IP: Publisher speaks out against Amazon patents

From: eugene.leitl@lrz.uni-muenchen.de
Date: Mon Feb 28 2000 - 19:14:13 MST

From: Dave Farber <farber@cis.upenn.edu>

Date: Mon, 28 Feb 2000 18:08:16 -0800
From: "Tim O'Reilly" <tim@oreilly.com>
Organization: O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.
To: farber@central.cis.upenn.edu

I've been pushing Amazon privately on the patent issue since January,
but after not getting much traction, I went public with the following
statement, which includes my formerly private email to Jeff Bezos, and
some associated commentary, as well as an open letter to Amazon that I'm
asking people to sign:


Obviously, I thought a lot about this before taking a public stance,
since Amazon is now one of our largest customers, but in the end, I
believe that if I didn't speak up, and let myself be intimidated by
Amazon's market power, then other less technically savvy publishers
would also be silent. As Edmund Burke said, "All that is required for
evil to triumph is that good men do nothing." I don't want to say by
that quotation that Amazon is evil, but they are certainly misguided and
short-sighted, and we are all equally short-sighted if we stand by and
do nothing. Trivial and overly broad software patents are a great
danger to the entire future of the Internet.

I'd like to urge anyone with an interest in the subject to sign on to
the petition referenced from this page, and I'd particularly like to
urge any publishers who do substantial business with Amazon to speak up
as I have. They need to hear from all of us that what they are doing
doesn't just hurt their competitors, it hurts their customers and their
suppliers as well.

Tim O'Reilly @ O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.
101 Morris Street, Sebastopol, CA 95472
+1 707-829-0515, FAX +1 707-829-0104
tim@oreilly.com, http://www.oreilly.com

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