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by Mark Trescowthick - GUI Computing
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I've been reading this past week or two the "pre-release" of a new book by an Australian author, Lance Roman-Miller. It should be on the bookshelves within a week or three, and when it is, I suspect all serious software developers should grab themselves a copy. Its name : "How to Make a Million Dollars from Software Patents and Copyright".

As I say, I haven't seen the final copy (I'm working off laser printed drafts) but what I have seen I must say is really impressive.

There have been other attempts at this sort of book in the past - though very few in Australia, for Australian laws, etc - but nothing I've read comes close to being as "readable" as this effort. It's not full of legal citations and cases, though there are enough of them mentioned to ensure that you know enough to do battle if required. What it is full of is readable, practical "how to" information.

Lance Roman-Miller used to be a developer (though by his own admission, that was a while ago now), and it shows. He seems to understand the way developers think and, perhaps more importantly, doesn't clutter things up with irrelevant (to developers) detail. The chapters I've read are clear, to the point and even amusing in places… not something that can be said for most legal tomes!

But wait, as they say in the ads, there's more! A chapter entitled "How to be in the Money", co-written with Dr Alex Gilandas, which is part motivational and part practical advice on just that.

If you develop software for a living, you need to understand the area this book covers. If you're like me, you don't really have much of an idea beyond general principles.

Bottom Line : This is the "manual" for copyright and patent. Buy it! The book is $A75, and will be available from GUI Computing as soon as it's released. ISBN 095854090x.

Written by: Mark Trescowthick
April '98

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