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White House Responds To Software Patents Petition 276

Posted by Soulskill
from the yes-we-can-maybe dept.
New submitter obliv!on writes "As previously discussed, the White House has started to reply to petitions on their 'We the People' website. They've now replied to the petition asking for an end to software patents. The response mentions the America Invents Act and encourages the use of the USPTO's open implementation website. Quoting: 'There's a lot we can do through the new law to improve patent quality and to ensure that only true inventions are given patent protection. But it's important to note that the executive branch doesn't set the boundaries of what is patentable all by itself. Congress has set forth broad categories of inventions that are eligible for patent protection. The courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, have interpreted the statute to include some software-related inventions.' The response goes on to denote some open source and open data initiatives in government. It's nice to hear that the administration understands 'concerns that overly broad patents on software-based inventions may stifle the very innovative and creative open source software development community.' However, the overall response redirects action to the petitioners through participating in the open implementation site and contacting Congress, instead of a promise to prepare additional legislative measures for Congress to consider on behalf of the petitioners."
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White House Responds To Software Patents Petition

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  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Tuesday November 01, 2011 @02:27PM (#37910374)

    That's the most politely-worded and voluminous "Fuck you, you're on your own" I've ever read.

    • by 24-bit Voxel (672674) on Tuesday November 01, 2011 @02:32PM (#37910424) Journal

      One can't help but wonder why they would ever have opened up these channels of communication. What did they expect to get as concerns? Technically the Executive has no power to do anything about any of this, so why bother with the dialogue? Every issue has to be resolved in the other two branches, so what did they hope to accomplish?

      Unless of course they're just compiling a list...

      • by elrous0 (869638) * on Tuesday November 01, 2011 @02:36PM (#37910484)

        It's just a political stunt to make it look like the Obama administration gives a shit. Obama has belatedly realized that he might actually need his base to come out and vote for him next year, so he's been putting on a big show of late. It's the same with the "Jobs Bill." He knows it stands no chance getting past the Republicans in the House (hell, he couldn't even get it through the Democrats in the Senate). But it makes it *look* like he's doing something.

        • by jez9999 (618189) on Tuesday November 01, 2011 @02:43PM (#37910574) Homepage Journal

          It's the same with the "Jobs Bill." He knows it stands no chance getting past the Republicans in the House (hell, he couldn't even get it through the Democrats in the Senate). But it makes it *look* like he's doing something.

          And even with that he's just trying to ride on the tailcoats of a much-loved former CEO.

          • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

            by Anonymous Coward

            Bill Jobs? That sounds like the CEO of an extremely evil company.

          • You see? This is why punctuation is important!

            Somehow, Jobs' Bill sounds frightful. :P

        • by cayenne8 (626475)
          Yep....

          This site, obviously isn't about 'change' or truly addressing topics the people want addressed. It is theater....and all you're gonna get is mild responses, basically telling you what the law/policy is now and why they want to keep it that way.

          They're never gonna do shit....we the people are far too unwashed, and ignorant to know what we want and need for ourselves.

        • by SlippyToad (240532) on Tuesday November 01, 2011 @03:20PM (#37910994)

          It's the same with the "Jobs Bill." He knows it stands no chance getting past the Republicans in the House

          Yeah, but now those arrogant sons of whores have to actually come out and vote against a jobs bill. Instead of idiotically grandstanding about so-called "job creators" and doing FUCK-ALL about the economy.

          Given the GOP's response vs. Obama's response, I'll take the Obama approach any day, thank you. Vs. the aristocratic, arrogant, self-centered ASSHOLE approach of the GOP, which is to repeatedly do the same thing that hasn't worked for over a decade, and then stand there with their insufferable smug prick-face smiles while the rest of us drown.

          I guess it comes down to whose concerns you are going to listen to. The 1%, or the rest of us.

          Software patents are somewhere about 1,000,000 miles down the coast from just getting a basic dialogue going in this country among the elite that JOBS GROW THE ECONOMY, NOT RICH PEOPLE.

