Thursday, June 16, 2005

Patently Absurd

I wasn't aware
that our chums on the other side of the pond are facing their own problems with that whole software patent mess. Except that they're still trying to decide whether to even allow the durned things.

And it looks like they'll get their answer real soon (note: it's possible they may have an answer already). And, not to sound like a cynic, but I'm willing to bet that the politicians go with the corporations. So fight the power by reading the usual left-wing garbage about "rights" and "free expression" and that claptrap.

I went ahead and re-read that incendiary essay on Gamasutra attempting to defend software patents.

Here's what caught my eye:

"Ralph Baer is largely credited as the father of video games, having conceived of creating video games in 1966, and making millions for the game Pong. Baer was meticulous in his recordkeeping, and took advantage of the patent system to help develop his fledgling business. However, four years earlier, another individual named Steve Russell finished work on his own computer game: Spacewar. Unfortunately for him, Russell did not seek patent protection on his concept, and did not document his development efforts as well as Baer. We will never know how history may have been rewritten had Russell sought patent protection on Spacewar."

Okay, what I take from that paragraph is that Russell should've gotten the patent years earlier and then sued the shit out of Baer when that upstart tried to make money off Pong. Is that it?

Because I'm sure that would've been great for the video game industry.

I mean, wasn't it totally an enrichment of the industry when Magnavox took Atari for $700,000 over Pong?

Maybe they should've focused on bringing out more games.

Suing people sure made them a fuckton of money.

And, in the end, isn't that what it's all about?

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