Wednesday, February 16, 2005

HP TO OPEN-SOURCE: GET OVER IT - ( Open source programmers might not like the idea of software patents, but those critics would be better off adapting to the fact that they're not going away, HP's top Linux executive said on Tuesday.

"At the end of the day, software patents are a way of life. To ignore them is a little bit naïve," Martin Fink, HP's vice-president of Linux, said in Boston at the LinuxWorld Conference and Expo. It's fine to object to software patents, but it's foolhardy not to try to acquire them, he said.
"Refusing to patent one's ideas is leaving oneself exposed for absolutely no good reason," Fink said. "For some, (getting patents) may seem like selling out. You can comfort yourself that it's what you do with the patent that matters, not the fact that you have one."

Intellectual-property issues are attracting more attention because of open source software, which by definition may be shared, changed and redistributed. Those freedoms stand in stark contrast to the secrecy and distribution constraints of traditional proprietary software.

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