Markus Persson - aka Notch - the somewhat vocal developer behind the hit indie game Minecraft has stepped up to the plate in the battle against the crappy American patent system with a $250,000 donation to the Electronic Frontier Foundation:
"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, creator of the popular videogame Minecraft. "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."
The money is going to the EFF's Defend Innovation
project (along with another $250,000 from Mark Cuban
If you pay even a tiny bit of attention to technology news, you'll know that patent issues have been a Big Deal, especially in the mobile phone world, where patent wars
are becoming almost thermonuclear in their intensity. There is a real risk that problems with the US patent system will discourage innovation as entrepreneurs are aggressively blocked by patent trolls.
Software developers are at particular risk with many utterly trivial ideas and concepts being patented "on a computer", making it a bit of a minefield if you're a startup looking to commercialise a great idea. It's great to see Notch step up and put his money where his mouth is in such an epic way and I look forward seeing the EFF put it to good use.