Washington, DC’s Brookings Institution will be hosting a panel on software and law, on Dec 7, and I could not be more enthused about it. This is partly because I’m the moderator, and partly because it’s going to be an open debate on some enthralling subjects by some exceptionally well-informed indivudals. There’ll be two of the best advocates against software patents, Richard Stallman (of the FSF) and Brian Kahin (of the Ford School at UMich and the CCIA); and there’ll be two of the best advocates for software patents, Ken Dam (who sired many a software patent as a former IBM VP), and Emery Simon (of the Business Software Alliance, one of the key players in passing the DMCA).
As well as being a rousing good time, this debate matters, because the Patent Reform Act of 2005 is gaining steam in Congress, and it’s still an open question whether it will help the world of software or just create more constraints.
Patent laws suck December 3, 2005