The end of Blender (and open source): sw patents

This is the end?
The proposal for patents win and go to the second reading:

If we have patents in Europe, what happen to Blender? I’ve some questions:

  1. The features used before patents approval is in the safe side?
  2. Exist a list of patents?

I suppose american people know how escape from this, because the patents is already used in USA…

  1. A developer is obliget to know 30 000 000 of patents? If a developer use a feature because he don’t know it’s under patent, he is in fault? Exist a site with the laws about patents (in Europe)?



Always consider the source of the news. This article was written by Florian Mueller. He’s the campaign manager for I’d say the story’s a bit biased and it isn’t as bad as it sounds. It would be interesting to see an objective article, or at least one from the other side.

I agree, no one’s said what the advantage of software patents might be.

I’d like to know what the CATO institute says. They’ve decounced extremeists on both sides of this issue before.

This is another (the entire article here:

7 March 2005 – The Council Presidency today declared the software agreement of 18 May 2004 to have been adopted, in violation of the procedural rules and in spite of the evident lack of a qualified majority of member states and the requests of several states to reopen negotiations.

* Cyprus submitted a written declaration at the start of the Council session
* Poland, Denmark, Portugal and others (not specified) asked for a B item (discussion point)
* The Luxembourg presidency claimed this was not possible due to procedural reasons, and that this would have undermined the whole process -> it would stay on the list of A-items
* Luxembourg then gave a long statement regarding how the EP still gets a chance in second reading, the importance of avoiding legal uncertainty etc.
* Denmark said it was disappointed about this, but accepted and submitted a written declaration
* Later on, the list of A items was accepted by the Council 


* Luxembourg negated the Council's own Rules of Procedure, which state that a B-item (which is at the same time a request to remove an A item) can only be rejected by the a majority of the Council, and not just by the Presidency. (art 3.8 )
* The objecting countries seem to have forgotten to request removal of the A-item from the agenda. Rules 3.1 + 3.7 would have given any single country the right to have the A-item removed, because the Luxemburg presidency had failed to insert it more than 14 days earlier. This is how Poland has removed A-items from the Agricultural & Fishery Council twice in the past.
* This is a very sad day for democracy, and casts a very dark shadow over the European Constitution, which will give the Council even more power. 

It’s time to understand patents laws.
If anyone here study law, please ask to my questions in the first post…

Point 3 is very simple. Yes you need to know all the laws.
Just as in other situattions where you can’t say: “I didn’t know that”.
“I didn’t know I could not take that from the shop” is just not valid.

2, yes there is a list of patents. Many “advicer” job opportunities here.

1, maybe. If a company thinks it can make money out of sewing, it will. And if they think they will lose money over it they wouldn’t.

I know I can’t use a algo under patent. This is the law.
But how I can know 30.000.000 (and this is a temp number) of patents (not 30.000.000 of laws)?

Where is the list of patents?

However, it seem really this is the end for open source…

“But how I can know 30.000.000 (and this is a temp number) of patents”

You don’t need to know all the patents, you only need to know if what you are doing has been done before (probably) and if somebody owns the patent to that, so, you need to only one patent. (okay 2 if you make something difficult).

“Where is the list of patents?”
At the patent office.

“However, it seem really this is the end for open source…”
Really? So who is going to be sewed? At worse it will push opensource underground. Or, what would be possible, it would make an end to licensing. But it’s a bit hard for me to explain how I come to that conclussion.

Hey, I think the Blender Foundation has made its position very clear about Software Patents and this is the position I make too. It is the least I can do.

Wait a sec, aren’t patents created to avoid missunderstood between companies (commercial ones)? I mean, lets say a company patented Thumbnail views, and you create a nice website using that thumbnail size, is it possible that the company searched you and asks to pay 15 million dollar? Or is it, another company used thumbnails for a digital camera to display images you made, and have to pay patents for that?

The reason why I ask, is that Sony pays now 15 million dollar to use thumbnails on cameras, dvd players and some more. But how the hack does a normal citizen pay 15 million dollar to display his renderd images on a website?

