: Other Books
: 2009-03-16 21:06:24
Description: The Data Compression Book- Mark Nelson
When writing about data compression, I am haunted by the idea that many of the techniques
discussed in this book have been patented by their inventors or others. The knowledge that a data
compression algorithm can effectively be taken out of the hands of programmers through the use of
so-called “intellectual property” law seems contrary to the basic principles that led me and many
others into this profession.
I have yet to see any evidence that applying patents to software advances that art or protects the
rights of inventors. Several companies continue to collect royalties on patents long after their
inventors have moved onto bigger and better thing with other companies. Have the patent-holders
done anything notable other than collect royalties? Have they advanced the art of computer science?
Making a software product into a commercial success requires innovation, good design, high-quality
documentation, and listening to customers. Th