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From Joe Brenner <>
Subject Re: [OT] Re: mod_perl Developer's Cookbook (and Amazon)
Date Mon, 04 Feb 2002 11:47:56 GMT

Paul Lindner <> wrote: 

> I'm against frivolous patents myself.  It harms the industry and could
> even be detrimental to mod_perl or Apache if either is found to
> infringe upon such a patent.

That indeed is the problem.  Now that the FTC has been
scared (or bought?) off, this is the *obvious* move for a
large company to try and "cut off the air supply" of the
open source movement.

> However, please read the following articles before you boycott.  The
> first is an open letter from Jeff Bezos, the second is a fairly
> lengthy article on the subject by Tim O'Reilly.

I read them some time ago, and re-read them again, and I'm
still not impressed. 

Many companies take out software patents, but they claim
they're for defensive purposes, so that they can use them to
counter-sue.   Amazon is the first case I've heard of where 
someone used them offensively. 

Jeff Bezos, to my ear, is just making some noises to put the
crowd to sleep.  He promises to chat with some congressman 
and that makes it all better? 

To me the whole point of boycotts is to provide some
pressure to behave ethically even when it's not (yet?)
legally mandated.

Mike808 <> wrote: 

> And Barnes and Noble deserves its fair share of disgust
> for filing counter patent-infringement suits. 

I'm no fan of Barnes and Noble, but a counter-suit is a
counter-suit... the other guy was already playing dirty, 
before they started in with it.

> And since BN owns Fatbrain, 

Yeah, I know, and am not happy about it, but at least it
puts a dollar into the pocket of Amazons "victim".

> so BookPool is my vendor of choice currently for
> price-conscious book shopping.

Thanks, I'll look into that one. 

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