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Re: [vox] Political Question
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Re: [vox] Political Question

Hi all:

Here is my understanding of the subject.  Please note that IANAL, la la la...

Say that I am a software developer, and I live in AU.  And I also develop a GNU
software program that violates US patent law (like Apple's FairPlay DRM, for
example)...  If this free trade agreement goes through, then I have two

1.  Pay litigation costs when the chickenhawks swoop in.

2.  Move to a country where US patents don't hold water (like the FairPlay guys
who moved their hosting to Asia).

IT in Australia is very pro-open-source (in my experience).  Any threat to open
source makes the aussies shiver, because alot of their infrastructure depends
on it.  If Telia (or telstra, I can't remember the name, but it's _THE_ big ISP
down under) had to redo it's network because open source was threatened, that
would be millions of pure loss for that company.  IT doesn't love or hate open
source, IT uses what works (which in most cases, involves FOSS).

I don't know much about patents/trademarks/copyright, but I know that some
countries allow infringers of US patents to held liable in their countries'
court systems, and others don't.  Which is why some people will make their own
country from a naval boat platform in the middle of the south pacific.

--IANAL, and never want to be,


--- "Robert G. Scofield" <rscofield@afes.com> wrote:

> Here is a statement from someone in Australia who opposed the U.S. - 
> Australia free trade agreement:
> "America's patent laws have forced significant
> > aspects of Open Source 
> > activity to relocate to Europe and Asia, and we
> > should not be going down 
> > that route."
> The author previously stated that 8% of all open source developers are
> Australian.  The author's concern is with the Australian IT industry.
> I'm trying to make sense of this.  My first question is have U.S. patent laws
> forced significant aspects of open source activity to Europe and Asia?  I
> don't see how open source activity can get pushed from one place to another.
> My second question is how can the Australian IT industry be threatend by the
> removal of the open source movement to Europe and Asia.  Why wouldn't the IT
> industry be glad to get rid of open source altogether?
> I know that some companies benefit from open source; like IBM and Sun.  But I
> don't know enough about the industry to make sense of the author's argument. 
> Can someone enlighten me?
> Bob
> _______________________________________________
> vox mailing list
> vox@lists.lugod.org
> http://lists.lugod.org/mailman/listinfo/vox

Of course the people don't want war. But after all, it's the leaders 
of the country who determine the policy, and it's always a simple 
matter to drag the people along whether it's a democracy, a fascist 
dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. 
Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding 
of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they 
are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, 
and exposing the country to greater danger.
     --Hermann Goering

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