[LINK] Is it unethical to infringe a patent?
Deus Ex Machina
vicc at cia.com.au
Thu Aug 17 18:09:30 EST 2006
Brendan Scott [brendansweb at optusnet.com.au] wrote:
> Just an open question really. Assuming that patents are a form of property:
> (a) would it be unethical to infringe a patent? (eg: exercise a patent without the permission of the patent holder)
> (b) would it be a form of stealing?
> I'm interested in views generally but, of course, since few people actually believe patents are (or even should be) a form of property, I'm particularly interested in the views of anyone who does so believe.
an infringement of a patent requires a new characterisation. back when
land was plentiful it may not have been obvious that your where
crossing someones title. was crossing very large unfenced titles an offence?
likewise its not obvious, because of the simplistic system of implementation that
you are infringing. the difficult legalese language of patents does not help.
it is certainly unethical to knowingly infrige a patent or continue to
do so once informed. I dont know that stealing is the right word either,
if you knowlingly make use of patented ideas without permission then
that is certainly stealing. but if you inadvertently use a patent its
more like unauthorised free riding.
what is required is a clear fencing system for patents, so it doesnt
require a team of lawyers to determine where you are at. the principle
of the system if fine, the implementation in a software context hasnt
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