For now I’m not sure if these things count for commercial companies and/or everyone else. If it’s commercial only, well the Blender Foundation isn’t commercial, isn’t selling it’s software, only the guides. Besides this, there are rules for patents, (dutch: octrooi), and can be found one some websites here. But I think we aren’t in harmfull way if we still keep blender free, when it comes to pay for blender, then companies begin to ask payments for the stuff we put in that’s them.

But reply when I’m wrong, well I hope I’m not wrong. I also gave my vote for no patent law in europe a few months ago. I think everyone should do, but on another side, I think it won’t come that far. Because here in europe the governements of different countries are promoting opensource stuff by having (like the netherlands) there tax pay software in opensource and crossplatform, (the way citizen have to pay there taxes or else that’s related to it) :stuck_out_tongue:

And even better, the governement also gives money to people that develope freeware opensource stuff, not sure how that’s called in english, but it’s something that schools also get for teaching childeren stuff, subsition or something. So why invest money in such projects if they want the patent law? I think that the companies want that law, but the governement isn’t sure about the idea, I hope the governement is still more powerfull then those companies. Besides that I also thougt it’s violating the law of freedom. If a citizen have to pay those patents too, you are in some kind of way not allowed to make your own software, websites, or another artwork, because someone somewhere has patented it. Isn’t that comminisme? whitout permission or payement no publishing or creating things? That what communisme is, not democrasy. If there’s a way to catch those fortunistic companies, then they are srewed. :smiley:

Oh…really not.
Do you know the patent of 'assign color to a pixel '?
or patent of ‘time bar’?
or patent of ‘double click’?
or the patent of 3d rendering ???
take a look here:

The technique described is used by almost every game that uses 3D modelling, from the latest titles right back to the likes of Quake and possibly right back to Doom and even Wolfenstein - all products of the 1990s. It covers the use of a 3D space - the UAC HQ on Mars, say - to encompass one or more 3D objects - half a dozen Cacodeamons, say. The patent details how panning across the scene - sidestepping past a plasma bolt, say - can be realistically depicted on a 2D display, such as a computer monitor.

a simple sw can require 1000 patents…

Really? So who is going to be sewed? At worse it will push opensource underground. Or, what would be possible, it would make an end to licensing. But it’s a bit hard for me to explain how I come to that conclussion.

yes, underground, ad criminals. No official site, no community, no tutorials, no org, no money…ghost!!

I hope you are right, however, maybe a legal action as:

‘your free software steal users from my company, and I’ve the patent: the damage is 1.000.000 $’

Besides, there is a quote from

oftware patents make it risky to publicize source code. Whether a source code is made available under a free software license like the GPL or under any other license, it certainly contributes to IT security if the source code of a software can be inspected. That gives everyone with the necessary knowledge and a sufficiently strong interest the chance to search for any security issues. However, patent profiteers and malicious competitors find it much easier to identify and prove patent “infringements” on that basis. If a patent is related to something very visible, like a progress bar or a virtual shopping trolley, then a “violation” may be easily identifiable from the outside. With patents that relate to internal functions (such as memory management), it is either much harder to prove a patent infringement without the source code, or it may even be practically impossible.

I hope you are right, but I’m not sure.
AARG…but in Blender community no one lawyer??

  1. Is the paptent laws enforcable?
  2. Does the GPL nullify the patent laws?
  3. One has to reverse engineer software to discover possible patent infrengements. Is it not illegal to reverse engineer software?

Besides, since Blender is GPL’ed , I think no other company can claim non-overlapping windows. And what about the render stuff? Most of them was already published somewhere (or did you think the developers went on the invent the wheel?). So that should makes it free from all licensing obligation.

I think the patent laws will hurt the big companies on the long run. Apple sueing Microsoft (by the way, they lost the legal battle when Microsoft ‘stole’ the macintosh look and feel foor their windows 3.0), Sony sueing Apple and so on. I think NOW is a good time to be a pattent lawyer.

A libertarian front group sponsored by tabacco companies, Verizon Communications Time Warner, Inc, SBC Communications, Comcast Corporation and Freedom Communications and pushing such wonderfull ideas as privatising social security? they are biased and worse, their only purpose is to influence goverment policy to benefit their corporate sponsors, peddle your libertarian propaganda somewhere else please.