          So, I'm not sure I share the poutraged butt-hurt that the rest of slashdot does over this issue.

          • by cayenne8 (626475) on Tuesday November 01, 2011 @03:25PM (#37911050) Homepage Journal

            Yeah, but now those arrogant sons of whores have to actually come out and vote against a jobs bill.

            From what I've read of it...while it does have a very few provisions that actually concern jobs...it is mostly a spending bill, labeled a jobs bill.

            And hell, Obama can't even generate Democratic support enough in congress to pass it in the Senate, where they do still have a majority by the way.

            So, it isn't all GOP as you ranted....the bill stinks to everyone in DC for the most part.

            • by Bucky24 (1943328)

              the bill stinks to everyone in DC for the most part.

              So then wouldn't that mean it's good for the rest of us? :D (I jest, I jest)

            • by Rob Y. (110975) on Tuesday November 01, 2011 @06:59PM (#37913834)

              Any time a Republican blames 'the Democratic Senate', you know it's bullshit. They should be saying 'the nominally Democratic Senate that now requires a 60-40 majority on any vote, because the big baby Republicans say so'. And don't go saying 'the Democrats filibuster too' - they've never abused it to this extent.

              Amazingly, Republican talking heads are allowed to get away with this on just about every 'news' show around.

          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by Rolgar (556636)

            If you read John Mauldin's book, Endgame, about our current situation, he explains the bind the government is in. If you look at part 1 [minyanville.com] and 2 [minyanville.com] of his chapter on basic economics, you might get an understanding of how there is nothing the government CAN do, at least not actively. Obama wants you to believe he can fix these problems, but he can.

            From the first page of part 2:
            --------------------
            Now let's go back to our first equation. You remember,

            GDP = C + I + G + Net Exports

            We'll spare you the mathematical rig

          • Given the GOP's response vs. Obama's response, I'll take the Obama approach any day, thank you. Vs. the aristocratic, arrogant, self-centered ASSHOLE approach of the GOP, which is to repeatedly do the same thing that hasn't worked for over a decade, and then stand there with their insufferable smug prick-face smiles while the rest of us drown.

            As if Obama is actually different from the GOP. The biggest trick the Republicans and Democrats have perpetrated, is the creation of an illusion that there is a difference between the parties. They comprise a monolithic mono-party where power is "traded" (like one would pass a ball from the left hand to the right hand - in either case you still have the ball) back and forth between them for the benefit of their benefactors.

            As an astounding example, Marty Lederman excoriated the Bush Administration for using secret legal memos to justify immoral and unconstitutional behavior. Now that he is part of the Obama administration, he is writing the exact same type of secret legal memos supporting policies even more immoral and unconstitutional.
            Citation [salon.com].

            Welcome to Act 6534 of the onging made for TV drama and talk radio drama: "Democrats v. Republicans, Rhetorical Differences, Indistinguishable Practices"

          • by Hatta (162192) on Tuesday November 01, 2011 @04:52PM (#37912172) Journal

            I guess it comes down to whose concerns you are going to listen to. The 1%, or the rest of us.

            Don't kid yourself. Obama supports the 1%. He appointed Geithner and reappointed Bernanke. Goldman Sachs was his top contributor in 2008. He hasn't prosecuted a single executive level banker for crimes connected to the 2008 financial crisis. Compare that to Reagan's record of 800 bank executives jailed on felony charges after the S&L crisis. Even his big health care bill was just an excuse to deliver more customers to insurance companies. Notice how he didn't even pretend to entertain single payer for a moment?

            Both parties, D and R represent no one but the 1%.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Rockoon (1252108)
            Amazing that you think that the government should create jobs. That sort of "busy work" doesnt help the economy.. instead it steals from the tax payers (mostly middle class) and gives it to the rich and poor.

            Every time you idiots get that shit passed, its shrinks the middle class. Stop it already. Seriously. Fucking stop it. Learn some fucking economics and the governments role.
        • by houghi (78078)

          They are all politicians. What did you expect.

