Ah. It seems we live in an age where the big player *must* be right, and people don’t like buying something from that small shop, by a maker they’ve never heard of. Sigh. However, there have been glimmers of hope, especially online where the barriers to acquisition (i.e. download) are so low, and there aren’t any real national boundaries, no matter what the FBI and US Secret Service would have you believe.
It looks of course like that’s being threatened to via the EU Software Patents Bill currently due to go through the EU Parliament this week (July 6th). For deeper info, check on the NoSoftwarePatents site. Even Slashdot have covered it a fair amount.
There’s been a lot of FUD on this long running issue, and a lot of it seems to be confusion on what is a patent and what is a copyright. Copyrighting of a way of doing something is fine, patenting it really restricts innovation, especially in software.
I think what’ll happen here is that the rule will pass and big companies will claim patent on all manner of things, rightly or wrongly and subdue the nascent European software scene, meaning fewer big innovations. Sigh.