  1. Probably no
  2. reverse engineer is not needed: open source is…open!!!

There is some interesting post over at cgtalk:

/me laught at the though of Microsoft trying to shut all linux off under a ton of patent, like multithreading kernel, double clickand more stupidity.
On the other side, Blender can face the justice, bf is so weak compared to monster like Pixar or Alias.
So sad that the majority of europe is against that, but the law can still be adopted.

When I think of intellectual property I think of copyrights in the manner of book publishing copyright issues. Books are formed with letters words and numbers and can cost a $1 for a simple paperback to a thousand or more for a business reference. In the case of books copyrights protect the author’s information from being copied and sold in any form without that authors consent. Another publisher can quote passages of a book to build up another publication which is sold or distributed freely as long as the user of this copyrighted books information quotes the acquired passages and give the reader a reference mention to the original author and book in some way.

I would think that a programmer’s written code could be viewed as property in a similar way. And if a part of someone’s code was used as a guide for another’s code that this code could be “quoted” in some way clearly for all users of the software to know the origin of the original code. Maybe this information could be listed in the “About” button along with a list of all the coders of the app. And reference links could be given to the original author.

It does seem like some coders have this “god” like view of their code. But as more people start to code with C, C++, etc someone’s ideas are bound to overlap in some way. There will always be a claim that “one artist song could sound completely similar to another artist tune” without theses two tunes being entirely the same. Sometimes your stuff is just not as special you might think and a coder is not “god” and their creative abilities are just like those from another average “jane” or “joe”. The cat’s out of the bag. Code has left the campus or symphony Hall and it is being mixed and scratched on the streets in Ghetto’s worldwide. Get over it. Anybody can code now.

C is not the language of the “gods”. You can pick up a book on it just about anywhere.
Now hardware is king, Long live hardware! Our software only lives to serve the mighty needs of our hardware, as it rightly should.

Software that can just do average stuff like let us up boot up our computers to the web and surf or shop and listen to tunes may be free. Custom software that is made just for our company by wise men and women everywhere will cost a mint and will never see a store shelve.

As we go on with this software stuff I feel that some software companies will use such laws to keep companies that threaten their markets tied up in courts for years to stymie that opponent from developing apps that threaten them. And that’s all they can do. But after a while this won’t work. Throughout history with many emerging industries, dying industry leaders have tried such tactics to stay alive or to fight other competitors. Why can’t we all just get along??? Hehehe.

But as software is intellectual most real world physical concerns will outweigh someone’s battle to own the “taskbar”. Hehehe. Software’s is getting so integrated into our lives I sometimes wonder how long people can sell it like a specialty item. Soon some software may just end up losing in the marketplace and can no longer be sold for a price and it’s continued value will be maintained by individual developments long after a company can exist by selling the software for a price.

This sounds familiar somehow. Can you figure out why?

Blend on!


software patents are more similar to invention patents for real objects.

however so-far in my historical understanding, software patents have been claimed on the most retarded things, and have been poorly filed by the patent offices.

mainly because its modeled from US patent Law which is very very poor.


I know I said that “I” “think” of software patents in the sense of literature copyrights.

Most normal everyday people are not aware of the software that we developers use to create services and products for them other than the typical Mac or Windows OS running on their desktop. And if they were to read some news about a software patent issue or whatever they could care less. I must admit that as an end user of software apps I would have never concerned myself with the issue. I think that my exposure to open source apps like Blender has made this issue even apparent to me.

But as an end user all I can do is sympathize with those whose work and dreams may be affected by these software patent issues.

And sadly if any of the open source apps where affected by patent issues most end users of software wouldn’t even wink at these cases.

And regardless of what happens I seriously doubt that it will stop independent coders in any way who code apps for personal and private productivity.

Coders have been scraping together apps to handle this or that need for decades before most people even noticed there was even such a thing as a software store or even the notion that software is a physical product that could be sold retail.

In the end all of this stuff just seems to only concern us software geeks and not anyone else who couldn’t give a care.

And it makes news in a community of folks who would otherwise be almost invisible in the world without such news.

So I don’t worry about this kind of stuff as this kind of thing has happened with video and electronic industries. But since software ain’t physical and mostly obscure I am sure that things won’t happen in the same manner.

Blender will be fine.

Blend on!

:o This is just like the guy who patented ugg boots