          Here is what happens. Republicans screw up, so the Democrats win. Everything that happens will be broken down by the republicans. People will believe it and vote republicans. The democrats then blame the republicans and people will vote Democrats.

          Basically it is like taking security from the mafia. They will either break your left leg or your right leg and they convince you that that is what having a choice means and that you went to them for the security.

          Keep i

        • by sl4shd0rk (755837)

          > stands no chance getting past the Republicans in the
          > House (hell, he couldn't even get it through the Democrats in
          > the Senate).

          Can't blame the guy for trying. Maybe we need a new House/Senate?

        • by Hatta (162192) on Tuesday November 01, 2011 @04:45PM (#37912036) Journal

          It's just a political stunt to make it look like the Obama administration gives a shit.

          Which is backfiring gloriously. What it actually does it prove that Obama never cared about anything but appearing to give a shit. Obama's base has realized that their real hope for change is on the streets of NYC, not the White House.

          The only chance Obama has is to bank on the sheer idiocy of the Republican primary voters.

        • by roman_mir (125474)

          By the way, just calling something a 'Jobs Bill' doesn't make it a bill that can possibly do anything useful to create [slashdot.org]

          It's like that little bill they passed that was not exactly adding to the liberties of people, quite the opposite, but it passed because it was conveniently named 'Patriot Act'.

      • by Jeng (926980)

        It makes for a good campaign promise.

        Out of all my dis-appointments with this administration, which actually isn't many dis-appointments, is that they are not taking the petitions seriously.

        Instead of saying "I understand why you want the status quo changed and I will work on it." they are instead just telling us why the status quo is the way it is, with not even a hint of changing it.

        If we wanted explanations we would read wikipedia, we want action.

      • Well people complain that the government does not listen to their concerns. In this aspect they responded but correctly pointed to the correct part of the government that actually creates legislation. The administration could probably lead an initiative for reform but of course there will be the complaints that "Obama is for patent death panels" and how it is not the job of President to draft legislation.
        • In this aspect they responded but correctly pointed to the correct part of the government that actually creates legislation.

          Oh for crying out loud. The president doesn't enact healthcare law, or pass the budget, or jobs bills, or defense spending or any number of other things. By pretending that they don't influence policy in the other two branches they are, as other people have pointed out, basically just saying "fuck you, we don't want to deal with it".

          • Exactly. He will only pass this is enough people get enough votes in Congress to make it politically unsupportable for him to veto it.

            In which case, why even have an office of the President?

            Where's the media blitz?
            Where's the national discussion?
            Where's the FAILED bill and the PUBLIC discussion of who killed it?

          • And look where it got them by trying to affect legislation. A simple provision to pay doctors if they discussed end-of-life decisions with a patient became uninformed ranting about how Obama would ration care and make people justify whether they deserved medical treatment or death. Sometimes you have to pick your battles. This one isn't one that the administration wants to fight at this time.
            • A simple provision to pay doctors if they discussed end-of-life decisions with a patient became uninformed ranting about how Obama would ration care and make people justify whether they deserved medical treatment or death.

              There are people ranting about him not even being born in the USofA.

              You CANNOT base policy on what the opposition will say about you.

              Man up! Grow a pair of balls and FIGHT FOR WHAT YOU BELIEVE IN.

      • Executive has no power to do anything about any of this, so why bother with the dialogue?

        Two things come to mind.

        1. Possibly some ideas for which the Executive does have power to control may be suggested.
        2. A vehicle to remind people that the Executive actually has no power over many (most?) things.

        I mean, seriously, why do people think the President can perform "magic". Look at all the promises made by the Republican presidential candidates (simply for example), most cannot be fulfilled by the President,

        • Look at all the promises made by the Republican presidential candidates (simply for example), most cannot be fulfilled by the President, but must be done so by Congress.

          It should, perhaps, be pointed out that almost all the promises made by the Democratic Presidential candidate in 2008 could not have been fulfilled by the President either.

