Lawyer: World’s best known software engineer doesn’t understand software

This crap really makes my blood boil: According to the Inquirer, UK Patent Lawyer John Collins has “lambasted” Linus Torvalds along with anyone else that dares to oppose the introduction of Software Patents in the EU. What a surprise that someone who stands to make vast quantities of money off the carnage that software patents will cause (and have caused elsewhere) would support their introduction!Collins said: “Torvalds and his supporters lack a fundamental understanding of intellectual property rights as they seem to be unaware that copyright can only protect software code and not software”. So now “software code” isn’t “software”? You really gotta love the lawyer double-think here. Can anyone believe the gall of some lawyer lecturing one of the world’s best known software engineers on what does and does not constitute software?He went on to say: “The original proposal was solely designed to clarify and unify existing practice in the EU. However the current version – as a result of amendments made by the European Parliament – will result in patent holders in certain areas losing a significant element of protection meaning that some existing patents will become worthless”. What he doesn’t say is that the patents to which he is referring were illegally granted by patent offices against the terms of the European Patent Convention, and are therefore worthless anyway. All the European Parliament’s amendments do are to reassert existing law. It is Collins that seeks to change the law, not us.This is yet another example of the disingenuous arguments made by those, like Collins, that must be positively salivating at the prospect of using software patents to milk innovators for every penny they are worth. For all our sakes, I hope they don’t succeed.

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