The Wrap: 15 May 2013

The Wrap: 15 May 2013

Ding dong the witch is dead

No I'm not talking about Margaret Thatcher, whose reign I wasn't even alive for – I'm talking about software patents in New Zealand.

Last week the government added a supplementary order paper (an amendment) to the Patents Bill in front of Parliament, clarifying that software will not be patentable under the legislation.

"These changes ensure the Bill is consistent with the intention of the Commerce Select Committee recommendation that computer programs should not be patentable," says commerce minister Craig Foss (who's been leading the revision to the Patents Bill).

I like to think my scathing opinion piece in the latest issue of Idealog helped rouse Foss out of the ambiguity that flawed the previous version of the Bill and left it open to exploitation by patent trolls. Although there were at least 1200 others voicing similar opinions long before me, according to the No Software Patents Petition which was signed by hundreds of New Zealand technologists.

Lawyer and software developer Guy Burgess has a list of industry reactions over on his rather excellent law and technology blog.

It's business time for Vend

Eight million dollars will buy a lot of nerf guns and mustache combs for Vaughan Rowsell and the team at Vend. Of course Rowsell has far more practical uses for the money, such as expanding operations overseas and further development of Vend's cloud point of sale platform.

The $8 million injection will also help Vend attract the 100 new staff members it says it needs. Judging by some of the founder and chief exec's latest tweets, it's a startup eat startup world out there when it comes to finding talent.

Piracy isn't a new thing

We wrap up today's wrap up with a delightful public service announcement from 1994, talking about the harm caused by pirating software. Complete with a kid-friendly rapper, floppy disks, and some super fly dance moves.