          Alas, the Republican Presidential candidate that year was at the top of my list of Republicans NEVER TO VOTE FOR EVER, NO MATTER WHAT. Plus, all his promises were things

          • It should, perhaps, be pointed out that almost all the promises made by the Democratic Presidential candidate in 2008 could not have been fulfilled by the President either.

            Yes, I know. As I said, I was simply using the current Republican candidates "(simply for example)".

        • Hell, a few months back Michele Bachman promised $2 a gallon gas if she gets elected. [cnn.com]

          By spring, I fully expect to hear promises of ice cream for all, no more taxes ever again, and world peace.

          • by Bucky24 (1943328)
            I almost want to elect her just to see how she manages something like that.... I guess they could start up a company to collect oil from the gulf and refine it but that wouldn't last long.
      • by dkleinsc (563838) on Tuesday November 01, 2011 @03:09PM (#37910866) Homepage

        While technically the Executive has no power, if the Obama administration really cared they would call up their pals in the House and say "We need a bill that does XYZ" or even "This is a bill we'd like to see pass. Introduce it please." It's technically correct to say bills originate in the House or Senate, but in practice the President can most definitely push a particular plan through Congress.

      • by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Tuesday November 01, 2011 @03:31PM (#37911140) Homepage

        Though I'm not really that pleased with the administration right now, I do respect their intent here. I think that they're essentially just experimenting with ways to use the Internet to improve communication and create dialogue. That doesn't mean that every petition will result in action by the President to do exactly what the petition asks, but the dialogue itself is something.

        I especially think it's worth cutting them some slack because we're still in the early days of these things. The general public hasn't really been using the Internet for 2 whole decades yet, and this is the first administration to make genuine efforts to make use of the Internet for these sorts of things. Some of the first attempts will be clumsy.

        And when you look at their page describing what this site is about, this is the only thing they're offering: "If a petition gets enough support, White House staff will review it, ensure it’s sent to the appropriate policy experts, and issue an official response."

        I mean, really, did you expect that the President is going to make a huge policy shift against major corporate interests because of a petition with 14k signatures?

        • by Hatta (162192)

          I mean, really, did you expect that the President is going to make a huge policy shift against major corporate interests because of a petition with 14k signatures?

          No, but I expected the questions to be addressed. If I ask "Why can't we regulate marijuana like alcohol." And you respond "because marijuana is harmful", you haven't addressed the question at all. This is disingenuous on Obama's part.

    • I like candidate Obama a LOT more than President Obama. Oh well, at least he'll be campaigning for the year now.

      It's called the "bully pulpit". The President drives the discussion by TALKING ABOUT IT. What the President says gets media coverage. Particularly if it's about jobs and the economy and innovation now.

      By the way, didn't you guys introduce a jobs bill of some kind? So there is a means for you to get legislation started.
      https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/American_Jobs_Act [wikimedia.org]

    • by h4rr4r (612664) on Tuesday November 01, 2011 @02:44PM (#37910582)

      Read the one about marijuana. Same sort of nicely worded fuck you, but with the added benefit of lies about effects and completely unsubstantiated claims!

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by StevenMaurer (115071)

      Yours is the most impolitely worded show of ignorance and stupidity that I've read since I last perused WorldNutDaily.

      It's election season. If Obama offered a bill that declared the United States to be the bestest most wonderful nation on the planet which has ever been ever, Republicans in Congress would filibuster it on the grounds that he is a Socielst Muslen Kenyan who hates America and our Troops.

      And you think that his recommendation on solving the Patent issue would actually help?

      The Administration

      • by elrous0 (869638) * on Tuesday November 01, 2011 @02:54PM (#37910710)

        Yes, Republicans control the House and will block anything he does.

        So what was his excuse for his first two years in office?

        • by TheEyes (1686556)

          Forty Republicans in the Senate circling the wagons and preventing anything from being done (more fillabusters in two years than any other time in American history; the Obama administration can even get non-controversial middle managers confirmed.)

