Monday, March 14, 2005

[geek][politics] Why software patents must DIE, DIE, DIE!!!

Today, we've got stupid human tricks on tap, and I'm not in a work-safe mood, so cover the kiddies' eyes and keep a sharp eye out for that nosy bastard from HR who's always trying to get you in trouble. So, okay... Anyone here old enough in Internet years to remember the uproar that went nowhere fast over Amazon enforcing a patent (5,960,411 granted 28 September 1999) on their "One-Click" 'technology'? Gee, where I come from, we call that browsers using a fucking cookie to remember someone... how... standard... No prior art on that one, right? Ah, hell - if you're gonna use an agreed-upon standard to rape and pillage, make sure it's a widely-used one, right? How about British Telecom briefly toying with the idea of trying to enforce a patent (4,873,662 granted 10 October 1989 - UK patent granted 15 August 1980) on the bloody hyperlink? Too bad Stanford/ARPA developed hyperlinks in the 1960s... No, no prior art on that one, either... Evolve or die, you piece-of-shit Victorian artifact! Well, now we can chalk up one more reason why software patents are simply illogical: in 2003, a company in Hong Kong was issued a US patent (6,665,797 granted 16 December 2003) for [drumroll] wait for it... [drumroll] passwords! [cymbals] Needless to say, they're preparing lawsuits against Apple's iTunes service, eBay, and anyone else they think has pockets deep enough to choke up some pocket change to settle and brush this off as a nuisance lawsuit. Personally, I hope they sue someone who has the business sensibilities of Don Corleone and they have whatever the corporate equivilant to waking up next to a severed horse's head might be. These fuckers couldn't innovate their way out of a paper bag - vultures like these need to be told where they can stick their worthless patents post haste, paper cuts be damned. But my real anger isn't directed at these technology bottom feeders, these digital tapeworms. No. My coldest fury is reserved for the US Patent Office. What congentital idiot, no, what FUCKING MORON in the US PATENT OFFICE thought that in 2003 you could issue a patent covering password-protecting online financial transactions? It boggles the mind. It certainly boggles my mind. Does this person live in a Unabomber-style cabin, lacking electricity or running water? Has this person never been mailed an AOL CD? Never been emailed animated gifs of cum shots or invitations to participate in recovering lost Third World riches for a slight downpayment? Never been asked to "earnestly... start the procedure of confirmation of customers' data as this instructions has been sent to all bank customers and is obligatory."? Horsewhipping is too good for someone this stupid. Shit, boiling in lead is too good for someone this stupid. I can't think of anything that would have given Torquemada a woodie that would really and truly suffice in these cases - I'm open to suggestions, but lemme tell ya: I've got a pretty vivid imagination. Anyone who comes up with something adequately horrible will either be worshipped as a master/mistress of the Universe or will have their IP address banned from future comments. Maybe both. Don't get me wrong - I think people should be able to charge for software, but it would seem to me that my industry would be better served by enforcing copyright law, not patents... The fact that some mouth-breathing, desk-bound, hemorrhoid-ridden, meatsack flunkie in Washington, DC can't tell a password from their reddened and puckering arsehole should seriously give one pause. Unfortunately, I don't see anyone in Congress willing to take this seriously - after all, look at the reacharound the Senate got from MBNA et. al. this past week... and as I type this, the House is waving their towel coyly, just hoping that Bank One will ask them to pick up the soap, too...

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