Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


ICT Profession Supports Removal of Software Patent

ICT Profession Supports Removal of Software Patents, says NZCS


The New Zealand Computer Society (NZCS), NZ’s independent professional body representing thousands of ICT professionals, today announced strong support for the Commerce Select Committee’s recommendation to remove patentability of software.

Following the Commerce Select Committee’s recommendation to the Government to remove software from the Patents Act, the Society polled its members (representing ICT professionals throughout New Zealand), and found that 81% of those that had a view supported the recommendation to remove Software from the Patents Act.

NZCS Chief Executive Paul Matthews said today that “This is a big issue for the ICT sector. And whilst not scientific, this poll clearly backs up previous consultation showing widespread support from the ICT sector for the removal of software patents”.

“There are a number of reasons for and against software patents, however on balance the Society, and indeed the majority of the ICT profession, believes they are harmful to the innovation of the ICT sector and New Zealand as a whole”, Matthews said.

The Society is constitutionally required to consider issues of importance to the sector and advise Government on areas of concern and hence has written to Commerce Minister Hon Simon Power outlining some of the reasons for supporting the Select Committee’s recommendations.

A copy of this letter is available here: http://tinyurl.com/nzcs-swp

“The Society strongly supports the concept of Intellectual Property and Copyright, and the right to protect property and gain commercial advantage from the creation and sale of software”, Matthews said. “However this has to be weighed against the significant damage software patents cause innovation and the far more appropriate protection provided under Copyright law”.

Conceptually, patents protect concepts or an idea whereas Copyright protects manifestation of an idea. Given the nature of software and the fact that it is built upon large layers of prior work, Patents have caused significant problems in the digital world and are unsuited to software.

“Protecting software is important” Matthews said, “in the same way that protecting movies, books and songs is important. However these all rely successfully on Copyright law, rather than Patent law, for protection. It would be ludicrous to allow patents in these areas, just as it’s illogical to allow software patents”.

“As pointed out by IP law firm Chapman Tripp recently in a release supporting patents, New Zealand is suffering from sustained and alarming Multi-Factor Productivity decline, a measure of technological innovation”, Matthews said. “However the Society sees this as actually another indication of the fact that allowing software to be patented hasn’t worked in New Zealand, hence a new approach is needed to address this issue”.

The Society also pointed out that it was not possible to run a patent system for some and an “opt-out” for others, as recently suggested, as all would be bound by the monopoly patents provided. “It’s like saying each villager can decide whether or not to pollute the village pond. Fact is, they all have to drink from it”.

“This is a complex issues, however the Society commends the Commerce Select Committee on giving serious consideration to this issue and making a recommendation based on the best interests of the New Zealand’s ICT sector and New Zealand as a whole”, Matthews concluded.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Science: Hookworm Discovery At Malaghan Institute

Professor Graham Le Gros has led a team which has stimulated both innate and memory responses to the parasite, discovering along the way the unexpected behaviour of one particular immune cell, in Hookworm, one of the world’s most devastating tropical ... More>>

Business: Provinces Urged To Make Full Use Of New Air Services

Provincial New Zealand has been urged to use new air services to Auckland or risk losing them either partially or completely. The stark warning was issued today by Far North mayor John Carter at a ceremony at Kaitaia airport to mark the final Air ... More>>

Mobile: 2degrees To Credit All Calls And SMS To Nepal

In the wake of the devastating earthquake in Nepal in the weekend, 2degrees will be crediting all calls and SMS messages made to mobiles and landlines in Nepal from Friday 24th April until midnight Wednesday 29th April. More>>

Scoop Business: Alex Swney Pleads Guilty To $2.5M Fraud Charge

Alex Swney, former chief executive of the Auckland city centre business association Heart of the City, has pleaded guilty to dishonestly using documents to obtain $2.5 million. More>>

ALSO:

Petrol Burns Prices: Second Consecutive Quarterly Fall For CPI

The consumers price index (CPI) fell 0.3 percent in the March 2015 quarter, following a 0.2 percent fall in the December 2014 quarter, Statistics New Zealand said today. The last time the CPI showed two consecutive quarterly falls was in the December 1998 and March 1999 quarters. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ Broadcasters Launch Battle Against Global Mode ISPs

New Zealand broadcasters have confirmed they’ve launched legal proceedings against internet service providers who give customers’ access to “global mode”, which allows customers access to offshore online content, claiming it breaches the local content providers’ copyright. More>>

ALSO:

Sanford: Closure Of Christchurch Mussel Processing Plant Confirmed

The decision comes after a period of consultation with the 232 staff employed at the Riccarton site, who were told on 9 April that Sanford was considering the future of mussel processing in Christchurch. Recent weather patterns had impacted on natural spat (offspring) supply... More>>

ALSO:

Price Of Cheese: Dairy Product Prices Fall To The Lowest This Year

Dairy product prices fell in the latest GlobalDairyTrade auction, hitting the lowest level in the 2015 auctions so far, as prices for milk powder and butter slid amid concern about the outlook for commodities. More>>

ALSO:

Houston, We Have An Air Route: Air New Zealand To Fly Direct To The Heart Of Texas

Air New Zealand will fly its completely refitted Boeing 777-200 aircraft between Auckland and Houston up to five times a week opening up the state of Texas as well as popular nearby tourist states such as Louisiana and Florida. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news