(This is an experimental foray into Zarf Not Talking About Games At All. It may be a confusing new direction here on the Gameshelf, or it may just be a mistake. Be assured that we will continue talking about games too, particularly since Jmac has finished his semester of assistant-teaching and will soon have enough live brain cells for blogging again.)
Several months ago I posted about software patents as they relate to my life. I continue to keep an eye on the subject -- not that there's anything I can do about it -- and so I see the same depressing patent news articles that you do.
A couple of days ago I condensed the following tweet out of the usual whirling filamentous thought matter:
The patent system is based on the premise that ideas are rare and precious, but implementation is easy. No wonder it's failing for software! (-- me, 9-Dec-2011)
This has unexpectedly turned into a minor twitterstorm, with a large handful of retweets, several approving comments, several disagreeing or disdainful comments, quite a bit of threaded discussion in my @mentions, more going on in G+, and at least one person who's already sick of the quote. (Sorry! Nobody plans these things!)
I'm happy with that tweet as a tweet -- but 140 characters is not a legal argument. It's an oversimplification! Of course it is. So, here's a blog post, which will hopefully provide some firmer ground for discussion.
(Note: I am not a lawyer of any sort, nor have I any real-life experience with the patent system. This post will not break new ground in the intellectual-property wars. I just want to connect my little slogan with the real world, and say where I'm coming from -- Twitter can't handle that.)