          • by khasim (1285)

            So because the mean people are being mean, he's not going to do ANYTHING?

            At least get the legislation STARTED.
            Then name and shame anyone who tries to stop it.
            He's the President of the USofA. He gets worldwide coverage of his speeches.
            Then repeat the process.

            There would be change if he was on TV every other week saying Senator X blocked the "tax incentive for working Christian Moms with poor babies who need milk" bill.

            Part of politics is being able to frame your opposition as the "bad" guys. Obama doesn't wa

            • by TheEyes (1686556)

              He's already doing this with that jobs bill. Nothing in there is controversial; at this point, the Republicans are voting against teachers and infrastructure projects. Doing the same with a software patent bill, something too technical for anyone but the Slashdot crowd to automatically know how important it is, would only dilute the message.

              • He's already doing this with that jobs bill.

                No he's not. He's out campaigning for re-election.

                In which speech did he specifically identify an individual Senator who opposed his bill?

                Compare his current behaviour to Bush-2's campaigning for just about anything that he got.

        • I think the Dems were shocked enough that they were in power, and got so excited, that they went in all different directions, willy-nilly. Sort of like if you give a bunch of people money they temporarily lose their minds.

          What they needed to do was calm down enough to plan what needed to be done -- and sometimes you just have to make a decision even if it eventually turns out to be the wrong one. Too nuanced for the American public, people expected overnight change and became disillusioned. Unexpected cata
      • by DarkOx (621550)

        You really are drinking the Kool-Aide, Look *IF* it was the GOPs fault then Reid would have put the Jobs bill to the senate floor, let it fail in the House. The House has a wide GOP margin, the Senate has a narrow DNC margin. If this was about making the GOP look like obstructionists its a no brainier, let them filibuster in the senate in front of the news cameras or vote it down in the House. That way fault would fall clearly on their shoulders.

        There are two reasonable conclusions you draw, one or both

        • by TheEyes (1686556) on Tuesday November 01, 2011 @03:29PM (#37911122)

          You really are drinking the Kool-Aide, Look *IF* it was the GOPs fault then Reid would have put the Jobs bill to the senate floor, let it fail in the House.

          Check your facts. Reid did [npr.org] introduce the bill; it was filibustered. Sound familiar? Ever since 2008 the Republicans have been circling the wagons and killing anything that crosses their desk, even routine appointments to mid-level executive departments. That's why the public option was trashed, why meaningful banking reform was replaced by useless drivel, and why we can't have nice things like a AAA credit rating or disclosure of campaign donors (another bill killed by Republican opposition).

          I'm not a huge fan of Obama, although I have to admit he has been right about much of his foreign policy decisions, but the Republicans in Congress/Senate these days deserve nothing but contempt. The first step in truly reforming Washington is to get rid of everyone with an (R) in front of his name (the second is to get rid of almost everyone with a (D) in front of their name).

        • by bberens (965711)
          I'm not saying it is, but it could be the most amazing piece of economic wizardry ever concocted by man-kind but the electorate is simply unwilling to put up with any more spending. Both sides of the aisle know this. I think Obama is genuine (at least as genuine as a politician can be) in suggesting that he believes his bill is helpful, but understands it's a non-starter. He has to run around saying they should do it though because otherwise he'll be "the guy with no plan."
          • I think Obama is genuine (at least as genuine as a politician can be) in suggesting that he believes his bill is helpful, but understands it's a non-starter. He has to run around saying they should do it though because otherwise he'll be "the guy with no plan."

            In which case he should be finding a way to CHANGE THE SITUATION.

            Instead he's capitulating to the Republicans on every single issue that they disagree with.

            He should be on TV every single night making his case for his changes directly to the people an

    • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday November 01, 2011 @03:03PM (#37910792) Journal

      If one needs further proof that "taxation without representation" is the law of the land you must be blind. We tell them to quit sending our kids to die in third world shitholes, they ignore us, tell them to stop throwing kids in jail for pot, they ignore us, tell them to do something about the border, to not give our money away to the top 1% with bailouts, to stop giving the 1% tax breaks, and bonuses for offshoring and H1-Bs...and they ignore us.

