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[News] Multinational Gangsters "NZICT" Still Trying to Derail NZ Law to Illegalise NZ-based Software, Mozilla Staff Speaks Out

  • Subject: [News] Multinational Gangsters "NZICT" Still Trying to Derail NZ Law to Illegalise NZ-based Software, Mozilla Staff Speaks Out
  • From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 09 Jul 2010 14:36:37 +0100
  • Followup-to: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • User-agent: KNode/4.4.2
Hash: SHA1

Software patents â left vs right again?

,----[ Quote ]
| The software patent debate is opening old 
| sores associated with the change of 
| government and governmentâs interface with 
| the ICT industry.
| A question that runs through or subtly 
| underlies comments on the controversy in 
| several online forums, is to what extent 
| the NZICT Group represents New Zealandâs 
| ICT industry and customers.
| The Labour-led government set up the 
| Digital Development Council (DDC) and 
| Digital Development Forum (DDF) as an 
| umbrella for ICT developer and user 
| communities â TUANZ, InternetNZ, the NZ 
| Computer Society and so on.


Software patent debate rages on

,----[ Quote ]
| The question of software patents looks 
| unlikely to go away soon, with significant 
| lobbies forming on both sides and a wealth 
| of comment in live forums, letters to the 
| Minister by InternetNZ and the NZ Computer 
| Society, in Computerworldâs own online 
| comment space and on Twitter and Slashdot.
| Official bodies and individual 
| commentators are not easily letting go of 
| an apparent reinterpretation of a Select 
| Committeeâs wishes regarding a clause 
| excluding software from patent in the 
| Patents Bill. In some quarters the 
| argument is sliding over into one of 
| openness in the legislative process and 
| who truly represents the local ICT 
| industry.
| Committee member and Labour ICT 
| spokesperson Clare Curran is uncomfortable 
| with what she calls the ârevisitingâ of 
| the clause. At last weekâs OpenGovt2010 
| âunconferenceâ she cited the incident as a 
| good example of how the lawmaking process 
| is sometimes less than open or 
| transparent. She referred to âhow 
| legislation gets made and the discussions 
| that go on behind closed doorsâ â 
| discussions that should, she said, âhappen 
| in a more transparent environmentâ.
| [...]
| NZICTâs most prominent members are 
| multinational ICT companies, like IBM and 
| Microsoft â companies used to having their 
| intellectual property stringently 
| protected.
| [...]
| In its own letter to Power, InternetNZ has 
| called for the âchangesâ in the Patents 
| Bill on software to be referred back to 
| the select committee, with an opportunity 
| for further input by âthose who originally 
| made submissionsâ. Ironically, this would 
| cut out NZICT, who did not make a 
| submission. To get a representative point 
| of view the committee may be forced to 
| open submissions more generally.


Mozilla And Software Patents In New Zealand

,----[ Quote ]
| Mozilla produces the Firefox Web browser, 
| used by more than three hundred million 
| people around the world. Firefox is open 
| source and is the result of a 
| collaboration of a large group of paid 
| developers and volunteers. In fact, 
| Mozilla funds a team of paid developers in 
| New Zealand working on core Firefox code; 
| some key innovations in Firefox, such as 
| HTML5 video, are the work of our New 
| Zealand team. The work we do is some of 
| the most highly skilled and high-impact 
| software development to be found anywhere 
| in the world. I write about software 
| patents in my personal capacity as one of 
| Mozilla's senior software developers, and 
| manager of our Auckland-based development 
| team and also our worldwide layout engine 
| team. I also formerly worked for three 
| years at the IBM T.J. Watson Research 
| Center where I participated in the filing 
| of several software patents based on my 
| research. 
| [...]
| The patent system was designed to promote 
| invention and especially the disclosure of 
| "trade secrets" so that others can build 
| on them. Research casts doubt on whether 
| it has succeeded at those goals (see an 
| example), but even if it did, in software 
| development --- especially open-source 
| software development --- it is clear that 
| no patent incentive is needed to encourage 
| innovation and publication of our work. 
| [...]
| Software development is uniquely able to 
| have huge impact on the world because 
| copies can be made available to users for 
| free. If we had charged users for each 
| copy of Firefox there is no doubt we would 
| not be nearly as successful as we have 
| been, either at changing the world or even 
| at raising money --- Mozilla has 
| substantial revenues from "tie-ins" such 
| as search-related advertising. The patent 
| system threatens this business model, 
| because most patent licensing arrangements 
| require the licensee to pay a per-unit 
| fee. This is not necessarily a problem for 
| traditional manufacturing, where there is 
| a per-unit manufacturing cost that must be 
| recouped anyway, but it completely rules 
| out a large class of software business 
| models that have been very successful. 


