On Tue, Dec 16, 2008 at 07:07:36AM +1000, Da Rock wrote:
> On Mon, 2008-12-15 at 13:43 -0700, Chad Perrin wrote:
> > On Mon, Dec 15, 2008 at 02:16:34AM -0800, per...@pluto.rain.com wrote:
> > > > > Unfortunately, anything covered by a patent, as I hinted
> > > > > above, is verboten.
> > > 
> > > Er, doesn't it depend on what is patented?  If the h/w itself is
> > > patented, but its software-visible interface is not, there should be
> > > no problem writing a driver for that h/w.  OTOH if the algorithms
> > > used in the driver are patented it would be an infringement to
> > > reproduce them.
> > 
> > I said anything covered by patent.  If the software is not covered by
> > patent, you're fine to write software.  Be aware, though, that a lot of
> > patents are intentionally written in a somewhat vague way so they can be
> > extended via case law at a later date.
> > 
> > Nothing is "legal" under the current US system unless you can defend it
> > in civil court.  That's my general rule of thumb.
> That doesn't sound like a good system (US not yours) - how on earth did
> it get so screwed up? (Thats rhetorical btw, I don't mean to start a
> whole discussion on that topic on this list.)

It's much the same everywhere, from what I've seen.  The problems just
arise in different guises.  Usually, judging by my observations, they
arise in large part because of the common notion that a problem can be
fixed with more of the behavior that created the problem in the first

. . . but beyond that, I'd probably start a flame war, so I don't think I
want to get more specific on the list.

Chad Perrin [ content licensed OWL: http://owl.apotheon.org ]
Quoth Reginald Braithwaite: "Nor is it as easy as piling more features
on regardless of how well they fit or whether people will actually use
them. Otherwise Windows would have 97% of the market and OS X 3%. (Oh

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