Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Should Software by Copyright-able?

The news today is that Greg Aharonian, a famous critic of software patents, has filed a court case trying to overturn the copyright-ability of computer software...

Apparently, he's been working on this for three years! Here's something he wrote back in 2001 that just warms my little physicist heart... Here's the first paragraph, with some added emphasis:
For over thirty years, software copyright has been a succession of court cases and law review articles based on bad law, bad logic, bad mathematics, and/or bad physics (Benson, CONTU, Whelan and Altai being all of these). I have decided to write a critical review arguing that software copyright (and dependents like TRIPS, GPL, Bernstein, Junger) should be abolished in light of 17 USC 102b and its equivalents - for one reason - it is bad law with no logical basis in the mathematics and physics of information processing.
I'm trying to get a copy of the filing he made in San Francisco so I can compare it to the Skylink and Lexmark rulings, but I haven't got it yet.

All I can say at this point is that I strongly support the idea of reformulating copyright and patent law around fundamental principles that are both self-consistent and physically reasonable. It's long overdue.