      "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." Thomas Jefferson. What else can you call it when your vote no longer matters, the will of the people no longer matters, the corruption has become so bad they blatantly and without fear of repercussion ignore and disparage the will of the people for the TRUE government, by the corporate master and FOR the corporate masters? Tyranny, there is no other word for it.

      OWS is only the beginning, as their insatiable greed destroys more and more of the country the people will get nastier and nastier and I doubt VERY seriously they'll quietly slink off to starve like they did during the great depression. When the other three bubbles they've blown, stocks, student loans, and retirement funds ALL blow, my guess is 2013 when that happens, its gonna get nasty folks. When even my late grandma who had voted every year since before WWII, refused to vote any longer because "The thing is so rigged its not like they are gonna listen to us anyway' then you know their little MSM bullshit and lies isn't working any more. Its gonna get nasty folks, maybe even our own Arab Spring.

      • But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

        - Thomas Jefferson

        Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.

        - John F. Kennedy

        You are absolutely right, Occupy Wall Street is only the beginning. Things are going to get much worse before they get any better.

      • by New Breeze (31019)

        I almost wonder if they're counting on it, that's why they're stoking the fires dividing the haves and have nots. Rather than banding together and marching on Washington there will just be rioting where the local business owners houses are assaulted by the former recipients of the nanny state handouts when the system goes belly up.

        I used to worry about my buddy the police officer and his stockpile of guns and ammo. He's positively convinced in the next few years we're going to see widespread rioting and lo

    • by bluemonq (812827)

      Replying to cancel accidental moderation.

    • That's the most politely-worded and voluminous "Fuck you, you're on your own" I've ever read.

      That seems an overstatement. Its more of a "No We Can't". Sigh.

    • So, the response says that the office of the president is doing what it can to improve the patent system. The AIA eliminates some (but not all) of the ridiculousness associated with the patent system. The USPTO has issued revised guidance with the hopes that that will cut down on frivolous and low quality patents.

      But, they correctly point out that "executive branch doesn't set the boundaries of what is patentable". They also correctly point out that a good way to actually move forward on software patent

    • by Sloppy (14984)

      My favorite two parts of the response are this:

      The America Invents Act was passed with President Obama's strong leadership after nearly a decade of effort to reform the Nation's outdated patent laws.

      The president is responsible for any changes that you like.

      But it's important to note that the executive branch doesn't set the boundaries of what is patentable all by itself. Congress has set forth broad categories of inventions that are eligible for patent protection.

      The president isn't responsible for things

  • Hear That? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Tuesday November 01, 2011 @02:31PM (#37910418) Homepage Journal
    Anyone else hear a loud sucking noise?
    • Atleast the government officials don't; all they hear is the gentle rustle of money spent by lobbiers.

  • My Prediction (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 01, 2011 @02:34PM (#37910454)

    My prediction is that every "petition" will be responded to with "We hear you, but this is why its really okay as it is; you really don't want what you think you want"

  • by Animats (122034) on Tuesday November 01, 2011 @02:35PM (#37910472) Homepage

    That's up to Congress, not the Executive Branch.

    • That's up to Congress, not the Executive Branch.

      I partially disagree. The White House has plenty of influence on the legislative process due to deal-making.

      • I partially disagree. The White House has plenty of influence on the legislative process due to deal-making.

        If Congress is interested in making deals. If the Congressional majority (even if its just in one of the two houses) is more interested in grandstanding by symbolic measures to appeal to the most extreme faction of their base rather than making deals to actually pass legislation, the White House's legislative influence is essentially non-existent.

  • by Hairy1 (180056) on Tuesday November 01, 2011 @02:39PM (#37910532) Homepage

    "He'll be our President because we put him there"... I think maybe Democracy is broken. If regardless of who you vote for the result is the same you are living in a Dictatorship. It's not just patents either - Gitmo, Iraq, Patriot Act, Health Care, seems that even when the Republicans aren't in office they are. No wonder the focus has been on security - they are gonna need it when the people find out they have been duped by the DemoRepublican Party for so long.