Splitting apart browsing tools and the actual browser

,----[ Quote ]
| 'works for Mozilla full-time as an 
| employee of Novell in New Zealand'


NZICT should probably be exiled.


Select Committee Scrutiny Called For On Patents Changes - InternetNZ

,----[ Quote ]
| InternetNZ (Internet New Zealand Inc) has
| today called for the Government to allow
| any proposed changes to the Patents Bill to
| be referred back to the Commerce Select
| Committee for further scrutiny.
| The issue of software patents has recently
| attracted a great deal of attention and
| controversy, particularly in respect of the
| patentability of "embedded software".


Nature of Patent Bill change disputed

,----[ Quote ]
| Commerce Minister Simon Power and the
| Economic Development Ministry have rejected
| claims from commerce select committee
| chairwoman Lianne Dalziel they have
| significantly shifted their position by
| proposing software which has a "technical
| purpose" could be patented.
| Mr Power announced in April that the
| Government would back changes to the
| Patents Bill proposed by the commerce
| select committee that would mean computer
| software could no longer be patented. The
| committee's understanding was that
| inventions that relied on "embedded
| software" â software that is built into a
| physical device â would still be
| patentable.
| [...]
| Information technology industry body NZICT
| has campaigned in favour of software
| patents, fearing the effect that
| restricting software patents could have on
| both its multinational members and locally
| owned software exporters.


Software patents may be allowed in New Zealand after all

,----[ Quote ]
| Software patents, apparently on the way to
| being ruled out for New Zealand after a
| Select Committee decision on the Patents
| Bill, might not be completely excluded after
| all.
| The committee earlier this year inserted a
| clause in the second-reading copy of the
| Bill [Section 15(3A)] reading simply âa
| computer program is not a patentable
| invention.â
| On June 9 there was a meeting between
| Ministry of Economic Development (MED)
| officials and a delegation of local and
| international software companies led by
| Brett OâRiley of industry lobby NZICT Group.


New Zealand U-Turns, Will Grant Software Patents

,----[ Quote ]
| ciaran_o_riordan writes "Due to lobbying by
| a group called NZICT, New Zealand's
| parliament is now set to let go of its
| proposal to ban software patents. Patent
| attorney Steven Lundberg announced the
| details in a blog entry. This was quickly
| deleted, but not before it got stored in
| Google's cache. Here we can read that 'Hon
| Simon Power has asked MED [Ministry of
| Economic Development] to work with the
| Parliamentary Counsel's Office to redraft
| the section along the lines of the European
| Patent Convention.' Which is exactly the
| opposite of March's announcement that
| 'computer software should be excluded from
| patent protection as software patents can
| stifle innovation and competition, and can
| be granted for trivial or existing
| techniques.' The background to this case
| gives every reason to be hopeful, if
| computer users in New Zealand get active
| again."


New Zealand govt against software patents!


New Zealand


New Zealand Brings Software Patents back From Brink of Extinction

,----[ Quote ]
| New Zealand looks like its reversing course
| on software patent protection.  On June 9,
| there was a meeting between representatives
| of NZ Ministry of Economic Development (MED)
| and representatives of NZICT Group.  It
| appears that New Zealand is likely to
| ultimately adopt an approach to software
| patents that is consistent with the EPOâs
| position.  My thanks to Jim Hallenbeck
| (Schwegman) and Paik Saber (IBM) for
| relaying this information.
| Here is the summary of the meeting provided
| by Brett OâRiley CEO of NZICT:
| Our representative delegation met with MED
| in Wellington yesterday.  This was to
| discuss the formal submission we had made to
| Hon Simon Power last week covering our
| concerns about the proposed draft
| legislation.


