Links for 2012-04-04

  • A one-line software patent – and a fix : Just another sad story of how software patenting made a standard useless. “I had once hoped that JBIG-KIT would help with the exchange of scanned documents on the Internet, facilitate online inter-library loans, and make paper archives more accessible to users all over the world. However, the impact was minimal: no web browser dared to directly support a standardized file format covered by 23 patents, the last of which expired today. About 25 years ago, large IT research organizations discovered standards as a gold mine, a vehicle to force users to buy patent licenses, not because the technology is any good, but because it is required for compatibility. This is achieved by writing the standards very carefully such that there is no way to come up with a compatible implementation that does not require a patent license, an art that has been greatly perfected since.”
    (tags: via:fanf patents jbig1 swpats scanning standards rand frand licensing)

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