  • by loteck (533317) on Tuesday November 01, 2011 @02:41PM (#37910550) Homepage

    This whole move to respond to people's questions from the Executive Branch is very clearly a tactic to redirect voter ire to the Legislative Branch, where laws are made and passed. I would expect most of the replies to include some portion urging voters to contact their legislators. Recent administrations have left the American public under the impression that the executive branch can act unilaterally as long as you have Darth Vader as a vice president.

    That's not the way this country is supposed to run. Things like this with the Executive communicating with voters directly are great, don't stop that, but call your goddamned lawmaker, too.

  • by poofmeisterp (650750) on Tuesday November 01, 2011 @02:44PM (#37910586) Journal

    "Hey man, we're just doin' our job. Now get off our lawn."

  • So they are just blowing smoke up our asses AGAIN.

  • by MikeRT (947531) on Tuesday November 01, 2011 @02:49PM (#37910644) Homepage

    Software patents are a government program for creating "fairness" among software developers and companies. Government creating "fairness" is one of those things right up there with sex offender laws that no "right-thinking person" in politics dares to question.

    Obama was never going to support something which would be called a scheme to let big interests loot "the little guy." That's how most people see this stuff. They don't get caught up in facts like a little company getting nuked out of the water by a big one using blatantly bad patents. Fair is fair and it's not fair that someone gets rich by taking someone else's ideas and succeeding with them.

    • Software patents are a government program for creating "fairness" among software developers and companies.

      No, they aren't.

      They are a government program for creating an incentive to create inventions that end up contributing to the common good. It says so right in the Constitutional provision that authorizes them.

      Creating "fairness" isn't a factor.

  • Missing The Point (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bob9113 (14996) on Tuesday November 01, 2011 @02:50PM (#37910654) Homepage

    'concerns that overly broad patents on software-based inventions may stifle the very innovative and creative open source software development community.'

    Let me translate: I know you dirty hippies believe in utopia, and you've done some interesting things, but you are not being realistic. The real producers are Microsoft and Amazon.

    Here's the thing though, knucklehead: Microsoft, Amazon, Oracle, Apple, IBM, and eBay -- not one of those companies could make it out of the garage today. It's not just the dirty hippies you are harming, it is entrepreneurs -- the guys building a better mousetrap -- the icons that "America Invents" is pretending to recognize. It is the kinds of people who turned America into a superpower in the 50's and 60's. The engines of tomorrow's economic superiority. That is who patents are harming -- and their blood is running over the alter of a few extra private jets today, for an ever smaller sliver of people who did something great twenty years ago, and have been kicking everyone else off the hill ever since.

    • by 0123456 (636235) on Tuesday November 01, 2011 @03:03PM (#37910790)

      Here's the thing though, knucklehead: Microsoft, Amazon, Oracle, Apple, IBM, and eBay -- not one of those companies could make it out of the garage today. It's not just the dirty hippies you are harming, it is entrepreneurs -- the guys building a better mousetrap -- the icons that "America Invents" is pretending to recognize.

      You don't really think that big business campaign donors want entrepeneurs setting up competitors in their garage, do you?

    • Innovation isn't going stop.
      It's just going to die in the USofA.
      Worldwide, it will continue.

      And they outnumber us.

      The goal should be to keep it difficult for the big industries to sit back while someone else overtakes us ... while making it easy for our home-grown inventors to build the next generation of products.

      Instead, we have a situation where the government is protecting the existing businesses at the expense of the next generation.

  • by DarkOx (621550) on Tuesday November 01, 2011 @02:52PM (#37910684) Journal

    This is great, thanks Mr.President for this amazing simplification of the political process. In the past I would have had figure out who my Senator is and write to his office to get a condescending BS laden response, on why its so important we preserve the status quo.

