I find the attitude of many within the Raspberry Pi community to be strange and offensive.
I first discovered this odd phenomenon (odd because it contradicts the ethos of the project's academic foundations) back when it first started, as many within the Raspberry Pi community took an extremely hostile attitude toward academic freedom, apparently in defence of various parties' highly dubious intellectual monopolies (Broadcom and MPEG-LA, for example).
I pointed out the irony and hypocrisy of their attitude at the time, explaining that they were more than happy to leech Free (as in freedom) Software for their own benefit, but then balked at the prospect of freely sharing the results, and in particular this contradicted their stated academic goal of facilitating better computer education in British schools, an environment that rightly demands open access to knowledge.
But no, it wasn't Gandhi, nor indeed anyone of even the slightest nobility. It was a patent extortionist with an apparent objection to altruism, called Steve Jobs. Even El Presidente fawned over this selfish racketeer, like he was the new messiah, or something:
‘Steve was among the greatest of American innovators – brave enough to think differently, bold enough to believe he could change the world, and talented enough to do it,’ the statement gushed.
Does Windows cost Microsoft opportunities?
By David Worthington
March 17, 2010 —
The evolution of the .NET Framework has won new users to the platform, and drawn its share of criticism from those who think Microsoft’s stewardship has often been off-target.
Among the critics is Novell vice president Miguel de Icaza, who said .NET's focus on Windows has come at the expense of opportunities for Microsoft, and its desire to guard its intellectual property is an impediment on the platform.
"Microsoft has shot the .NET ecosystem in the foot because of the constant threat of patent infringement that they have cast on the ecosystem," he said.
Scenario: Millions of people are suffering from [some arbitrary disease], most of whom are poor people living in the Third World. A pharmaceutical company spends billions on R&D to find a cure, and eventually makes a breakthrough. The company calculates that, in order to recover its investment, and make a reasonable profit, it must guarantee the sale of X number of units of the drug, at Y cost per unit - anything less, and they cannot justify the investment. However, this necessity presents two problems:
a) The price (Y) is prohibitively high for Third World patients
b) The company must use the exclusivity of patents to ensure sufficient sales (X), so cheaper alternatives cannot be made available to the poor by other companies
World Day Against Software Patents - 24 September
Three years ago the European Parliament stopped the attempt to make software patents enforcable in Europe. An unprecedented community effort made it possible with a relative low awareness about the dangers among larger software companies. Since then litigation and patent traps have become a serious problem for the market and users of software. We need to reduce patent risks which impede innovation and investment.
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