Tom_Gray on Fri, 22 Jun 2001 13:19:59 +0200 (CEST)

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[Nettime-bold] Re: <nettime> PATENTING OPEN SOURCE

From:  Tom Gray@MITEL on 06/22/2001 07:19 AM

The surprising thing about this is that this is one of the things that patents
are designed to encourage. patents are public documents and the technology
contained within them is open to all comers for purposes of research and
education. Instead of technical advances remaining secret and hidden form the
community, these are made available so that that technical progress and hence
human well-being is advanced. The urging below is another example  one that
shows the benefits of the system of patents on the publication of ideas. many
corporations already follow such a practice of publishing descriptions of
technology that they have produced that they do not wish to pay the expense of

Andreas Broeckmann <> on 06/21/2001 01:55:40 PM

Please respond to Andreas Broeckmann <>

cc:    (bcc: Tom Gray/Kan/Mitel)

Subject:  <nettime> PATENTING OPEN SOURCE

Date: Thu, 21 Jun 2001 17:08:48 +0200 (CEST)

Patent protection for open source software may seem like a contradiction in
terms, but the Foresight Institute, which campaigns for the free exchange
of knowledge in software and nanotechnology, has teamed up with, a
Silicon Valley start-up, to work on the PriorArt initiative for programmers
and scientists.  Under the initiative, software developers and
nanotechnologists are encouraged to undertake 'defensive publishing' -
which means releasing their innovations into the public domain so others
cannot later patent what they have invented. Such public disclosure of
innovation is known in law as 'prior art'.

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