New Zealand Politicians Convinced By Lobbyists To Bring Back Software Patents

,----[ Quote ]
| There was widespread happiness among
| software developers a few months back, when
| it was announced that New Zealand had
| decided to explicitly ban software patents.
| Of course, it didn't take long for a
| lobbying campaign to kick off from those
| opposed to this provision, and it appears
| the lobbying was effective, such that
| software patents will now be allowed --
| though, they will still be somewhat limited
| (as they are in Europe). So, it's not quite
| as bad as the situation in the US. A New
| Zealand patent attorney posted a letter from
| the head of the lobbying group discussing
| this shift. While that blog post has since
| been deleted, as of this posting Google
| still has the cache.


,----[ Quote ]
| Hi,
| You have to be aware what is the strategy of
| IBM and Microsoft when
| they try to push for the infamous "as such" | provision.
| A German court has recently made Microsoft
| FAT patentable, despite the
| exclusion of computer programs "as such"
| from the law (the EPC).
| Patent judges tends to interpret this
| provision as "a computer program
| as such is a computer program on a piece of | paper" and this is what is
| excluded. On the other side, when the
| program runs on the computer, it
| becomes patentable.
| If you are interested in clarifications to
| bring in New Zealand, you
| can take inspiration from the FFIIÂs 10 core clarifications:
| http://consultation.ffii.org/Clarifications


Labour party on software patents

,----[ Quote ]
| "The issue of who controls software that
| New Zealanders have developed is an
| important one. Copyright allows the
| developer to control the terms under which
| software is released. Patents remove that
| right and hand it over to a third party.
| Basically, software patents create a
| lottery around control of your own efforts.
| "We are pleased that Commerce Minister
| Simon Power has said that the Government
| would support a select committee
| recommendation that the Intellectual
| Property Office develop guidelines for
| inventions that involve âembedded softwareâ
| - software that is built into a physical
| device.
| âSoftware will still be protected by
| copyright, which prevents outright copying.
| We believe this to be sensible and the
| right decision," Clare Curran said.


Software exclusion will encourage Kiwi innovators

,----[ Quote ]
| The exclusion of computer software from a
| Patents Bill before Parliament is a step
| towards helping New Zealand become more
| innovative Labour MPs Lianne Dalziel and
| Clare Curran said today.


InternetNZ Agrees - No To Software Patents

,----[ Quote ]
| InternetNZ (Internet New Zealand Inc)
| agrees with the Commerce Select Committee
| and Minister Hon Simon Power that software
| should not be patentable. InternetNZ
| outlined its position in a submission to
| the Committee in July 2009.


InternetNZ: "No to software patents"


NZCS: ICT profession supports patent removal

,----[ Quote ]
| The New Zealand Computer Society polled its
| members and found that 81% supported the
| recommendation to remove Software from the
| Patents Act.
| NZCS Chief Executive Paul Matthews said,
| âThis is a big issue for the ICT sector.
| And whilst not scientific, this poll
| clearly backs up previous consultation
| showing widespread support from the ICT
| sector for the removal of software
| patents.â


Select Committee Suggestion to Discard Software Patents is Causing Worry

,----[ Quote ]
| He said that they consider that it is vital
| for firms to keep hold of the alternative to
| shield their originality under copyright law,
| if that is their option.


Select Committee recommendation "worrying"


Software patents questioned


Further Progress Toward New Zealand's New Patent Act


NZCS lobbies to end patent protection for software

,----[ Quote ]
| The New Zealand Computer Society has come out
| in support of a ban on software patents,
| sending a letter yesterday to Minister of
| Commerce Simon Power supporting a Commerce
| Select Committee recommendation to remove
| patent protection for software in New Zealand
| law.
| The move comes after a quick poll of NZCS
| members, IT professionals from around New
| Zealand, found 80 percent opposed patent
| protection for software.
| "The Society acknowledges this is a complex
| issue with many reasons for and against
| patentability of software. However on
| balance, it is in New Zealand's best
| interests for software to be covered through
| the provisions of copyright in the same way
| movies and books are, rather than through the
| patent system which has significant
| problems," NZCS chief executive Paul Matthews
| says in a blog post.


