posted Jul 16, 2003
in Communication Ethics

Communication Ethics book part for Patents v. Free Speech. (This is an automatically generated summary to avoid having huge posts on this page. Click through to read this post.)

This argument is quite simple. Because software is a form of speech, by restricting software through the use of patents, we restrict free speech.

In other domains, such as copyright law, we have explicitly balanced (key word) the rights to free speech against the gains of the restrictions. Since nobody ever thought that patents would enter into the speech domain, there are no explicit provisions for free speech in them, so it should be no surprise that patent laws are not balanced to protect free speech. We would do not and do not tolerate such violation of free speech rights in any other domain. We should not tolerate this in the software domain either.

 

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