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(OT) Re: Re: dbi.perl.org is live online!

by Jazz (Curate)
on Apr 04, 2002 at 06:10 UTC ( #156586=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re: dbi.perl.org is live online!
in thread dbi.perl.org is live online!

While I agree that the patent is ridiculous, I don't believe that amazon should be totally to blame. The U.S. government granted it, after all. The dumb patent was issued almost 5 years ago, and back then their "business methods" were probably groundbreaking.

It's the USPTO that needs revamping, not the people who submit patent requests. Yep, software patents are BAD, so perhaps we should collectively let the USPTO know that they should get more technologically savvy before issuing patents they don't seem to understand the rippling effects of. And if patents are to be enforced by the patent-holder, they need to have a statute of limitations in which to do so. They shouldn't be allowed to wait until the patent is widely used and pop up with ludicrous licensing fees (Unisys, anyone?).

Sony has a patent for "a method for interactive network session tracking from inbound source to net sale includes storing a unique session ID (identifier) in an entry in a session database, and associating the session ID with an inbound source (origin) of the user of an interactive network site", but no one's complaining about them (and who hasn't done something like this?).

IMHO, amazon is only being pointed at because they chose to try to enforce their patent with one of their (big) competitors.

If I didn't already have the promoted DBI book, I'd have clicked dbi.perl.org's link, not for political reasons, but for supportive ones. The link is an affiliate link, and the way I see it, if I bought the dbi book from an affiliate link, Tim Bunce gets a royalty, O'Reilly gets another book sold, amazon shareholders may actually get a dividend and dbi.perl.org gets a few bucks in commission.

I expect there to be a few dissentions to this ideaology, but this is just my opinion -- I don't expect anyone else to share it :)


Comment on (OT) Re: Re: dbi.perl.org is live online!
Amazon 1-click Patent (was Re(3): dbi.perl.org is live online!)
by cjf (Parson) on Apr 04, 2002 at 10:37 UTC
    While I agree that the patent is ridiculous, I don't believe that amazon should be totally to blame. The U.S. government granted it, after all.

    Yes there are obvious problems with the U.S. patent office and their evaluation of patent claims. Yes they are a major part of the problem and more needs to be done to fix the U.S. (and other) patent offices. However, rewarding those who take advantage of these flaws only serves to damage the software industry by encouraging more companies to obtain and enforce questionable patents.

    The dumb patent was issued almost 5 years ago, and back then their "business methods" were probably groundbreaking.

    The patent in question was issued on September 28th, 1999. What the patent basically says is that you fill out a form and give them some info, they send you a cookie to store some information to identify you, next time you visit their site it gets sent back to them. This is not, and was not at the time, "groundbreaking."

    Sony's patent seems to be another screw up of the U.S. patent office. I hadn't heard anything about it previously, probably because they haven't tried to enforce it (please inform me if I'm incorrect). If they do try, I'm sure there will be plenty of noise.

    If I didn't already have the promoted DBI book, I'd have clicked dbi.perl.org's link, not for political reasons, but for supportive ones. The link is an affiliate link, and the way I see it, if I bought the dbi book from an affiliate link, Tim Bunce gets a royalty, O'Reilly gets another book sold, amazon shareholders may actually get a dividend and dbi.perl.org gets a few bucks in commission.

    I think you missed the point. The only part of this that changes if the affiliate program was switched to fatbrain or somewhere else is that Amazon wouldn't make a profit off the sale and we wouldn't be supporting their enforcement of a ridiculous patent. See Boycott :).

      The Fatbrain affiliates program has been discontinued. As of 3/31, it has been replaced with the Barnes & Noble affiliate program. Barnes & Noble offers a 5% commission (or 7% if you sell $1,000,000 worth of their products); amazon offers up to 15% with a directly-linked book (as the dbi.perl.org site uses).

      Or... perhaps the person who put up the link at dbi.perl.org was considerate and conscientious enough to check prices... Programming the Perl DBI is $27.96 on Fatbrain/Barnes & Noble, and $24.47 on amazon.

      I hope it wasn't construed that I condone the patents (software patents stink), but if a site maintainer chooses to offer only amazon links for whatever reason, a visitor can easily note the isbn number and go to another bookstore if it's their personal choice to boycott amazon.

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