NZCS lobbies to end patent protection for software


Software patent ban could damage investment

,----[ Quote ]
| Any exclusion of software from the New
| Zealand patents regime will âsuck the
| lifebloodâ out of the New Zealand software
| development industry, says Chris Auld,
| director of strategy and innovation at
| Microsoft-specialist developer Intergen.


Our Members


Call for caution over software patents


Power to delete software patents

,----[ Quote ]
| Commerce Minister Simon Power says the
| Government will back changes proposed by a
| select committee that will mean computer
| software can no longer be patented.
| Parliament's commerce select committee
| proposed amending the Patents Bill, which
| passed its first reading in May last year,
| after receiving many submissions on the
| controversial issue.
| The recommendation has attracted
| considerable attention outside New Zealand,
| particularly from the open source software
| community, which claims large software
| makers have gamed the patent system and
| stifled innovation.


Select committee report on Patents Bill: computer software not patentable


Abolish software patents

,----[ Quote ]
| I think that the best way to defend open
| source against software patent attacks is to
| abolish software patents. The U.S. Supreme
| Court might abolish software patents this
| month in the U.S.A. New Zealand is close to
| passing a law abolishing software patents in
| New Zealand. We are making progress from the
| days when people considered abolishing
| software patents just a flaky idea.


Response to Software Patent Supporters


Power backs deletion of software patents

,----[ Quote ]
| Commerce Minister Simon Power says the
| Government will back changes proposed by a
| select committee that will mean computer
| software can no longer be patented.
| Parliament's commerce select committee
| proposed amending the Patents Bill, which
| passed its first reading in May last year,
| after receiving many submissions on the
| controversial issue.


New Zealand govt against software patents!

,----[ Quote ]
| Substantial credit is due to the people in
| NZ that submitted letters making the case
| against software patents:
|     * Egressive Limited
|     * The New Zealand Open Source Society
|     * InternetNZ
|     * Guy Burgess


Select Committee Reports On New Patents Bill In New Zealand


New Zealand Politicians Want To Explicitly Outlaw Software Patents

,----[ Quote ]
| As we wait for the Bilski ruling in the US
| (which my gut feeling tells me will have
| the Supreme Court totally punt on the issue
| of software patents), it seems like
| politicians down in New Zealand have
| figured out that software patents are a
| real problem.


New Zealand Legislators Say Software should be Inpatentable

,----[ Quote ]
| New Zealand legislators have proposed a
| bill which would make it impossible to
| patent software. The bill, which is going
| through the process for patent reform,
| clearly indicates that software should not
| be patentable.
| If this bill becomes a law, then it will
| create friction with US ACTA negotiators,
| who about to make software patents standard
| internationally.


New Zealand patent reform bill says no to software patents

,----[ Quote ]
| New Zealand's parliament is preparing to
| vote on a major patent reform bill that
| will tighten the country's standards of
| patentability. One of the most significant
| changes in the proposed bill is a specific
| patentability exclusion for software. If
| the bill receives parliamentary approval in
| its current form, it will broadly eliminate
| conventional software patents in New
| Zealand.
| The bill was drafted by the Select Commerce
| Committee, which decided to include the
| exclusion after reviewing feedback from the
| software industry. The bill's official
| summary acknowledges that software patents
| are detrimental to the open source software
| development model and have the potential to
| seriously stifle innovation.


New Zealand legislators want to outlaw software patents

,----[ Quote ]
| As part of an effort to update patent law,
| New Zealand legislators have proposed a
| bill which would make it impossible to
| patent software. If it becomes law it would
| no doubt cause friction with US ACTA
| negotiators, who are pushing to make
| software patents standard internationally.
| Currently they are recognized in just a few
| countries, including the US and Japan.

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