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WideOpenNews: Law Prof Lessig: Software Patent Situation Is 'Terrifying'

Mar 16, 2000, 01:41 (4 Talkback[s])

"Linux got going not because someone successfully patented the idea, but because they shared the idea," Lawrence Lessig told technology leaders at Esther Dyson's annual PC Forum conference in Scottsdale, Ariz. "Five years ago if you had a great idea, you coded. Today, if you have a great idea, you call a lawyer."

"Intellectual property grabs such as Priceline's patent on the reverse-auction process and Amazon.com's patents on one-click ordering and associate marketing indicate that "we are retreating from a commitment that created [the Internet], possibly the most dramatic growth in innovation we have ever seen," said Lessig, author of the recent book, "Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace...."

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