    Now all I have to do is post on one easy to remember website and if enough people also want to hear why a certain campaign donator needs to have their economic rent protected the White House will kindly oblige.

  • Corporations benefit greatly from the twin forms of Corporate welfare that are patents and government research.

    I believe all knowledge gained from government research should go into something similar to an open source license. So that all technology based on government research should be free, open, and unpatentable.

  • by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Tuesday November 01, 2011 @03:01PM (#37910770) Homepage Journal

    The responses to these petitions have been so uniformly transparent constituent fluffing through sophistry that there's already a meta-petition:

    Actually Take These Petitions Seriously Instead of Just Using Them As An Excuse to Pretend You Are Listening Petition [whitehouse.gov].

    Once this one gets answered, the web content filters will be remiss in not filtering the site as entertainment, or masturbatory porn.

    • by kermidge (2221646)

      Thanks for link.

      Online petitions at White House? PR, making malcontent lists, safety valve (the illusion of participating, etc.), and even, possibly, useful feedback. Yet, nothing ventured, nothing gained, maybe.

      I started learning in the late Sixties that the powers that be don't need to listen, but only need to pretend to do so.

  • While I don't have a problem with people patenting an organism or process they have created, I have a massive problem with people being able to patent a gene or other aspect of the body that they merely discovered.
  • by Jim Hall (2985) on Tuesday November 01, 2011 @03:40PM (#37911236) Homepage

    I think part of the problem is that companies don't entirely want software patents to go away.

    When I first started speaking with my Senator's office (Franken - D-MN) about software patents, I gave examples how software patents are a hindrance to American companies, how patent troll lawsuits use the US court system as their revenue stream.

    The Senator's office said that they had met with several large US companies (Microsoft, Google, Apple, etc) and while the companies agree that software patents are a problem that need to be curbed, they also need them to "protect their business." I'm told Bill Gates said he's never worried about the next Google, he's worried about some kid in his garage creating the "next Big Thing". So these companies use software patents to sue or threaten the little start-ups before they can become a competitor.

    I pointed out that Gates started as a kid in his basement, and Apple started as a couple of guys in a garage, and Amazon started as Bezos doing mail-order from his garage. All these big tech companies started that way. And if we block the next Amazon or the next Microsoft from happening, that's not going to help the US economy. The Senator's office had to agree it was a fair point.

    I think if you reduced the term for software patents, you might have a workable solution. Certainly it would be better than what we have now, and I'm prepared to accept that as a next-step. In most cases today, anyway, it may take a few years for something to pop up on the radar, and a patent troll to realize that it's using something from their portfolio.

  • Translation: We can't be bothered by this issue that never hits the mass media news cycles.

  • This is a ridiculous response that basically says "we're not interested given that our donors like patents". That said the way you respond to a ridiculous response is by continuing to hound them until it becomes a major issue. Here is one I created to end all patents as I believe the system itself is corrupt and needs to be replaced by open competition.

    http://wh.gov/bjZ [wh.gov]

    I encourage everyone to sign it or create your own and post them here. Slashdot has shown the ability to nuke major sites due to th
  • The White House petition site is barely working. I'm in some limbo state there where the "sign petition" page wants me to log in, and clicking on the "log in" link gets a popup which offers me only the option of logging out. Clicking on the the "Sign Out" link comes back with "Gateway Timeout The proxy server did not receive a timely response from the upstream server. Reference #1.c8e8dfad.1320178618.b97d68 "

    Looking at the page source, it uses Drupal. Badly. In the middle of the document, the page starts

  • Your voice in our government

    Sorry, I was mistaken into thinking (in an ideal world) the people were the government. My mistake. It's your government.

  • However, the overall response redirects action to the petitioners through participating in the open implementation site and contacting Congress, instead of a promise to prepare additional legislative measures for Congress to consider on behalf of the petitioners.

    As a practical matter, absent substantial political pressure from the electorate, the administration preparing legislation doesn't mean a whole lot. You get legislation that is prepared, and then dead-on-arrival in the Congress.

    We don't have a monar

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