On Friday 22 Aug 2008 14:35, Anivar Aravind wrote:
Bangaloreans Say No to Software Patents
On 23rd August, 2008, a group of Bangaloreans is to gather outside
Town Hall to protest software Patents under the aegis of Free
Software Users Group, Bangalore at 5.30 PM.
This protest comes in the wake of attempts by the Indian Patent
Office to push software patents, despite the same having been
rejected categorically by the Parliament of India in March, 2005.
At that time a particular lobby had tried pushing Patents for
Software through a Presidential Ordinance. This having fallen
through, software patents are now being pushed through the back
door in the form of a manual ostensibly to help people file
They have driven right thru the gate. No need for back doors.
Check these out. while we were asleep three patents have been granted
to Microsoft by the indian patent office.
Just reading the initial brief tells me it this a journalled fs
coupled with some seek n sort.
This one looks like DRM but could be SSH
And this one hashes of loaded modules in mem to check that there is no
trojan module. DRM? AV?
Further At least two pure software ones for HP. They have many for
other printer related stuff so did not check all.
60 for IBM several of which seem to be pure software, including one
for package settings management (we call it backup) and one for
compression using a dynamic lookuptable created on the fly coupled
with streaming. Bz2, ogg, dirac.
While the draft in circulation glosses over the fact that software
is not patentable in law, it instructs people that software patents
can be filed in combination with hardware. The manual is trying to
permit something that is explicitly forbidden by the Indian Patent
Act, 2005. Further, it is amusing the way the manual tries to get
around the legal obstacle posed by the Patents Act, by positing a
category of "software in combination with hardware" . It leads one
to wonder whether software can exist independent of hardware
In this regard, former Supreme Court Judge, Justice V.
Iyer has commented that "neither the controller nor the central
government has authority or sanction of law to publish a manual of
the kind put on the website".
This point should not be raised as it will defocus from the more
important points, especially since all other stake holders seem to
want it. What we should pick on is the attempt to interpret the law
and provide loopholes to circumvent the very clear intent of the law.
The Free Software Users Group also would like to point out that
software is a form of knowledge and software patents would amount
to propertisation of knowledge and would be detrimental to the pace
at which software is growing. Software patents further kill
innovation and competition and turn software publishing into the
privilege of a few. As software today pervades all walks of life,
any dent in the pace of its growth would have a cascading effect on
the economy in general.
The Free Software Users Group also would like to point out to the
lobby that is trying to push for software patents through the back
* Software is already protected under copyright law, and no
additional protection either to individuals or industries is
required * Hardware innovations are already patentable under the
regular innovations; therefore all innovators are already covered
* The current ICT revolution happened with science and technology
under public domain and it is important for the growth of software
that this remains so.
Stress that one can create a pure hardware machine to perform the
operations as described in a piece of software, but one cannot make a
piece of software do anything at all without programmable hardware.
This is in counter to the Infosys rep at the Mumbai meet who has got
his logic upside down.
Further programable machines do their bit only after pure software is
executed. When you patent a programmable machine doing a particular
piece of work you are patenting two unpatentable things, a piece of
hardware that does nothing and a piece of software that is un
patentable by law.