Minecraft maker Markus Notch Persson, tweeted some news on Saturday, that his company, Mojang, the developer behind incredibly successful blocky builder game Minecraft, was being sued.
While the company previously had issues with Elder Scrolls creator Bethesda, over the use of the word “scrolls” in a game name, this time Mojang is in deep water with a firm known as Uniloc. This company owns a few software patents, which it uses to legally prise dollars from the fists of developers, by claiming that its patents were unlawfully infringed.
The official wording is that Mojang infringed on the patent, “by or through making, using, offering for sale, selling and/or importing Android based applications for use on cellular phones and/or tablet devices that require communication with a server to perform a license check to prevent the unauthorized use of said application, including, but not limited to, Mindcraft”.
Explaining his position on the patent suit, Notch said on his twitter: “Software patents are plain evil. Innovation within software is basically free, and it’s growing incredibly rapid. Patents only slow it down.” Evidently 140 characters wasn’t enough for the man though, as he soon took to his blog, The Word of Notch, to elaborate.
He explained quite eloquently about the difference between theft, copyright infringement and patent infringement. Understanding the protection of property in the first two instances, but lamenting the hoarding of ideas in the third.
“There is no way in hell you can convince me that it’s beneficial for society to not share ideas. Ideas are free. They improve on old things, make them better, and this results in all of society being better. Sharing ideas is how we improve.”
He finished up with a simple quote:
“If you own a software patent, you should feel bad.”