrights either.)
Programming skills are becoming cheaper, especially with international outsourcing. Your ideas, patents, copyrights, and trademarks may benefit you someday. Patents, copyrights, and trademarks are usually designed to help the smaller guys. Because they are rights, they can be used by larger firms too.
But, the way some developers talk about them, they want to destroy the very few rights that individuals and smaller firms can use to fight against the larger firms.