|OK guys, I've got to wade in here and support Neko.|
Most people I know (except students and the unemployed) work for a living. If you've just spent "x" hours/days/weeks developing a program then you are entitled to reap the rewards without someone stealing the idea, cloning it and passing it onto the world with no consideration to the hours of sweat that you've put into the project.
Now I understand people being worried that someone will patent a simple programming trick that everybody might need and then sit on it and demand royalties for it, but that's just blind scare mongering and it's the same as anti-abortion protestors waving pictures of partial birth abortions around and claiming that it "happens all the time". I guess some people believe that oil companies have a patent for a car engine that runs on water locked in a dark vault somewhere in Area 57.
Sorry guys. If someone does some hard work then they deserve to get paid for it. This isn't being "communist" (in fact, it's exactly the opposite). Trying to prevent people being granted this protection is the worst idea, as it will stifle innovation.
The only reason we have patents is to protect people's rights. If the "hippies" didn't think they were entitled to steal and reverse engineer peoples property then we wouldn't need them. The only reason we have copy protection on DVD's is because there is an element in this world that thinks that they are entitled to something for nothing and delight in pirating everything they can find. It reminds me a bit of Seehund's efforts to get OS4 on open firmware mobos so that his supporters can pirate OS4.
Thanks for listen folks. I'll put on my flame retardant jacket now.... :-)