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 Minecraft  creator fights against software patent trolls with $250K donation
Minecraft creator fights against software patent trolls with $250K donation
December 19, 2012 | By Frank Cifaldi




Mojang founder (and Minecraft creator) Markus "Notch" Persson doesn't think much of software patent holders.

"Trivial patents, such as for software, are counterproductive (they slow down technical advancement), evil (they sacrifice baby goats to baal), and costly (companies get tied up in pointless lawsuits)," he once famously wrote.

"If you own a software patent, you should feel bad."

Now he's putting his money where his mouth is. Today nonprofit free speech and privacy group the Electronic Frontier Foundation announced that Notch has donated $250,000 to help fight back against software patents. The money will help EFF push for reform in the courtroom as well as educate the public and politicians about the dangers of software patents.

"Temporary fixes aren't good enough we need deep and meaningful reform to protect software development and keep it as free and democratic as possible," said Persson in a statement.

"New games and other technological tools come from improving on old things and making them better an iterative process that the current patent environment could shut down entirely. This is a dangerous path we're on, and I'm glad to help EFF move us in the right direction."

More on the EFF website.


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Comments


Evan Combs
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Notch gets many +1's from me for this. The state of patent laws in this country is a vastly underrated problem, that most people have no idea about.

sean lindskog
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Notch is super excellent dude.

Thom Q
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"evil (they sacrifice baby goats to baal)"

I lol'ed..

Ben Grater
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Software patents are bad for everyone except trolls and lawyers. I don't see reform coming anytime soon, but good for Notch for taking a stand!

Cash Garman
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I couldn't agree more. They are bad for humanity as a whole :(

Jonathan Murphy
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Notch not only acknowledges how broken the overall system is, but is actually making an effort to fix it. I'm sick to death of people screaming, "The world can't change." Please shut up, move aside so we can enjoy this thing called progress. Great work Notch.

Chris OKeefe
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Not everyone can win the life lottery and throw massive sums of money at a problem. Don't get me wrong, throwing massive sums of money at a problem can work (it can also be a massive waste of money), and that's not to downplay the generosity and charity Notch is displaying by making such a large donation. But let's be honest here; 99% of people can't make that kind of effort. Not everyone can win the life lottery. Their frustration is born from reality; we don't live in a society where problems can be solved without massive sums of money, and that leaves a lot of people feeling impotent and voiceless.

And a large donation is not actually progress. It is a means, not an end. Things can and do change over time, but although Notch's donation is significant for one person, you have to consider that it's a drop in the bucket when you look at the truly staggering amount of money that corporations have tied up in software patents. I doubt very much they will go down without a fight, and they can match Notch dollar for dollar without breaking a sweat.

So, in short; here's hoping things change even just a little bit, but the status quo really doesn't change that easily, and throwing money at a problem only works when the problem isn't already weight down with massive stacks of dollar bills.

sean lindskog
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Are you saying Notch isn't super excellent dude?
Because I'm pretty sure Notch is super excellent dude.

Alan Youngblood
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Money can be a great start, but it's not the entire picture. This isn't a A|B split test here. In practice, in the real world, everything has a 3rd variable that's hard to isolate out. Like most complex social issues, people must tackle it on many fronts: raise money, raise awareness, create grassroots change, lobby for high-level political change, guerilla marketing tactics, etc. Money is nevertheless still important, I mean adspace for PSA's and propaganda don't pay for themselves. Meaningful change does not happen over-night. Why don't each of you pitch in to speed up the process?

Megan Swaine
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Right on!

Gregory Booth
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Perhaps there is a way to crowdfund the fight against software patents.

The EFF needs a kickstarter ;)


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