Successful internet entrepreneurs Mark Cuban and Markus "Notch" Persson have each donated $250,000 to the Electronic Frontier Foundation in hopes of reforming a "broken" and "dangerous" patent system. Cuban, who started early internet radio site Broadcast.com and currently owns the Dallas Mavericks, has previously called to end all software and process patents, saying that the latter serve "absolutely no purpose." His EFF donation will fund the new "Mark Cuban Chair to Eliminate Stupid Patents," which will be held by Staff Attorney Julie Samuels. It will also pay for the EFF to hire an additional patent reform attorney, Daniel Nazer.
Persson, whose company Mojang created the hit game Minecraft, made a separate donation, which will go to general EFF patent reform work. Neither Persson nor Cuban are paying to help the EFF abolish patents, despite Cuban's previous statements. Both, however, want to address serious and widely recognized structural problems that have come to a head in recent years. "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," says Persson. Cuban, likewise, says that "Silly patent lawsuits force prices to go up while competition and innovation suffer."
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